commission

County receives tuckpointing grant

Burn ban lifted after recent rains

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Kingsbury County Board of County Commissioners met Thursday at for a regular meeting. The agenda was short, since Chairman Kazmerzak had to leave by 10 a.m.

Commissioners discussed the burn ban and recent rainfall that the area has received and decided to lift the ban.

COURTHOUSE IMPROVEMENTS

Facilities Superintendent Lonny Palmlund reported to commissioners that the South Dakota Historical Society had awarded $20,000 in a matching funds grant May 1 to assist with a tuckpointing project the county had been planning for a few years. Since work on the windows is complete, it would be the perfect time to tuckpoint. Palmlund said he talked with the contractor, and he feels like work could possibly begin May 16.

Palmlund reported to commissioners that the wiring is in place for the new transformer that Otter Tail Power Company would install at the courthouse. Supply chain issues have delayed the transformer delivery, but once it arrives, it should be an easy install since most of the wiring is in place. The transformer is expected to arrive around May 30.

Commissioners held much discussion on sidewalks for the courthouse. The main six-foot-wide sidewalk leading to the front of the courthouse needs replacing. There are also other areas that need to be replaced. There are some areas near the parking lots on both sides where they would like to add some sidewalks. Kazmerzak would like to see a bump out on the main sidewalk to add some areas to place seating. Commissioner Corey Lundquist told Palmlund that he would help set up a cost estimate for the sidewalk work, so the county would have a better idea what to expect before requesting quotes or bids for the project.

Talk of the sidewalks ventured into the landscaping of the courthouse, and the general agreement was that the county needed a master plan. In the past, commissioners had discussed using the school’s FFA students in the county to design the landscape for the courthouse. The designs would then be evaluated, and the best plan would be implemented. There is also an archived landscape blueprint from the original plans of the courthouse that could be used.

Palmlund also reported to commissioners that he had received some carpeting quotes from Barrett’s Flooring in De Smet for the lobbies and stairs. The carpeting hasn’t been replaced in over 20 years.

If the carpeting were replaced on the main floor lobby, the stairs to the second floor and third floor and the areas around those two stairwells, along with some tile work toward the east door and down into the basement, it would cost just under $14,000. Commissioners discussed the project, and Kazmerzak asked Palmlund to seek a quote for using vinyl. Commissioners would evaluate the quotes and decide on the material at a later commission meeting.

OTHER TOPICS

Kazmerzak told commissioners that Highway Superintendent David Sorenson had called in a report. He advised that his crews were still working on pulling up some shoulders around the county. Kazmerzak was concerned about water butting up against some county roads, and the need to add some rip rap to those areas.

Kingsbury County Register of Deeds Caryn Hojer reported to commissioners that their insurance coverage would offer incentives, such as reduced premiums if county employees took certain classes related to computers. Threats of cyber security and phishing scams are dangers the county faces; having the employees take certain training classes on these topics could reduce those threats and save the county some money.

Steffensen discussed possible changes to the health insurance benefits with commissioners. She will be looking into the possibility of including the benefits for part-time employees. The county offers options for health insurance for employees only or a family plan and does not offer an employees and spouse option.

The current coverage has Sanford Health as the in-network provider, and the option of looking at a similar plan through Avera was discussed, especially since Avera conducts business in the county. Steffensen reported that she would investigate the matter and give commissioners a report at a future meeting.

Kazmerzak left the commission meeting at 10 a.m., but the commissioners continued until 10:16 a.m., making this meeting one of their shortest ever.

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