>>$7.76. REPORTER: FROM THE STORE FRONTS IN BEATRICE — >>IT’S REALLY SCARY ABOUT THE STUFF WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO BE PAYING FOR, FOR THINGS FAR BEFORE OUR TIME. REPORTER: — TO THE FIELDS OF THIS SOUTHEAST NEBRASKA COUNTY HANGS A POTIENTIALLY DEVASTATING FINANCIAL CLOUD.>>I’VE HEARD THAT TALK ABOUT BANKRUPTCY FOR THE COUNTY, BUT I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THAT WOULD ALL ENTAIL. REPORTER: LAST JULY A FEDERAL COURT AWARDED SIX PLAINTIFFS, KNOWN AS THE BEATRICE 6, A $28.1 MILLION JUDGEMENT PLUS ATTORNYS FEES. THE SIX SPENT A COMBINED 75 YEARS IN PRISON FOR A 1985 RAPE AND MURDER DNA EVIDENCE PROVED THEY DIDN’T COMMIT. THE JUDGMENT IS MORE 3 AND HALF TIMES THE $8 MILLION THE COUNTY COLLECTS IN TAXES ANNUALLY.>>GAGE COUNTY DOESN’T HAVE $28 MILLION SITTING AROUND. THEY DON’T HAVE ANY ABILITY TO PAY. REPORTER: THE COUNTY WILL HAVE TO PAY THE JUDGEMENT IMMIDIATELY UNLESS IT WINS AN APPEAL TO THE 8TH CIRCUIT COURT. THE COUNTY HAS ALREADY HIRED INSURANCE AND BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEYS.>>LITERALLY THERE IS NOT A STONE THEY ARE NOT LOOKING AT. REPORTER: THE COUNTY IS LIMITED IN THE AMOUNT OF IT CAN RISE THROUGH PROPERTY TAXES IN A YEAR WITHOUT A VOTE OF ITS RESIDENTS. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL NIXED BORROWING MONEY FROM THE STATE WITHOUT A CHANGE IN STATE LAW. AND IF GAGE COUNTY FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY, IT WOULD BE POSSIBLY THE FIRST IN THE COUNTRY TO DO SO.>>THIS IS SORT OF AN UNPRECEDENTED SITUATION. REPORTER: LARRY DIX FROM THE NEBRASKA ASSOCIATION OF COUNTY OFFICIALS SAYS A NUMBER OF OTHER LOCAL GOVERNMENTS ARE CLOSELY WATCHING WHAT HAPPENS. HE SAYS BANKRUPTCY WOULD BE DIFFICULT BECAUSE MUCH OF THE DUTIES OF A COUNTY ARE MANDATED BY STATE LAW.>>THE COUNTY DOESN’T HAVE THE OPTION TO JUST SHUT DOWN THOSE SERVICES AND SAY WE’RE JUST GOING TO TAX AND TAX AND TAX YOU. REPORTER THE COUNTY DOES HAVE INSURANCE, BUT SINCE IT SWITCHED CARRIERS AND MIGHT NOT HAVE COVERAGE FOR A DECADES OLD COLD CASE OR ENOUGH COVERAGE.>>I DON’T KNOW OF ANY COUNTY THAT IS INSURED TO COVER SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED 30 YEARS AGO. REPORTER: THE THREAT OF THE JUDGEMENT IS POSSIBLY AREADY HAVING AN IMPACT. LAST NOVEMBER A SCHOOL BOND ISSUE WAS DEFEATED. AND SCHOOL OFFICIALS SAY THEY DON’T KNOW IF IT WAS THE CAUSE BUT WON’T BRING ANOTHER BOND ISSUE AT THIS POINT.>>HOW DO WE CONTINUE TO GROW AND MOVE FORWARD ECONOMICALLY WHEN YOU HAVE THIS HANGING OUT THERE STILL NOT RESOLVE YET. REPORTER IN BEATRICE, ANDREW OZAKI, KETV NEWSWATCH 7. ROB: THE ATTORNEY FOR THE BEATRICE SIX TELLS US THERE’S AN URGENCY FOR HIS CLIENTS TO BE PAID, ONE OF THEM, JOSEPH WHITE, ALREADY PASSED AWAY.