County helps fund Kingsbury Transit

Work to begin on Highway 81 south of Arlington


The Kingsbury County Board of County Commissioners met Nov. 16 in regular session. The meeting lasted four and a half hours.

An item that was tabled from the September 7 meeting was again addressed. The Rural Office of Community Services (ROCS) had requested $2,000 to help with the Kingsbury Transit. Scott Fink, Transit Director with ROCS, had made the request. Money raised is usually matched by the federal government or other various agencies to cover the operational costs of the transit service.

Kingsbury Transit is based in De Smet but services all of Kingsbury County. Riders can call and request a bus/van to take them someplace. Local fares are a dollar a ride. Rides out of the county usually include a mileage charge.

A fundraiser was recently held at the De Smet Event Center with a Mystery Dinner Theater and a silent auction. The goal was to raise approximately $12,000-14,000 to help purchase a new bus. The unofficial total for the event is around $17,000. Current plans are to do this fundraiser as a yearly event, and next year to possibly work on a bus for Lake Preston and the following year one for Arlington.

Commissioners approved ROCS’ request for $2,000.

Wayne Lloyd with Prairie States Trucking from Sioux Falls was awarded the contract to widen and raise Highway 81 south of Arlington. He gave a report to commissioners about the work project. The project was originally scheduled to start April of 2022, but South Dakota Department of Transportation has allowed him to start the project as soon as possible. Lloyd’s company will use flaggers from sunrise to sunset along the stretch of Highway 81, while the company transfers 100,000 tons of riprap on both sides of the highway. By starting the hauling of material in the winter instead of spring, Lloyd is looking at completing the project and having Highway 81 fully open by Aug. 15.

Highway Superintendent Dave Sorenson reported to commissioners that his crews were busy last week sanding slick roadways and clearing the snow and slush off the county roads. Before the snow hit, his crews moved gravel on County Road 4 and placed two culverts out in the Big Ditch. There is still one culvert to be installed on County Road 2.

Sorenson asked permission to purchase a new double-walled, insulated overhead door for his Hetland Shop. Commissioners gave permission. He also had two executive sessions with commissioners about personnel. The two sessions totaled 31 minutes.

Kingsbury County State’s Attorney Gary Schumacher discussed with commissioners the National Opioid Settlement. If the county opts into the settlement, they will receive a share. Commissioners asked questions about the settlement, but one must register at their website to obtain more information. Commissioners approved Schumacher to register at the website. Commissioners entered executive session, which lasted 38 minutes, with Schumacher.

Commissioners held a discussion about the county’s policy on employee accrual of compensation time and paying out overtime. When property taxes are due for the county, the Treasurer’s department works a lot of overtime, and it makes it hard to keep the employees’ compensation time bank limited at 20 hours. Commissioners decided for the remainder of the year, they would keep the hours at 20, and hours over the twenty would be paid out on the last paycheck of the month as overtime.

Emergency Manager Cindy Bau discussed with commissioners closing the courthouse for inclement weather and the current county policy. It was determined that the decision will be made by 7 a.m. when conditions warrant. Bau also let commissioners know that there is a virtual class Dec. 7 that covers winter weather.

Commissioners voted to transfer money into the Emergency Management accounts. The state reimburses the county for part of Bau’s salary. In the meantime, the county covers her salary expenses.

Commissioners entered into the Planning and Zoning committee. The Kattke Farm’s Addition in the Whitewood Township will be separating out an acreage approximately five acres in size. It will be labeled Lot 1. Commissioners approved it and the minutes from their last meeting on Oct. 5.

The Mathews Store had submitted a liquor license renewal, and commissioners approved it.

Commissioners approved an inmate housing contract with Lake County.

Approval was given by the county commissioners to allow the new auditor, Echo Steffensen, to access some of the important accounts for the county.

At 12:42 p.m., commissioners entered into their fourth executive session and said the meeting would be adjourned after it.

The next commissioners’ meeting is scheduled for Thurs., Dec. 9, 2021.


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