Serving the High Plains

County burn ban tabled

Adjustments to fiscal budget also discussed at commission meeting.

A county-wide burn ban was tabled Friday by the Quay County Commission with residents being asked to be mindful of the conditions and follow notification protocol.

“There are some rural fire chiefs that want the ban, there are also residents who need to burn CRP land to prepare for fall planting,” said Donald Adams, Quay County Fire Marshal.

Adams discussed the possibility of a burn ban during Friday’s rescheduled meeting.

“We have been very fortunate when it comes to wildfires so far this season,” Adams said. “However, there is still an issue with central dispatch being notified and central dispatch notifying fire chiefs of controlled burns.”

It is important that residents follow the steps to properly notify the right people when conduction a controlled burn, said Sue Dowell, District 1 Commissioner.

“One point that may help people to understand is the enforcement of violating the open burn policies,” Dowell said.

According to the county ordinance, violation of the open burn ordinance is punishable with a fine up to $500.

“There are times that a planned burn is not called into dispatch and fire crews see the smoke and are panicked,” Adams said.

While there is concern enough for the issuance of a county wide burn ban, there is also the need for residents to burn to prepare for the planting season, said Franklin McCasland, Commission Chair.

“It would be best to let the residents be responsible, exercise common sense and wait to issue this ban,” said Mike Cherry, District 2 Commissioner.

Adams said the commission could wait for two weeks, if the residents follow the ordinance guidelines then the ban may not be necessary.

“If we have an incidents of unreported burning or a control burn that is unattended and gets out of control then we may have to issue the ban and look at stricter enforcement of the ordinance,” Adams said.

The commission tabled the burn ban for two weeks.

Quay County Manager Richard Primrose addressed an ongoing concern raised by Commissioner Dowell, with patients being charged out of network rates when being treated at the ER at Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital.

“I have been approached by residents who were charged out of network prices for their treatment at the local ER,” Dowell said.

Primrose said the issue with the out of network billing is being resolved and addressed. He said the doctors who were treating the patients were not signed up with the local insurance providers. This caused the patients to be billed through an out of network system.

“The residents who were, or have concerns that they were or have been billed out of network prices can go to Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital to have the issue resolved,” Primrose said.

Other items before the commission:

• Quay County Finance Director Cheryl Simpson requested the approval of Resolution No. 42 and No. 43 to adjust the county’s budget for the end of the fiscal year. “We can not end the fiscal year with any section in the red,” Simpson said. “These resolutions will transfer money from the general funds to the departments in the red to close out the year. The money is in funds that will be reimbursed to the general fund in the next fiscal year.”

The resolutions were approved.

• Adams requested the approval of the donation, purchase of a 2011 GMC 2500 Truck from Farmers’ Electric by the Forrest Fire Department. Adams said the purchase, donation agreement will be for $1, for the truck.

“This is a great donation, the county is appreciative to Farmers’ Electric,” McCasland said.

The commission approved the donation.

• Primrose requested the approval of the cooperative service agreement for wildlife services with the USDA. “The landowners, ranchers support this service by donating to help cover the cost of the services,” Primrose said.

The commission approved the agreement.

• An executive session was held to discuss threatened or pending litigation. No action was taken.

Rendered 05/18/2024 04:06