The Meade County Commission met in regular session on Wednesday, September 27.
The session started with a discussion with citizens that live on and use Pleasant Valley Road. The road has been very muddy and slippery after the recent rains. The Highway Superintendent explained that they were re-grading the road and had loosened it up just before the rain started. The rain lasted about 4 days. The intent was to re-grade, bring new rock with no fines and repack the road. That is still the plan. Once dried up, the highway department was going back to finish re-grading and haul gravel the week of October 1. Not sure how the rain this week has affected progress, but the County will continue to work n this road until it is a good gravel road.
The Commission voted 4 to 1 to pass a delete resolution for the South Dakota Department of Transportation to stop working on the paving of Elk Vale Road and Elk Creek Road. The County will take a lump sum payment of the State Transportation Improvement Funds and will complete just the Elk Vale portion of the project. The Elk Creek portion of the project has been canceled indefinitely. The plan is to start working on Elk Vale next year. We shall see. We have been planning to start working on it for the last three years.
Most of the meeting was spent working on the final budget for 2018. The provisional budget was increased by $85,000 to cover increased contingency funds, increased staffing in the Treasurer’s office, and increased funding for Sturgis Economic Development. In addition, funding was added to the highway department to complete the Elk Vale project grading. This increase is paid for out of reserves, since the money from the state transportation dollars will be paid to Meade County in 2017.
Employee Health costs are projected to increase 27.5% next year... That will take all of the allowable (by state law) increase for the Consumer Price Increase (1.0%) and for growth, new construction, (1.933%) and additional funds which we normally spend on new projects like road improvements.
In addition, the Commission voted, 4 to 1, to increase the property taxes for the county by an additional 2.9%to put the money in reserves for future projects. Your County property taxes will go up by a total of 5.833%.
We scheduled several public hearings for vacating partial plats and for the 1st reading of Ordinance 34, the building permit ordinance. These hearings are scheduled for October 25 at 1:00 PM.
We honored Mr. Charles Pickett as our Veteran of the Month.
Linda Rausch, Commissioner District 3.