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Commissioners address demolition bids, highway projects, and HR policies

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday, Dec. 26 in the Lincoln County Boardroom. With all members present, commissioners heard agenda items.

Auditor, Sheri Lund was first up to the podium to request board action regarding an application for County Aid Lien compromise/settlement. 

“We received an application to compromise a county aid lien, but in reviewing her account, we realized that there was a double billing on there, so I would like to have the board authorize us removing the $408.50 from the county aid lien without any other action,” Lund said. 

Motion approved. 

Chairwoman Tiffani Landeen read the first reading for or an Ordinance of Lincoln County, SD, rezoning Lots 1, 2, and 3, Ninemile View Addition, NE1/4, Section 4-T99N-R49W from the A-1 Agricultural District and the RC Recreation/Conservation District to the RR Rural Residential District and amending the Official Zoning Map of Lincoln County. The Planning Commission’s recommendation for approval failed 0-5.

Highway Superintendent, Terry Fluit joined the meeting to request board action for the approval of a joint powers and funding agreement with the South Dakota Department of Transportation for the replacement of structure 42-120-158. “This structure is located on County Road 125 about two and a half miles South of Highway 18. This structure was awarded to us, and we applied for a replacement grant on this through the State Federal Grant back in August and we were awarded a grant for this, so this is the agreement for that grant to be in place,” he said. Per the agreement, the State Federal grant will pay for 100 percent of the replacement. It is estimated to take around three years to be completed. Motion approved.

Fluit next requested board action for the approval of a joint powers funding agreement with the South Dakota Department of Transportation for the removal of structure 42-010-265. 

“This structure is located on a township road on 465th Avenue about a half a mile South of County Road 152 so it’s on the very South end of the County. The structure has been closed for over 15 years and the road is a Brooklyn township minimum maintenance road with no one living on it,” he said. 

This structure removal will again be 100 percent paid for and the Department of Transportation will do the removal statewide. “

This could take up to a year and a half, but everything will be done through the DOT,” he said. Motion approved.

Fluit also requested board action to approve the deletion of structure 42-001-220 from the National Bridge Inventory. 

“This structure is located on 290th Street about a half a mile East of the County line, this is a Delaware Township Road that the structure is on. It has been a long time in the works, we deleted this structure because we thought we would be able to delete this off of our inventory back in ’19, but Delaware Township didn’t file all the proper paperwork to vacate the roads, and they just did it again this year, so everything is in and I have submitted it to the DOT,” he said. 

Motion approved.

Fluit requested board action to approve and authorize the chair to terminate an agreement with South Dakota Highway of Transportation.

 “This is for structure number 42-244-255, it is the Hudson bridge, and we were awarded a preservation grant for this structure earlier this year, but we started working on design on it and DOT got involved, and they wanted to go more in-depth, so the scope of the project has changed, and they feel we need to do more work which has increased the cost of this project by over $400,000,” he said. 

Fluit and his team are hoping to relinquish the agreement that is in place and reapply by January 2. Motion approved.

Human Resources Director, Traci Humphrey joined the meeting via teleconference for board discussion and action to approve a modification in the employee performance evaluations. 

“We are requesting that the board change the employee evaluation process. Over the last 14 months, HR has collaborated with the Commission office and the department heads to learn more about our employee evaluation process,” Humphrey said. Currently, every October the County conducts annual performance evaluations and has a formal review. “What I’m bringing to the board today is to follow best practices and request that the board modify the evaluation process to occur during the month of the employee’s anniversary, rather than the end of the year. Under the Fraternal Order of Police, they have been conducting performance evaluations tied to the anniversary date and have had positive feedback on that. This change would allow our leadership to provide focused feedback and allow the County to continue to follow best practices for employee retention,” she said. 

The cost to the county for this proposal would be roughly $107,000 if all staff qualify for the step. Motion carried 3-2.

Humphrey then requested board action to formally approve Elected Officials 2024 compensation. 

“The 2024 Elected Officials’ salaries that were previously approved during the 2024 budget process. State’s Attorney - $160,233.72 Sheriff - $140,097.46 Auditor - $107,116.57 Treasurer - $94,950.04 Register of Deeds - $92,637.14 These wages have a 5.5% increase from 2023 to 2024, which is reflective of other staff’s approved increases (COLA 3% & step 2.5%). Given our proposal for a change in our performance evaluation/step process to move from the end of the year to their anniversary, we propose modifying the Elected Officials’ increase to mirror the rest of the employees’ increase of an additional 2.5%. State’s Attorney - $164,030.72 Sheriff - $143,417.30 Auditor - $109,654.87 Treasurer - $97,200.04 Register of Deeds - $94,832.34,” she said.

Motion carried 4-1.

Building Superintendent, John Rombough joined the meeting to get board authorization for the Building Superintendent to purchase a budgeted Western “Wide-Out” snowplow from Christensen Radiator and Repair for the amount of $9,880.40 with an additional installation charge of $600. 

“I had in my 2024 budget, $10,000 ear tagged for a snow plow for the new pickup that was just authorized for purchase and as I was reaching out for quotes, my lowest bid came in just a little over that $10,000. The lowest bid was Christensen Radiator and Repair for $10,880.40,” he said. Motion approved.

Drew DeGroot from the States Attorney’s Office joined the meeting to discuss awarding a bid for demolition services. 

“The county had put out a request for proposal to demolish the old county jail, the old 4-H buildings as well as a building out by the airport. We had six responsive offers and under the RFP process, the county may select the offer that provides the most advantage to the County. The staff’s recommendation on the submittals would be to Speilman Excavating, The total cost of the project under the RFP would be $139,800. That is budgeted in next year’s budget,” he said. 

Motion approved.


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