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Local leaders address 'State of Sarpy County'

Posted at 6:50 PM, Jun 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-18 19:50:25-04

SARPY COUNTY, Neb. (KMTV) — Local government leaders gave an outlook on Sarpy County during the State of Sarpy County event sponsored by the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.

Along with much of Congress, Rep. Don Bacon voted to pass the CARES Act, helping out local businesses.

It also gave over $1 billion to state and local governments for coronavirus related expenses.

“The problem is, there were so many restrictions put on that money that it’s not able to be spent,” says Bacon.

The State of Nebraska has about a $205 million budget shortfall. Bacon is trying to pass a bill that allows CARES Act money to be used to make up that lost tax revenue.

“Speaker Pelosi wants a massive bill and a lot of the folks in the Senate leadership want no bill. They want the state and local governments to sort it out. I’m hoping my bill will become a fallback plan,” says Bacon.

State Senator John Arch says the budget will be one of three biggest focus points when they come back.

But there’s a lot of unknowns.

That includes how much money the state has to work with and how much they’ll need for Medicaid expansion.

Because many people lost their jobs due to the pandemic, Arch thinks more people will be eligible for Medicaid.

“How many more than what is estimated to be approximately 90,000, how many more will qualify, how many more will sign up,” says Arch, who represents much of the county.

Chair of the Sarpy County Commissioners Don Kelly focused on the future, and that includes building infrastructure.

“We want to keep the country a 20 minute county. We want you to go from any place in this county in less than 20 minutes and to do that you need good roads,” says Kelly.

Kelly said work is starting on re-doing Platteview Road, eventually taking it from Highway 75 to Interstate 80, around 180th Street, where there would be an interchange.

It would allow folks hoping to go from I-29 to I-80 to veer away from Omaha.

“In my mind it’s the southern bypass for the metropolitan area. It needs to be a freeway or certainly an expressway, that will move people quickly from Interstate 29 to a future interchange on Interstate 80,” says Kelly.