KEARNEY — The Buffalo County Board of Supervisors discussed the possibility of dissolving county townships at Tuesday’s meeting.
Commissioner Joe Brayton of Kearney said he discussed the issue with township board members and that out of the 26 townships in Buffalo County, 17 said they would approve of being dissolved. Two said no, and the rest were unsure or couldn’t be reached for questioning.
Townships receive funding from the county to do road improvements, but many no longer have the equipment or the funds to do so.
“Basically on townships nowadays, all you’re doing is exchanging money from the levy,” Brayton said. “They receive that levy and then if the county Highway Department does work on the roads, they have to make a claim to the township and from there on they pay the county back. There are several that have no money in their township’s bill to pay their money at all.”
Brayton said townships are in $20,000 debt to the county Highway Department.
Supervisor Ivan Klein said few people volunteer to be on township boards.
“It’s hard to get anyone to serve on those boards any more,” he said.
While dissolving townships would create more work for the Highway Department, Klein said, it would eliminate paperwork.
“Most of the complaints I get are about township roads,” Klein said. “I tell them they have to go through the township boards and they say, ‘Well, they won’t do anything.’ They’re going around in a circle.”
The board has until Sept. 4 if it would like to see the issue be put on the ballot for voters to decide.
In other business, the board approved a special-use permit for a truck wash for Dave Hervert of Ravenna under the condition that the Department of Environmental Quality approves truck wash plans and the lagoon uses a synthetic liner.