commission

Medical Marijuana facilities still being discussed

Sheriff Strande has applicants for deputy opening

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Kingsbury County Commissioners met June 21 in the Kingsbury County Courthouse at 8:30 a.m. for a regular meeting.

SHERIFF REPORT

Commissioners asked about the current open deputy position. Sheriff Strande reported they have been able to cover the hours at this time, and he has 4-5 good applicants to fill the deputy position.

When asked about current vehicle inventory, Strande replied that they currently have five cars and two pickups. Commissioners suggested looking at one or two newer vehicles to replace the older ones.

Contracts are up for cities regarding how many hours they want patrolled. The cities will have to renew contracts in July, and there will be a meeting to go over what each town wants.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA GROW FACILITIES

The commissioners looked over the current county map showing areas allowed for use of growing medical marijuana and discussed whether changes need to be made.

The commissioners questioned if many people in the county are interested in growing marijuana. At this point they have only heard from one person who plans on starting a grow facility, and they don’t expect to see many lining up to do this; it requires quite an effort to even begin the process.

Commissioner Corey Lundquist questioned why there is such a security concern for these facilities. After some discussion, the commissioners wondered how much additional security would be needed, because there are already several security measures in place for anyone seeking a state license. The state has requirements set for camera systems that cover both inside and outside the perimeter of the establishment, for which the state must have live access. The state also requires either hard walls or a high security fence, security doors and locks on everything inside.

The commissioners decided that they need to come up with guidelines on how far a grow facility can be from Highway 14 and what type of road access law enforcement will be needing. After discussion, they made an amendment to the current policy, stating that grow facilities must be within one mile of Highway 14.

Commissioners also agreed that the current map needs to be updated to one that presents a clear picture to help people visualize where they can and cannot have a grow location.

“I feel that we’ve taken the stance of being a proponent to opportunity,” said Doug Kazmerzak.

Kazmerzak also said they don’t want to place too many limitations, but he’d rather see how things go with the current restrictions and be able to ease up on them later, if things go well.

CARBON PIPELINE

Jamie Fisk, a concerned citizen, spoke on research he has done regarding the carbon pipeline being built across the country. He asked commissioners to consider putting a moratorium in place regarding carbon pipelines in Kingsbury County.

Fisk stated that there is political pressure to get pipelines in place to help with global warming, but little research has yet to be done.

Ethanol plants are pushing to get the pipeline through South Dakota. Fisk believes those who are placing the carbon pipelines are targeting South Dakota because the state doesn’t have any laws or regulations in place for the pipelines yet.

Fisk said the pipeline in Summit was placed four feet underground with a 500-foot setback. He stated that landowners are unaware that they have the right to stipulate the depth and setback, giving the example that a landowner can ask for the pipeline to be placed six feet deep and a half mile from their homes, if desired.

He also stated concern for the landowners who are getting a one-time payment for allowing the pipelines to travel through their land. As an example, he found that In Nebraska, some landowners were paid $5,000 for having pipelines placed across land amounting to approximately three acres. This is a one-time payment for land that can never be built upon or have trees planted on it.

Fisk also shared his concerns regarding the pipeline breakage and what that could mean to the landowners who have CO2 hanging in the air.

The commissioners thanked Fisk for coming in and sharing his knowledge on the matter, but agreed not to do anything at this time.

OTHER TOPICS

• Wade Hoefert was scheduled, but had to cancel, asking to be put on the schedule for the next meeting.

• Echo Steffensen told commissioners someone contacted her, asking if it would be okay to buy and plant a tree on the courthouse lawn in memory of a person. Commissioners were reluctant; they could potentially receive many requests for plants and trees on the grounds. They decided to wait and get others' thoughts about this.

• Commissioners have heard that water is high on Lake Thompson and discussed whether it needs to be addressed. They believe Jim Knight may know more about the drainage issue and plan to ask him for an update during the next scheduled meeting.

• Cindy Bau from Emergency Management requested a different copier for her office. Her current printer, which is over 20 years old, doesn’t work properly. She found a used one from Office Peeps for $2,745 (the cost for a new version would be $5,000). The commissioners granted her request to use $2,000 from her furniture budget and $1,000 from her other expense account to purchase the copier.

• Commissioners decided to wait until all surplus property was determined and appraised before publishing any lots for public auction.

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