County's opt-out of $250,000 effective January 2012

by Nancy Haigh

Since no petition was taken out to bring to vote the Haakon County Commission's $250,000 opt-out resolution, it will go into effect January 2012.

All funds from the increase in taxes will go directly into the road and bridge fund. The news came just as the commission began 2012 budget discussions Friday, June 15, at 1:00 p.m.

The commission's July 5, 2011, meeting was quiet as they took care of routine matters.

Kenny Neville brought before the commission the matter of road graveling for a landowner north of Midland. Scott DeMott, of Midland Farms, Neville said, is concerned about the condition of a section of Haakon County's portion of Lone Tree Road. Neville said "It needs gravel, I don't disagree. It's shot." Commission Chairman Gary Snook said Stanley County's stretch of road was also in bad shape.

The board and Neville discussed options of Midland Farms hauling their own gravel, the farm hauling county gravel, or the county hauling gravel. In all instances the county would spread the gravel. Neville said he has to finish up the remaining work related to the Federal Emergency Management Agency funds as his extension is about to end, that is his main priority right now.

The board was concerned that if they let one resident haul gravel from county gravel supplies, it would set a precedent that would soon use up all the stockpiles. The board decided that DeMott could purchase his own gravel if he so wished and the county would spread it over the road. This would also apply to other residents in the county.

Neville and the board discussed stationing one of the highway department's employees in the Robbs Flat area as had been done in the past. Housing for the employee was also discussed, with no definite decision made.

The board received one bid for the department's surplused 1987 Chevy pickup in the amount of $425. They accepted the bid. No bid was received for the sheriff's Chevy Blazer.

Commissioner Nick Konst reported that the insurance company would pay the county $13,364.85 for the sheriff department's wrecked Durango. The county will have to pay a $1,000 deductible on the claim. A used Durango has been purchased as a replacement. Sheriff Mel Smith reported that equipment is being changed over already.

Patti Rhodes, Haakon County treasurer, updated the board on wheel tax collections. The board approved for her to issue refunds on overcharges as needed.

The board approved a malt beverage license for T-34 Truck Stop, a one-day malt beverage license for the Haakon/Jackson County Fair and signed off on previously approved, via phone, Matched Bronc Ride malt beverage license.

Extension Livestock Educator Adele Harty updated the board on the 4-H cluster reorganization. She said Haakon, Jackson, Jones and Mellette counties have agreed to become a cluster with each having a 25 percent share of the 4-H youth development specialist. The board approved the cluster by signing a letter of intent for South Dakota State University. The university will be in charge of hiring the specialist, with each county being part of the hiring process.

Auditor Patricia Freeman updated the board on insurance matters. She said the county had received reimbursement for damaged gutters on the highway department's shop building. Also, the county had received back funds for vehicles that are no longer owned by the county.

Receiving approval for meeting attendance were Smith for law enforcement training, Freeman for payroll law matters, and all county officials who wish to attend the county convention in Rapid City in September.

Heidi Burns, county health nurse, presented her quarterly report to the commission. They also review the veteran service officer's report.

They approved the June 7, 2011, meeting minutes with additions and warrants for the past month.

The commission's next regular meeting is Tuesday, August 2, at 1:00 p.m.