Haakon County Commissioners meeting

The Haakon County Commissioners met June 2, 2009, to discuss highway department, insurance and liquor issues. 

The commissioners approved all the minutes, except the transfer of cash from the general fund to the highway fund. Deene Dayton, head of Legislative Audit, Pierre, spoke to Pat Freeman, Haakon County auditor, regarding all transfers of cash that need to be in the minutes and approved by the governing board. The commissioners decided to have Dayton come speak with them about the money transfers because of some confusions. "I wanted a confirmation, to present to the commission, that this was the correct way to do a transfer from the General Fund (101) to Highway (201) for the 2009 budget," said Freeman. 

The commissioners previously approved the sheriff's department acquiring a credit card, but Freeman was having difficulty getting an actual credit card without having to have one individual be responsible for it if Haakon County failed to pay the bill. The commissioners decided to set up an account at First National Bank in Philip and use a debit card, instead of the credit card. The debit card would mainly be used for gas, but could be also used for feeding individuals during transport and emergency breakdowns. Freeman will complete a list of what the debit card may be used for and strict documentation will be required for each time the card is used.

"We would just have to replenish the funds whenever it is needed and the commissioners would have to approve more money being put on the debit card. The gas stations would not accept it if there is not sufficient funds on the card. No checks will be issued, it will just be a debit account," said Freeman.

The T-34 liquor application was also approved by the commissioners. The South Dakota Department of Revenue requires a yearly renewal of liquor licenses. The county has a malt beverage (beer) license for T-34, to be renewed in June. This renewal requires a $250 fee and half will go to the county and the other half to the Department of Revenue. In December, the liquor licenses for the American Legion, Golf Course, and T-34 will need to be renewed. The licenses are renewed yearly and the commissioners must advertise in case any person were in opposition to having the licenses renewed. 

Five bids were opened for surplus equipment that will be disposed of. The bids from Meyers Tractor and Salvage, LLC, Aberdeen, was accepted for $1,590 for two tractors; Joe Millage's bid of $150 was accepted for a pair of used tractor tires and David Johannesen's bid for the 1977 spray pickup for $500 as accepted.

The commissioners workman's compensation insurance needs to be renewed, but they decided to read through the information the three insurance agents presented before they make a decision.

Brad Wilson, South Dakota Municipal League Workman's Comp, Sioux Falls, gave the quote of $1,431 for one year of coverage, but that would include a 24 percent discount because Haakon County only had one claim. "That is great for a county your size," said Wilson. The annual contribution should take place in 2010 and will be a local pool coverage in South Dakota because South Dakota Municipal League Workman's Comp has to provide the same benefits because it is state law. Withdrawal and termination will not be tied to any length of time, any claims will be paid up until the account with South Dakota Municipal League Workman's Comp is closed. 

Gary Drewes, Hagan Benefits, Inc., Sioux Falls,  with Liability Insurance offers insurance to 51 counties. They do not offer an umbrella, but raise the limits to whatever their clients desire and are offering a $2 million line of coverage. They would also credit $2,500 for being a new member. 

Judy Goldhammer, First Western Agency agent, Wall, is the current insurance company the courthouse is under. The policy would need to be renewed by June 19 and has a quote of $17,902. 

Lanny Demott, Pierre, one of six owners and managers of Midland Farms, proposed that the commissioners grade the road north of his farm to Highway 34. This road has been abandoned, farmed and torn up, which makes it very difficult to be graded, but makes it quite difficult for moving heavy machinery over the road for farming purposes. The commissioners decided they would have to talk to the States Attorney before they made any decisions on the road. 

Kenny Neville was approved to attend the 25th Annual South Dakota Association of County Highway Superintendents meeting June 10 and 11 in Pierre. 

The Intersection of Highway 34 and the north end of the Tornado Ranch Road will be closed for about four to six weeks due to a bridge being installed. There will also be an ad in the paper stating the road will be closed. 

Neville contacted Luke & Sons for for 30,000 tons of gravel and a royalty fee of 50 cents per ton to be hauled to Bierle pit, near Midland, SD. The commissioners also agreed upon a gravel purchase and stockpiling agreement with Bill and Connie Parsons for 35,000 tons of gravel and the standard 50 cent royalty.

The board approved buying the highway department a new truck with the stipulation that Neville check it out and make sure everything is in working order. If it is, Neville has the go ahead to buy it. He is in need of a new truck because on Wednesday, his Freightliner's axel started wobbling. To replace the whole bracket would cost between $3,000 to $5,000 to repair. Neville was unsure if the truck was worth fixing because of its weak motor. He was looking for $20,000 to $25,000 for a new truck because he needs to be able to haul gravel and cannot afford to leave the gravel truck sit unused. Neville proposed that if buying a newer truck wasn't in the commissioner's budget CK Dale had a truck he was willing to sell for $7,500 with a $2,500 rebate on the highway departments Freightliner. 

Heidi Burns, County health nurse, proposed to start a worksite training in Haakon County. This program is to help motivate worksites to increase physical activity, eat more fruits and vegetables, reduce television viewing, control portion sizes, decrease sweetened beverages and also increase breast feeding. 

"We are trying to do a behavioral change and want it to be successful. We need to catch them in a group. I am looking at reaching out to the county employees to help its employees make a lifestyle adjustment. There have been some businesses that have done things like biggest loser and given prizes to the ones that have lost the most weight and this has been very successful," said Burns. 

Burns is looking at sending out an evaluation to all county employees to see what they are interested in wanting to change, if anything at all. She said that the changes would need to start small and do the changes every so often. The worksite program would be voluntary to those interested. "If it turns out really successful, maybe we can look at offering other incentives. You can do the program at no cost and then if it is successful you can add money. I think if we can make small steps at first, we can have some great results," said Burns.

Larry Hanes, Haakon County sheriff, requested two cages for the sheriff's Durango. He is wanting to put one cage in the front seat and one behind the back seat. The two cages would cost about $800 and would help the cars be safer for prisoner transport. "We will have the Durango for a few more years, so I would like to keep our men safe. We can handcuff them behind their backs, but some people can find a way to get out of them and we want our guns and AEDs to be safe in the back. We would try to find a different way to strap them in, but if we were to have an accident, they need to be able to be released," said Hanes.

Chairwoman Rita O'Connell's, signature on the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) contract was approved by the council.  

The board discussed and approved the following new business: The County Welfare Officials summer workshop is scheduled for June 24-25, 2009, in Pierre with a registration free of $55; EM County Mutual Aid agreement, 2010 Central SD Enhancement District dues for $5,598; Ultra Software user meeting June 25, 2009, for the auditor/treasurer, $20 each and the raffle on a rifle for Jerry Ellens, Sportsman's Club. 

Their next regular meeting is Tuesday, July 7, 2009, at 9:00 a.m.