Dawes County is 1,404 square miles and is governed by 3 county commissioners, elected by popular vote for 4-year terms. Dawes County belongs to a regional development district, the Panhandle Area Development District along with ten other counties. This organization assists with planning, grant administration and program administration including comprehensive plans and blight studies. County zoning classifications are agricultural, business, industrial, and residential.
Chadron has a city manager form of government. The city office is located at 234 Main Street, Chadron, NE 69337. There is a 5-member elected city council including a presiding mayor. The position of Mayor is an elected 2-year term of office from among the seated council members. The council members are elected for a term of 4 years. The City Manager is appointed and has an annual contract. Council meetings are the first and third Mondays of the month.
Crawford has a mayor-council form of government. The city office is located at 135 Elm Street, Crawford, NE 69339. There is a 4-member elected city council in addition to the elected mayor. The term of office is 4 years.
Nebraska's Unicameral, or single-house legislature, is unique among state legislatures. It meets every year, alternating 90 and 60 day sessions. The budget is passed on a 2-year basis during the long session.
The Chadron Police Department employs 14 full-time police officers and11 support personnel. The department has 7 cruisers, communications network, two-way radios, radar, video recording equipment, investigative equipment, and other standard equipment.
The Dawes County Sheriff’s Department employs 3 full time officers and 6 support staff. The Sheriff’s office recently signed a contract to provide services for the city of Crawford, adding 3 more full time officers. The department is equipped with two-way radios, 4 patrol cars, search and rescue equipment, and other standard equipment. Regular patrol by the police and sheriff’s departments provide protection to existing industries.
Troop E of the Nebraska State Patrol is headquartered in Scottsbluff. There are 48 officers headquartered in Scottsbluff and 5 stationed in Chadron.
Chadron has 36 miles of streets, 30 miles of which are hard-surfaced with concrete or asphalt. There are no local load restrictions. Ninety-four percent of the paved streets have curbs and 52 percent have sidewalks.
Crawford has 12 miles of streets in the community; 9 miles are hard surfaced with concrete. There are no local load restrictions. All paved streets have curbs and 75 percent have sidewalks.
Chadron has a 50-member volunteer fire department. Protection is provided within the city limits. The Rural Fire Protection District serves approximately 900 square miles outside the city limits. The department also provides mutual aid to communities within an 85-mile radius.
There are 256 fire hydrants in the community.
A 25-member volunteer fire and rescue department provides fire protection to the community of Crawford. Chadron’s and Crawford’s departments also provide protection for areas outside the community limits by operating the Rural Fire District’s equipment.
Chadron has a 9 member planning commission. Members are appointed by the city council for 3-year terms.
A Comprehensive Plan for Chadron, prepared by RDG Crose Gardner Shukert Inc., of Omaha, was completed in July 1997 and updated in 2011.
Crawford has a 5 member planning commission. Members are appointed by the city council for 3-year terms. Crawford also has a Board of Adjustments. A Comprehensive Plan, prepared by the Panhandle Area Development District at Gering, Nebraska, was finalized in 1998.
The International Residential Code, International Plumbing Code, International Sewer Code, International Private Sewage Code, and International Building Code are enforced in Chadron.
Local zoning classifications are:
||Low Density Residential
||Urban Family Residential
||Multiple Family Residential
||Mobile Home Residential
Crawford zoning classifications are: Residential, Residential Estate, Multi-Family, Commercial, Central Business District, Industrial, Public, Park and Federal Park. Uniform Building Codes are enforced in Crawford.