Madison County Commissioners

MADISON COUNTY Commissioners (from left) Ron Schmidt, Troy Uhlir and Eric Stinson review the agenda during Tuesday's meeting.

MADISON — Madison County residents will be obligated to pay for new culverts if they decide to install them on their property.

With culvert prices rising and a rapid increase in houses being built in rural areas, the county has decided to recoup culvert costs.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Madison County Board of Commissioners, the county board unanimously approved a resolution in which landowners will buy the culverts and the county will install the driveways to provide one access per tract of land.

The possibility of redirecting culvert expenses in Madison County had been discussed by the county board since April. The county has been installing culverts and hauling dirt without charge on privately owned property in Madison County.

Commissioners had previously noted that culvert prices were rising and supply was becoming more limited.

Jeff Schroeder, a road foreman who was at Tuesday’s meeting, outlined culvert expenses at an April county board meeting.

Schroeder said the price of a culvert typically is about $25 per foot, which equates to $750 for a 30-foot culvert.

Many culverts are longer than 30 feet, he said, because the sides of the lane slope outward. That creates the possibility of some culverts reaching thousands of dollars in costs.

Schroeder and Dick Johnson, roads superintendent, said sometimes lanes aren’t built wide enough because the owner is trying to save money, and, as a result, a trailer drops off and smashes the culvert.

It might not be fair to taxpayers to have to pay for repairs or new culverts in such instances, they said.

While culvert purchases will be at the hands of landowners going forward, Tuesday’s resolution won’t affect many residents, said Troy Uhlir, county board chairman.

“It doesn’t really affect you unless you buy a piece of land and need access,” Uhlir said. “Most of the farmers already have their access.”

The resolution will go into effect immediately and was adopted under the following guidelines:

— New residential driveway culverts must be a minimum of 30 feet long.

— New agricultural driveway culverts with residences and culverts for field entrances must be a minimum of 40 feet long.

— On new or replacement culverts, the owner shall buy the culverts and the county will install the driveways.

— Additional accesses, due to subdivision of land or for the owner’s convenience, must be approved by county foremen or the roads superintendent before installation.

— All culverts shall be galvanized corrugated metal pipe that meets the county specifications, including wall thickness and size of corrugations.

— County foremen or roads superintendent must approve all driveway locations and will determine the diameter of culvert required.

— Culverts must have a minimum slope of .83% (1 inch per 10 feet of culvert).

— Damaged culverts must be repaired or replaced by the owner at the owner’s expense.

The Madison County Board of Commissioners will meet next on Tuesday, June 22, at 9:30 a.m.

The Madison County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday.

Members present: Chairman Troy Uhlir, Ron Schmidt and Eric Stinson.

Others in attendance: Anne Pruss, county clerk; Dick Johnson, roads superintendent; Heather McWhorter, zoning administrator; three road foremen, three from the public and three reporters.

Meeting lasted: One hour, seven minutes, including time as a board of equalization.


— Recited the Pledge of Allegiance and had a moment of silence. Noted the open meetings law is posted and followed.

— Approved an agreement with Ewalt Law Office to provide legal representations of indigent criminal defendants for cases in which the public defender’s office is unable to provide representation due to conflict.

— Approved an agreement with Moyer & Moyer to provide legal representation of indigent criminal defendants for cases in which the public defender’s office is unable to provide representation due to conflict.

— Acknowledged receipt of the Region 11 Emergency Management budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

— Approved a project agreement with the Nebraska Department of Transportation for Project No. BRO-7059 (17), Norfolk North (Resolution Nos. 2021-26).

— Approved a conditional-use permit for Mike Elkins to operate a portable restroom business at 54844 W. Highway 275, in Norfolk.

— Reviewed written reports and processed claims.

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