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VSO Graber resigns at Tuesday's county commissioners meeting

Veterans Service Officer Kevin Graber notified the Haakon County Board of Commissioners at their Tuesday, June 5, meeting that he is resigning from his position.

Graber, who has received commendations for his work in Haakon and Jackson counties, is leaving his position since his wife has taken a teaching position in Chamberlain. He has been the Haakon County Veterans Service Officer for the past four years.

Graber gave some advice to the board, such as Haakon and Jackson counties continuing to sharing a CVSO and as to what an individual was required to have for experience to fill the position.

Rita O'Connell, board chairman and other board members commended Graber on the work he has done for the veterans in Haakon County.

The board will advertise to fill Graber's position. Graber said he would travel to Haakon and Jackson counties one day a month at least through July if the position is not filled. If the position remains open at that time, his services could possibly be discussed at that time. He noted that he would help in any way that he could.

Alison Kattelmann, librarian for the Haakon County Public Library, approached the commissioners for input on her hours and work schedule. She noted that with the numbers of people using the library it has not left her with time to go the post office and arrange items for the summer reading program. She asked the board if she could use the first two hours of her daily hours from June 19 to 22 and June 26 to 29 to organize the summer reading program. This would delay the library's opening until 1:00 p.m. three days a week and until 12:00 noon on Fridays. After those two weeks regular hours would resume.

She noted that next fall she would like to arrive an hour earlier to prepare the library for the day and get the mail. She said many days she is unable to get to the mail and books that patrons have ordered are sitting in the post office.

Board member Mel Smith stated that closing for the two hours would create confusion. He said he would like to see Kattelmann arrive two hours early for those two weeks. The other board members were in agreement and approved the plan. Kattelmann will still need to seek approval from the library board before proceeding.

Marcia West approached the board with the idea of turning the fourth floor of the courthouse into a museum after the city vacates the offices on that floor. She noted that the old West River Museum is not in useable shape and that items from there had been moved to the adjacent building on the south.

She added many items are being displayed throughout town in anticipation of the Centennial. She added the county has numerous items in storage that could be displayed, also.

West added that the local historical society and a number of other people would help organize the museum as well as staff it.

Judy Olney, from First Western Insurance, Wall, visited with the commissioners regarding the county's insurance on property. She noted the overall premium has dropped once again. Haakon County Auditor Patricia Freeman informed the board that health insurance costs are up nine percent.

State's Attorney, Chip Kemnitz informed the commissioners of possible upcoming legislation regarding the state's attorney retirement classification. State statutes qualify the position as law enforcement, but under retirement directives the position is in Class A, not Class B as other are law enforcement positions. Kemnitz said the legislation is to correct the classification.

Kenny Neville, highway de-partment supervisor, noted he had hired David Johanneson, Wall, for one of the two vacant highway department positions.

Neville informed the board that his department will be budgeting for a larger water tanker for 2008.

Freeman noted the Weed and Pest Board received a grant for $4,000 and the county received a grant for $4,485 in regards to the voting machines.

Extension Educator Adele Gelvin approached the board with a request to have Extension Assistant Sheryl Hansen become a notary public. Some 4-H participation forms, mainly rodeo, need to be notoraized. She said in the past some 4-H members have been turned down by county officials on the second floor of the courthouse.

Gelvin said it would cost $25 every six years for the application and between $75 and $125 for a seal. She said the 4-H council would possibly pay for the bond, about $50 for 10 years.

In other business, the board approved a raffle for Relay For Life, held an executive session for about 15 minutes with no action following and approved the May minutes and claims.

The board will meet Wednesday, June 13 at 9:00 a.m. to begin the 2008 budget process. Their next regularly scheduled meeting is July 3, 2007.