Notes from Commissioner Galen Niederwerder


The Meade County Commission met in regular session August 23rd at the Erskine building in Sturgis.

Lincoln Shuck and Scott Tegethoff presented the five-year transportation plan for review.  We made a few changes, then set the Public Meeting for September 6th from 2-5 p.m. in the Erskine building.  Last year, only three people showed up; but if you would like to see what road projects are planned for the next five years, here’s your opportunity.  We’ll adopt the final plan at our second meeting in September.  It’s always subject to change, but the county is legally required to present a plan to the SD Department of Transportation to qualify for the Bridge Improvement Program.

We refunded vendor fees to two Rally vendors who submitted proof they are 501-C-3 charitable organizations.  We received a report from Deputy Planning Director Rhea Crane that vendor fees were down quite a bit.

We accepted the SD Department of Health’s offer, with one change discussed below, to re-instate the same County Health Services that were provided through 2015, at a cost of approximately $32,000 annually to the county, beginning November 1st.  This means two things:  1)County Health will be providing the same services as before, with the same hours as before, in both Sturgis and Faith.  2)The service is costing the county approximately $55,000 per year less than it did before. The commission eliminated its funding for the program during the 2016 Budget Hearings, primarily because we learned that the state was providing the same service for Hughes County for free.  (Of course, Pierre is located in Hughes County - think it’s a coincidence?)  We felt this was a reasonable compromise.  

One caveat:  the original proposal did not include expanded hours at Faith.  Wade Huntington, the DOH official on hand to discuss the proposal, advised that the office doesn’t see enough clients anymore to justify the same hours as before.  The commission insisted on a six-month trial period with the same hours as before, to see if the people who utilize the service need it.  We think that if we build it, they will come.

We were pleased to honor Carl Hansen as Meade County Veteran of the Month.  Carl was born and raised in Faith, and joined the military in 1958, serving two tours in Korea.  He retired in 1978 and moved back to Faith, where he ran a trucking business for 20 years before retiring for real.  He now resides north of Sturgis.

The rest of the meeting was pretty routine. Never dull - just routine.

God Bless Meade County