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Library board seeks approval to proceed with downtown location

Plans to proceed with a more indepth look at putting the county library in a downtown location were approved by the Haakon County Board of Commissioners at their August 3 meeting.

Barbara Sloat, Shirley Kangas and Jennifer Henrie, from the library board of directors, and librarian Annie Brunskill approached the commissioners with their intentions to look further at the former K-Gee's building on Philip's main street.

Sloat noted that usage of the library continues to increase and they want to pursue the possibility of moving the library to the downtown area.

Commission Chairman Nick Konst stated that with the commission already having to make budget cuts, they county did not want to add other expenses to the county budget.

Sloat stated the board has created a foundation that will help with all expenses beyond what the county currently covers. The foundation still needs to grow before it would be able to cover those expenses, though. Some expenses the library plans to cover are heating, water, sewer, janitorial and other maintenance.

Brunskill said that there was no way they would be able to build a new structure as there is no support in the community for such a project. "But we are hearing people are willing to donate if we go to the K-Gee's building," Brunskill said. Most of the work is cosmetic changes and handicapped accessibility requirements she added.

Commissioner Don Eymer said, "The plan you are working on now is good and I would support you to move forward." Sloat stated, "We know we are a long way from this, we understand that, but we couldn't make further inquires without you knowing what we are doing."

With the commissioner's approval in hand, the library board plans to look into further work needed at the building and what funds would be needed to make it a viable project.

The board approved money transfers from the general fund to specific cash accounts for the courthouse building fund, 911 account, and emergency management. The board had received a bad audit review for having negative balances in these accounts and sought to rectify the error. A transfer of monies from the contingency fund to the jail fund was also made. A transfer into the emergency management fund of more than $9,000 was approved per grant stipulations.

Meeting minutes from July 6, 2010, were approved with stated corrections. The minutes from the July 23, 2010, meeting were also approved as were the warrants for July.

Reports were reviewed for the auditor and treasurer' offices, sheriff's office, Veterans Service office, county health nurse and the Extension office.

Kenny Neville, Haakon County highway superintendent stated his department had been hauling gravel and blading roads. He was given approval to advertise for a new employee as a position had recently been vacated.

County officials were cleared to attend the August 26, 2010, meeting for county commissioners and county officials. They approved to rejoin the Central South Dakota Enhancement District.

The next regular meeting of the Haakon County Board of Commissioners is slated for Tuesday, September 7, 2010.