The Meade County Commission met in regular session on Wednesday, December 13.
The Commission received updates regarding status of the departments of the appointed officials. One item of note is that the 4-H office will be relocating from the Erskine building to the Court House. This move is expected early next year.
Representatives of the ambulance districts presented their new response map. This is the one attached to the petition to form the Sturgis Ambulance District. The new Sturgis Fire District was also discussed. The Commission directed the Auditor to absorb the costs of the fire and ambulance elections to the extent that we are allowed to by State statute. The total cost of both elections is less than $20,000. The Commission has supported the idea of forming taxing districts for these essential services, so it only seemed right that the County would support the election financially.
A purchase agreement from the city of Summerset to purchase some county owned lots within the city was discussed. The agreement was sent back for some rework, but we expect to approve this purchase by Summerset. This should get rid of some county maintenance responsibilities and allow the Summerset to develop the area and return 2 or 3 lots to the tax paying role.
Chairman Niederwerder presented a resolution to look for ways to reduce county spending by $1.5 million for the 2019 budget. The intent was to set a target for reduction so that the increasing cost of health care and the need to do some road projects could be funded. After much discussion, the resolution failed on a 3 to 2 vote.
Bids were submitted for the Elk Vale Road paving project. There were 7 bids submitted. All bids met the criteria established by the engineering specifications and the engineering estimate. The low bidder at $2,177,175.91 was Foothills Contracting from Webster, SD. That was at 54% of the engineering estimate. The bid was accepted and the work awarded to Foothills.
We approved supplements to the 2017 budget for $183,750. These were mostly for expenditures that exceeded the estimate in the budget. Most were related to judicial system expenditures. The Judge decides and the County has to pay. We do our best to estimate, but sometimes we are short and need to supplement. We also needed to supplement for some additional computer equipment which we approved, but hoped to cover in the budget.
We approved the Veteran’s property tax exemptions, vacated a plat of an old cemetery which is empty, and agreed to pay the Workers’ Compensation Insurance costs for the Rural Meade County Ambulance Service.
We approved the renewal of the Pappy Hoel Campground liquor license. This was deferred to get additional information on traffic safety. A representative from the SD Department of Transportation updated us on the discussions and plans to date. They plan to use temporary signals for the 2018 Rally and will continue to study to see if permanent turn lanes should be installed.
Lastly, we discussed the County Burn Ban. Normally, we would rescind it at this time of year, but with no snow cover, we decided to leave it in place.
Linda Rausch, Commissioner District 3