BEATRICE – Gage County officials have approved a special use permit for a new cell tower, near Tri County Public Schools....close to the Gage-Jefferson County line.  The tower will be constructed by Horvath Communications for Verizon Wireless. The self-supporting 260-tower is expected to improve coverage in that area.

Also during the Wednesday meeting of the Gage County Board, supervisors approved fuel bids submitted by Sapp Brothers Petroleum. The county will pay a price of $2.89 cents a gallon for diesel fuel and just under $2.70 a gallon for E-Ten unleaded. Those prices are lower than last year….when they were $3.13 and $2.77.  The county is contracting for 66,000 gallons of diesel and 38,000 gallons of unleaded.

Officials approved the purchase of a 2021 John Deere Tractor for use in the county highway department, at a cost of $67,700. The purchase was enabled under laws that allow buying used equipment without taking bids, if substantial savings can be realized. Board Chairman Erich Tiemann says a required notice was filed about the pending purchase. "Just so we follow the rules and are transparent. If we can find something where there's a substantial savings to the county, to buy used equipment...we need to advertise that we're going to buy used equipment. We just can't purchase at advertised price."

It was estimated that the county saved some $13,000 on the purchase. The machine will replace a 1973 International, which will either be retained for another purpose or sold as surplus.

County officials also reviewed bids on the major purchase of two road graders, receiving prices from three companies for Caterpillar, John Deere and Sany machines. The bids were referred for review by the Gage County Highway Department, with a decision expected in a couple of weeks.