county commission

Lundquist named as new commissioner

Three candidates interview for Jensen’s commissioner’s seat

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Kingsbury County Commissioners met Tuesday for a regular meeting. It also happened to be Commissioner Jensen’s last day on the board. He has served on the board for the last 10 years. He will continue to serve the county in the capacity as chairman for the Planning and Zoning Committee.

The county commissioners interviewed three potential candidates to replace outgoing commissioner Joe Jensen. The board chose to conduct those meetings under executive sessions. After the executive sessions, Corey Lundquist from Arlington was voted in as the new county commissioner for District One in Kingsbury County. Lundquist should be sworn in at the next county commissioners’ meeting May 4.

FEE INCREASES PROPOSED

The county commissioners held an open discussion about permitting fees. The fee structure has not had a major overhaul since 1987. A fee structure was read off by Commissioner Joe Jensen. Most fees will just be doubled. Some of the new fees will be addressed by County Ordinance Number Seven. Permit fees through the County Ordinance Number Seven will require publication in a local newspaper, and two meetings with the ordinance being read before a vote will be allowed. Fees not associated with the ordinance will likely be voted on at the May 11 commissioners’ meeting.

Proposed new fees for County Ordinance Number Seven: The $10 fee for requesting a building permit based on valuation from $0-$5,000 will rise to $20, $5,000-$15,000 from $15 to $30, $15,000 and up from $15 to $30 and from $1 to $1.50 per each additional $1,000 of valuation.

Additional ordinance fee increases (increased fees in parenthesis): Dwelling units at a rate of $55 ($120) per 1,000 square feet of area. Farm structures (excluding grain bins and including unattached garages) with floor at a rate of $8 ($16) per square feet. Without floor at a rate of $6 ($12) per square foot. Grain Bins up to 10,000-bushel capacity at rate of $10 ($50) and over 10,000-bushel capacity at a rate of $1 ($2) per 1,000-bushel capacity. There are currently no changes to commercial building permits.

The following are proposed fees that may be voted on at the May 11 meeting and do not require two readings and notices published. Proposed fees for special meetings, variances and conditional use hearings will be $250 and include notices. Fees for rezoning will be $300 and include notices.

Proposed fees for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Conditional Use will be as follows: Class A $500, Class B $300 and Class C and D at $200.

OTHER ITEMS ADDRESSED

On May 19 – 20, the courthouse will be conducting a trial, and the judge asked the county if they could open the courthouse by then, most specifically the bathrooms upstairs and downstairs. Because of COVID precautions, the courthouse is not currently open to the public unless screened, and parts of the courthouse are closed off. With the potential for close to 80 jury candidates, the bathrooms would be a necessity. Commissioners discussed this plan but decided to wait until the May 4 meeting to allow the department heads to voice their opinions.

Highway Superintendent, David Sorenson, gave commissioners a report about activities from his department. He currently has crews working on spot graveling at various locations around the county. He also submitted to commissioners a Striping Agreement for the highways in the county. It was approved by the board and signed.

Commissioners then went into executive session to discuss personnel.

Emergency Manager, Cindy Bau, submitted her quarterly reports to the board for their approval. She also addressed that some of the 911 signs around the county have been damaged and need replacing. On some, the whole sign and post need replacing; on others, just the sign. She will look into 911 funds covering the cost. If funds are not available, an alternative source will be used to cover the costs.

Scott Finck with Rural Office of Community Services that oversees the Kingsbury County Transit locally introduced himself and gave commissioners a brief review of the services they provide to the residents Kingsbury County. Currently, the transit service is seeing 20-23 rides per day in De Smet and three to four rides per day out of town. He also said they help with the Kingsbury County Food Pantry and their commodity boxes. He did not ask for any financial support but advised commissioners that in the future, a request may be forthcoming.

The county handled some small items on their agenda, and they are as follows:

• Commissioners approved legal action in over $4,300 of bad debt that is already out for debt collection.

• First District in Watertown is soliciting the commissioners input on a five-year comprehensive economic development plan.

• Commissioners granted permission to allow an employee to continue unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act.

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