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County to use collection agency to obtain monies

At their November 1 meeting the Haakon County Board of Commissioners approved a request by the county auditor to use a collection agency to obtain outstanding monies owed to the county.

Auditor Patsy Freeman submitted a request to use the Credit Collections Bureau to collect decades of outstanding fines, court costs and attorney fees that have not been collected by Haakon County. She told the board that the agency would take 35 percent of all collections with no other charges to the county for their services. "We've tried to keep up with it and we can't," said Freeman. "It would take another full time person to do this." The board gave Freeman the go ahead to proceed with the collection agency.

Reuben Vollmer, Jr., Midland. met with the board in regards to his quote for work on the highway department's shop in Midland. He was concerned that the person who did the actual work had a higher quote than he did and he did not understand why the county would go with the higher quote. Vollmer said he did not feel that it was good stewardship of tax dollars.

Haakon County State's Attorney Gay Tollefeson, in referencinga book of South Dakota codified laws, said a person with a license was needed to work on public buildings. She said the state law would supercede any county or municipal laws.

The board reviewed budget status for various funds. In the red are election - $64.24, courts - $7,200.83, register of deeds - $7,174.41, and jail - $8,636.99. The jail and court expenses were unforeseen due to a case that was recently tried. The register of deeds is due to a change in insurance matters. The board approved supplements to those funds. The courts fund gained $7,400, register of deeds $12,500, and jail $13,500. The court appointed attorney fund received a transfer from the contingency fund in the amount of $500 while the election fund had $100 transfered in from the contingency fund.

The board approved a plat request from Doug West on behalf of Bad River Sportsman's Club. The shooting range land west of Philip had been donated to the club.

The board discussed an insurance matter brought before them at the October meeting. They reviewed figures provided by Glenn Parsons, their agent with Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Kenny Neville, Haakon County highway department superintendent updated the commission on the progress of work at the slide area on Hardingrove Road. He said the dirt moving work has been completed and graveling by his department will begin soon. Plans for work around two bridges, one northwest of Philip and one east of Midland, was discussed. Monies left over from the slide area will be used on these projects.

The board signed the road haul agreement they and Neville had drafted. It will now be sent to TransCanada for their signature. It may be amended by the corporation and returned to the county.

Sheryl Hansen reported on the Extension office and progress with a new youth development specialist.

They approved meeting minutes from the October 4, 2011 meeting as well as last month's bills. They also reviewed the veteran service officer report. The board held two executive sessions for a total of 45 minutes with no action taken after either session.

The commission's next meeting will be Tuesday, December 6, 2011.