September 17, 2019

Commission restores position to county Highway Department - Daily Leader Extra : Local News

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Commission restores position to county Highway Department

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Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 3:34 pm

On Tuesday morning, Lake County commissioners approved adding a position to the county Highway Department in order to meet existing needs.

Commissioner Roger Hageman said he went out with Tim Tolley, acting highway superintendent, to review the roads in the county and determined "a lot of work has to be done this fall."

Citing the decision to cut two positions from the Highway Department last year, at the recommendation of former Highway Superintendent Dave Fedeler, Hageman asked to have one of the positions restored.

"We need another person back. There's too much work," Hageman said.

Commissioner Deb Reinicke noted that with the city chipsealing project currently under way, "they're not getting a lot of county done this week." Hageman reminded her of the agreement the county has with the city.

This discussion took place as part of a broader budget discussion. Auditor Bobbi Janke reviewed changes made at the last meeting, including cuts to the ambulance service and other nongovernmental entities and the addition of a part-time position in the State's Attorney's Office.

Janke said the overall budget for the county was $9,010,263 and would require a transfer of $480,435 from the county's reserves.

"Once again, I'm very comfortable with this budget," Janke told commissioners.

The new position in the Highway Department would add approximately $53,000 to the budget with salary and benefits. Janke said she did not see this as a problem.

In other business, the commissioners:

-- Approved a transfer application for the retail malt beverage and South Dakota farm wine license from Roadside Convenience in Chester to Chester 1st Stop. Steve Fockler told commissioners he recently purchased the convenience store.

-- Approved the payment plan for unpaid taxes, interest and fees proposed by Jarrod Haacke. The county currently has a treasurer's tax deed on the property, which could be sold as early as January 2020. Haacke wishes to have the title returned to him so he can clean up the property and sell it.

-- Approved one temporary special malt beverage license application and two temporary special on-sale license applications from Cam Shafer for wedding receptions at Camp Lakodia this fall.

-- Accepted the resignation of part-time correctional officer Coral Berg.

-- Approved the 2020 Local Emergency Management Performance Grant with the state Office of Emergency Management. Emergency Management Director Kody Keefer said the annual agreement was previously called the State and Local Agreement.

-- Approved a job description for the position of highway superintendent. Shelli Gust, commission administrative officer, reported she is advertising the position as open not only to county residents but also to those willing to relocate to Lake County. Commissioners indicated a desire to interview selected candidates as a board.

-- Approved an application for a highway access permit from Albert Lee Yager on the condition that he install a culvert, the size to be determined by the acting county highway superintendent, and that he remove the access when it was no longer needed for the gravel mining operation or reclamation efforts. Yager was not at the meeting; his application indicated no culvert would be installed.

-- Received a report from Gust and Reinicke, who said Janet Weber, whose property adjoins Yager's gravel mining operation, has reported Yager violated a conditional-use permit which required a 1,000-foot setback from her pasture line. Gust said Weber is filing a written complaint.

-- Approved a 75-cent-per-hour raise for Wayne Reynolds with the county Highway Department. Hageman supported the motion, saying, "He is a good worker. He doesn't wait until he's told to do something. He goes and does it." Johnson also supported the request, saying Reynolds was eligible for a raise based on the length of his employment.

-- As the Board of Adjustment, approved a variance request from the Rustic Acres Hutterian Brethren, Inc., to move a 1992 single-wide, Type A mobile home onto the property in Franklin Township, and two requests from Charles Wiseman. Wiseman seeks to build a shop with living quarters on one piece of property and an unattached garage on an adjoining piece of property. Both are greater than 1,200 square feet and taller than 12 feet.

-- Approved an application from James and Sylvia Tweet for a plat subdividing a farmstead from adjacent farmland in Summit Township.

-- Approved an application from Matthew Hummel for a plat re-subdividing the farmstead from the adjacent farmland to include an accessory building in Chester Township.

-- Approved an application from Angela Bott Amundson for a plat re-subdividing a lot into two single-family residential lots in Chester Township.

-- Approved an application from Karen Nowka to plat ag land into a lot and an existing residence into a separate lot in Lakeview Township.

-- Approved asking the state Department of Transportation to put up a sign warning drivers on the SD-34 bypass of the Egan Ave. intersection.

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