county commission

Courthouse to get new windows

Commissioners accept bid for full replacement

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The Kingsbury County Board of County Commissioners met Thursday for a special meeting held in the courtroom. Commissioner Steven Spilde attended via Zoom, and Commissioner Doug Kazmerzak phoned in. Chairman Roger Walls started the meeting at 9 a.m., and the other commissioners were there in person.

During the Commissioners’ Meeting on March 16, bids were opened for the window project the county has been working on for about two years. Bids were requested for complete window replacements on the courthouse building and the east annex.

The county received two bids. One was from Time Key Glazing in Kansas City, Mo., in the amount of $237,370 and the second bid from Northern Plains Construction in Tea, S.D. Their bid was broken down as $174,500 for labor, $192,610 for windows from Sierra Pacific Windows or $165,677.40 for windows made by Pella Windows.

Commissioners had concerns about the $130,000 price difference. Calls were made to the representatives for both companies, and it was determined that Northern Construction Company bid using a full window replacement. Time Key Glazing was using a window insert.

Commissioners tabled the awarding of the contract until the April 1 meeting, so both companies could present samples, supply references and have manufacturing representatives present. Northern Plains Construction, a South Dakota company, was present at the April 1 meeting and had brought representatives from Pella Windows and Sierra Pacific Windows along with numerous samples. Time Key Glazing, a Kansas City, Mo. company, had one representative Zoom into the meeting. They had provided samples earlier and talked with commissioners before the April 1 meeting.

After listening to the two companies’ representatives, commissioners asked Maintenance Superintendent, Lonny Palmlund, for his recommendations, and he advised for full window replacements. Kazmerzak expressed concerns over spending $130,000 of his constituents’ money.

Commissioner Joe Jensen made a motion to accept the Northern Plains Construction bid. It was seconded by Delmer Wolkow. The vote passed 3-2, with Kazmerzak and Spilde voting nay. Looking at the samples supplied and listening to the contractor, the windows will be an improvement over what is currently in place, restoring the windows to their historical appearance or what the architect originally intended but using modern day materials.

Can’t Touch This

Commissioners tackled another hot topic that was tabled at the March 16 meeting as well. The Planning and Zoning Committee had made a recommendation to approve a zoning change for Travis and Deb Steffensen to convert five acres of agricultural land to Lake Park. The Steffensens had a desire to build a private campground for friends of their family that would be convenient to Highway 81 and Twin Lakes.

After commissioners had ended the committee meeting and returned to their regular session, an attorney, Bill Taylor, representing John Mills, a South Dakota House Representative for District Four, showed up late. When given a chance to address the commissioners, he threatened to sue the county on the grounds that they were engaging in “spot zoning,” and further approval would involve the county in a statewide lawsuit over meandering waters. Commissioners in their regular session tabled the item to the April 1 meeting.

Commissioners addressed the item for the second time, Thursday. There was no discussion. Jensen made a motion to approve the zoning change. There was no second to his motion, and the item was never voted on. The zoning change recommended by the Planning and Zoning Committee will die because no approval was voted on by commissioners in regular session.

County Auditor Jennifer Barnard discussed with commissioners some of the upcoming changes and items to be addressed.

It was brought to commissioners’ attention that one of the precincts needs to be brought up to ADA standards.

Barnard told commissioners that the state is looking at redistricting, and changes may be coming.

Commissioners discussed hiring a motivational speaker to address the county employees or maybe even the community.

A vote of increasing permit fees was decided to be addressed at the April 8 meeting. The regular meeting of commissioners on the 6th had been rescheduled to the 8th.

Barnard advised commissioners that the courthouse had a hearing scheduled at 2:30 p.m. on May 4, and they may have to reschedule, relocate or have a short agenda.

Commissioners discussed the vacancy left when Jensen will be leaving his seat in May. Currently, there are four individuals who are interested in Jensen’s precinct. Discussion whether to advertise the open seat on the board was discussed. The position does not have to be advertised by state law, but it was recommended.

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