county commission

Firm to evaluate county structures

Future improvements will be based on that review

Posted

The Kingsbury County Board of County Commissioners met Oct. 5 in regular session to tackle a lengthy list of items on their agenda. Commissioner Corey Lundquist was absent, and Commissioner Doug Kazmerzak left the meeting early.

Highway Superintendent, Dave Sorenson, reported to commissioners that his crew had been hauling gravel out in the county. He also told commissioners that he had a discussion with David Meyer, who had recently obtained approval for a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation with swine near Carthage. He was requesting two entrances onto the property. Sorenson was out at the property and brought it to Meyer’s attention that there was a minimum maintenance road up against the property that could be used as one of the entrances, thus saving costs. Meyer said he would get back to him on that idea, as it would change the flow of traffic through the property.

Sorenson also asked commissioners if he could hire Civil Design Inc. out of Brookings to evaluate several structures in the townships within Kingsbury County, and rate them on priority for future improvements. Commissioners gave him the approval. The cost for the study would be $58,340. Sorenson would like to have the evaluations done before snowfall.

Commissioners entered executive session for personnel at 9:04 to 9:35 a.m. and again at 10 to 10:22 a.m.

Commissioners approved a motion to promote Jeremy Jensen as the official shop foreman for the Highway Department.

planning matters

The board then entered the Planning and Zoning Committee, chaired by Joe Jensen. They needed to approve the Durango Addition plat. This is the site of the new Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) for swine that commissioners approved Sept. 2. The community of Carthage spoke against the operation, as it was just north of Carthage; travelers entering Carthage would drive past this operation. The hog barn will be constructed near the intersection of 419th Avenue and 220th Street.

The Planning and Zoning Committee approved the new plat, as well as their minutes from the September 21 meeting, and then returned to their regular session. Once convened as the county board, they passed resolution 2021-31 approving the new plat.

Commissioners then heard from the Director of Equalization, Tammy Anderson. She reported that her department is back to fully staffed after a recent medical leave. The part-time personnel who worked during the medical leave will be done Oct. 28. Anderson noted the tremendous help that her department received and asked commissioners if she could hire another part-time person in November to work 24 hours a week, with duties as assigned. Commissioners approved the part-time personnel.

Anderson reported that two residents had called and requested that her office not come out to certain properties, due to COVID fears.

On Oct. 20, there will be a District Meeting in Lake County. The class starts at 11 a.m., and Anderson had asked commissioners permission to travel to the event. It was approved.

Anderson reported that the office copy machine was recently fixed. The repair technician said it is an older model, and the next time it breaks down, the county may not be able to obtain parts. Anderson requested funds from her furniture budget to cover a new copier. A tabletop replacement would cost about $1,200. Commissioners gave her the go-ahead.

Anderson also requested action on EagleView, the aerial photography company the county has been discussing for the last few meetings. Walls, the chairman, said he wanted to hold off on making a decision until Commissioner Lundquist was present for the vote.

Commissioners and Anderson went into executive session for personnel from 10:49 a.m. to 11:10 a.m. No action was taken when commissioners returned.

Emergency Manager, Cindy Bau, asked commissioners to approve and sign a new Mutual Aid contract. The original Mutual Aid contract was between ten counties and now will include Aurora County, bringing that total to eleven counties. The contract was approved and signed.

Bau also asked commissioners about county 911 signs that needed to be repaired or replaced. After a discussion, commissioners will try to find a highway department employee who could do the work on a day off and be reimbursed by funds from the Emergency Management office.

County Treasurer, Michelle Longville, reported to commissioners that she has found a full-time employee for her department. Commissioners approved her hiring the employee. The new employee will be introduced at the next commissioners’ meeting.

Longville also asked to retain a part-time employee while she does training within her office. Commissioners approved keeping that employee until the end of the year and will discuss the issue “as needed.”

Longville also reported that the state’s new software for vehicle registration, originally planned to be released in November, is now being pushed back to the summer of 2022.

facilities updates

Facilities Superintendent, Lonny Palmlund, reported to commissioners that the windows for the east annex, which had been ordered, were delivered and were incorrect due to the company’s fault, have arrived for the second time and are correct. All windows in the courthouse should be installed by the end of the month.

Palmlund also reported that when installing LED lightbulbs, there were some flashes noted, usually signifying an issue with the electrical feed. Otter Tail was contacted and concluded that the power level needs to be increased to the courthouse. When the elevator is running, it causes surges.

Otter Tail told the county they will install a three-phase transformer to increase the power being fed to the courthouse. The transformer would be installed on the edge of the property at their cost. The county would need to run electrical lines to handle the increased power from the new transformer to inside the courthouse. Commissioners approved a bid to have an electrical contractor run the new lines and miscellaneous work associated with the upgrades.

Commissioners have tasked the superintendent with a projects list of items to repair around the courthouse. Palmlund reports that work is progressing well. He also cited many projects he had already completed.

Commissioners and Palmlund also held a lengthy conversation about the courthouse’s landscape. Commissioners would like a professional to come in, evaluate and make recommendations. Palmlund would also like to see a fence erected around the fluid cooler for aesthetic reasons and to keep snow away. No action was taken.

South Dakota County Commissioners Association along with Eide Bailly are offering a service to assist counties with questions and appropriations of finances received from the American Rescue Plan (ARP). If commissioners had a question about using funds from the ARP for a particular project, Eide Bailly would give guidance and recommendations. Commissioners approved hiring the service, which costs $2,000.

Commissioners adjourned their meeting at 12:32 p.m.

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