Notes from Commissioner Robert Heidgerken

 Robert Heidgerken - District 5 

Robert Heidgerken - District 5 

Our Veteran of the Month is Mr. Keith Marshall.  Thank you for your service.

The 2017 budget took up most of our time at our last commission meeting. The biggest item was the highway department.  The proposed highway budget for 2017 is just over $7 million which nearly equals our highest highway budget ever of $7.1 million for 2016.  

We will be replacing or repairing five bridges with monies from the state bridge fund.  This is available to us because of the wheel tax and submitting a 5 year highway plan to the State. We plan on crushing $750,000 worth of gravel; it will take a while, but this should improve some of our roads. We also budgeted $65,000 to engineer the south part of New Underwood Road to the County line to straighten out the curve at the top of the hill.  We will do this project at the same time Pennington County does their side. 

Other 2017 budget items included allocations to Faith Library at $9,000, Piedmont Library at $15,000, and Sturgis Library at $24,231. Elk Creek Conservation District was budgeted $20,000 and Tri-County Conservation District at $10,000 with an additional $11,000 (one time opportunity) for equipment purchase. Sturgis Economic Development Committee was allotted $25,000,  SDSU 4-H was budgeted $31,000 and the Meade County Fair Board at $8,500. 

Highway Superintendent Lincoln Shuck is trying a new treatment for dust control and to stabilize the road bed on Avalanche Road.  This is the road to the Sturgis city dump.  If this holds up for more than two years as advertised, it could replace some of the mag water we now use.  Hopefully, it will not be as messy on cars or as icy in the winter.

The highway department will be doing dig outs and repairs on the New Underwood Road.  They will also be working with the State to begin weighing trucks at this location - so be aware.  The Commission asked for bids on the Elm Springs Road to be opened on August 24th for the rebuild of the road on the north side of Alkali Creek.  We will replace the deck of the bridge at the same time.  These are just a few of the projects we discussed, more to come later.

FEMA presented a Community Rating System Certification Award to Meade County.  

Meade County is the only county in the State of South Dakota that has qualified all residents in the floodplain for a reduction in their flood insurance rates. Deputy Director of Planning Bill Rich and Jennifer Williams did the GIS work to get this award.  Good work Bill and Jennifer!

The Commission approved all the new/transfer of alcohol licenses for the Full Throttle Saloon & Campground LLC and to Pappy Hoel Campground.  Both are owned by Mr. Ballard.

The Commission also designated Fort Meade Way as a Beautification Area.  This will limit billboards to business property for self-identification.

And finally, we issued a Drought Disaster Declaration for Meade County.  This is the first step for state aid for fire fighting and other programs. 

Enjoy the cool weather while it lasts!