Otoe County will soon have its own full-time veterans services officer.
The Otoe County Board of Commissioners voted 5-0 Tuesday to have Sue Baumann work full-time for Otoe County, rather than serving part-time here and part-time in Nemaha County.
The decision was made to help assist a growing population of veterans in Otoe County.
“Due to our influx of veterans, it’s imperative and unavoidable that Susan become full-time in Otoe County,” Commissioner James Parsons told the rest of the board.
He added that she could then provide outreach to veterans in the western part of the county by visiting Syracuse and Palmyra on a regular basis.
Because Baumann’s services were shared between two counties, she will continue to provide part-time services in Nemaha County for the next 60 days while a replacement is sought.
Baumann said she “would do what we need to make the transition smooth” and that if a suitable replacement was found and trained sooner, she would be available to assist Otoe County veterans sooner.
Baumann told the commissioners that Nemaha County is already looking into an inter-local agreement with Johnson County to share  services.
Parsons said that the recent extension of the Choice program by President Donald Trump, which allows veterans access to private medical care instead of waiting for VA medical treatment,  and other veterans benefits that may become available means that Otoe County needs a full-time veterans services officer who is “vigilant to get our vets the benefits they need.”