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Flood damage tasks highway department budget

Haakon County Highway Superintendent Kenny Neville informed the Haakon County Board of Commissioners at their Tuesday, July 1, 2008, meeting that as of now President George W. Bush has not signed a disaster declaration that would allow Haakon County to receive federal aid dollars for repairing roads, bridges and culverts damaged in the June flooding.

The declaration involves other counties within South Dakota. Neville stated he had been told that the declaration had been given to the President. Until the declaration has been approved, or dismissed, by the President, Neville will not know how much the damage will impact the highway's budget.

Neville stated he had received a bid from Petoske Construction for use of their trackhoe to replace three culverts. The cost would be approximately $12,000, plus an additional $9,000 for culverts.

The culverts include an eight foot for the Fairchild Road, and one six foot and one three foot culvert for 11 Mile Road. Neville noted that several other smaller culverts need to be replaced around the county due to the flooding. He stated his department would be able to handle those projects.

In regards to the bridge that was washed downstream by the Wilbur O'Neill place, his department has installed a low water crossing that a pickup and car can navigate. Rather than replace the bridge that has been swept away twice in the past 22 years, Neville stated he would prefer to install a large box culvert. He stated it would take two cranes to lift the bridge decking back onto the pilings. And that is assuming that the deck is usable. He noted that no definte plans have been made as to which option will be utilized.

Neville informed the commissioners that the bridge project near Larry Smith is still in the works with bid letting set for this fall. This project is done in conjunction with the state.

Neville informed the board that 24,000 tons of gravel will be needed to replace that which was washed off the roads during the flooding. He stated 240 to 250 sites were affected. Neville said those areas would amount to about 20 miles of road if laid end to end. He stated the big areas of concern were around Ottumwa and the worse hit areas on 11 Mile, 17 Mile, Airport and Tornado Ranch roads. Neville noted that most of 11 Mile Road and Airport Road have been fixed and that 17 Mile Road has been patched with asphalt millings that will be covered with gravel.

Neville noted that the mail routes are the first to be fixed, then other main roads. He added that his crews would fix smaller areas that are near locations on the first roads. "It may be into next summer before all the places are fixed," Neville said.

The commissioners revisited the plumbing, radiators and 9-1-1 contract issues. Chairman Neal Brunskill and commissioner Rita O'Connell will meet with Dustin Lurz and tour the courthouse together to evaluate further the courthouse's plumbing remodel. Brunskill noted an individual from White River expressed an interest in the project and that he will contact the individual to get a quote from him.

Haakon County Auditor Patricia Freeman is to contact Paul Schueth, Winner's police chief to get a written proposal from them regarding 9-1-1 service. Schueth presented a proposal at the commissioner's June meeting. It would cost Haakon County about $25,000 each year for this service.

At the May meeting Doug Pavel from Emergency Service Communication Center in Rapid City asked the board for an additional $32,000, for a total of $52,000 to provide the 9-1-1 service for Haakon County. Freeman noted that local law enforcement and emeregency personnel recommended the change to Winner.

The board approved for the auditor to advertise for bids to replace 17 radiators in the courthouse. They have a quote from Eric Hansen as to the estimated cost, but due to the dollar amount the project will have to be bid.

Quarterly reports were given by the auditor, treasurer, register of deeds, county health nurse and Extension offices. They also reviewed their 2008 budget requests.

The board approved the meeting minutes from June 3 and 9, 2008, June bills, and approved attendance at meetings for the auditor and treasurer for software programming, and county commissioners and officers meetings.

Freeman noted that Haakon County had received a grant of $8,638.54 from the South Dakota Office of Emergency Management for salary and adminstrative costs for Haakon County's emergency manager, Lola Roseth. Also received was a reimbursement from the secretary of state for primary election costs in the amount of $4,290.50.

The next regular meeting for the commissioners is Tuesday, August 5, 2008.