Notes from Commissioner Linda Rausch


News from the Meade County Commission Meeting held January 25, 2017

Winter is half over and I think we are all hoping for spring with lots of rain instead of snow.

The Meade County Commission held their second meeting of January on the 25th.  The State’s Attorney attended to discuss the impact of the new Victim’s Rights Bill called Marsy’s Law that was passed in the last general election.  Basically, all victims and victims’ relatives and friends must be kept informed throughout all phases of charging, the trial and the incarceration and release.  Additional staff will be required to accomplish this in Meade County.  The State’s Attorney’s office has been tracking since the law passed and they began following the new law.  The data suggests about 30 hours per week, but the State’s Attorney requested a 20 hour per week part-time staff.  He said they would try to absorb the rest of the time.  This additional staffing, which was not in the budget, was approved unanimously.  It will require a budget supplement later in the year.

A lengthy discussion was held on the staffing of the SD Community Health Program.  Currently, there is a part-time nurse on staff and a part-time assistant.  The request was for additional, non-budgeted, money to allow staffing a full-time nurse and secretary.  Representatives from the Meade Schools, the SD State Department of Health and the general public spoke in support.  The initial proposal was not approved, but a counter offer was made to the State Department of Health.  This will be presented to them for approval.  It will be back on the agenda in February or March.

Mr. George Blair was recognized as the Meade County Veteran of the month.

Mr. Ken Lee was reappointed to a three year term on the Weed and Pest Board.  He has also agreed to serve as chair of this board.

We approved two engineering contracts for summer road maintenance and agreed to call for bids for the Elm Springs road improvements.  We want to be ready when spring arrives.

The commission policy on the content of notes was discussed.  No changes were made.  We also discussed the County overtime policy on holidays.  No changes were made.

It’s been a tough winter and lots of mailboxes have been damaged while removing snow.  We approved a policy for mailbox replacement.

The burn ban was causing confusion, so we rescinded it.  The ban allowed burning when fire conditions were low, but the fact that we had a ban confused people.  So, we rescinded and will pass a new ban when dry conditions return next summer.

We directed the State’s Attorney to present one Nuisance Ordinance to Magistrate Court for failure to correct the nuisance.  If successful, the County will correct the nuisance and put a lien on the property to cover the expense.