March 26, 2020 SPECIAL MEETING

March 26, 2020

            The Miner County Board of Commissioners met in special session March 26, 2020 in the Miner County Courthouse.  Members present:  Roger Wentland, Garrett Gassman, and Tom Reisch.  Absent:  Voni Durant.  Others in attendance during some portion of the meeting were Director of Equalization Tami Severson, Sheriff Rob Eggert, Treasurer Pat Carmon, Clerk of Courts Melissa Lock, Emergency Management Director Kent Terwilliger, State’s Attorney Greg Protsch and Deputy State’s Attorney Kristian Ellendorf.  Chairman Wentland called the meeting to order.  The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.  Motion by Gassman, seconded by Protsch and carried to approve the agenda.  No persons appeared for public comment.

            As Governor Noem has issued an Executive Order in response to the COVID19 virus, the Miner County Board of Commissioners have called this special meeting to review options for the commission to assist in the prevention of community spread of the COVID19 virus.  Greg Protsch and Kristian Ellendorf explained the difference between enacting a resolution and an ordinance.  After much discussion as to methods to use to curb the spread, it was moved by Alex Protsch and seconded by Garrett Gassman to hold the first reading of Ordinance 2020-02.  Voting aye:  Gassman, Protsch, Reisch, Wentland.  Voting nay:  none.  Motion carried. 


April 1st at 9:30 in the Community Room of the Miner County Courthouse was the date, time and place set for the second reading of Zoning Ordinance 2020-02.

It was moved by Gassman and seconded by Reisch to adopt the following resolution. 





WHEREAS, the Miner County Commission has the authority to pass resolutions for the purpose of promoting the health, safety, morals and general welfare, of the community and the promotion of health and the suppression of disease; and

WHEREAS, an outbreak of the disease COVID-19, which is caused by the novel coronavirus, has been confirmed in more than 100 countries, including the United States; and

WHEREAS, COVID-19 is a severe respiratory disease transmitted by person-to-person contact, or by contact with surfaces contaminated by the virus. In some cases, especially among older adults and persons with serious underlying health conditions, COVID-19 can result in serious illness requiring hospitalization, admission to an intensive care unit, and death; and

WHEREAS, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have declared the outbreak of COVID-19 as a public health emergency; and

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared a national emergency in response to the global pandemic of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, on the same day, Governor Kristi Noem, issued Executive Order 2020-04 which declared a state of emergency to exist in the State of South Dakota in response to the spread of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in South Dakota; and

WHEREAS, the CDC and health experts have recommended social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, social distancing is a method of slowing down or stopping the spread of a contagious disease by reducing the probability of contact between infected persons and those not infected in order to minimize disease transmission; and

WHEREAS, in response to the need to implement social distancing all schools in the state have been closed for at least until May 4th; and

WHEREAS, on March 16th, the White House issued guidance recommending that social gatherings of more than ten people be avoided and that people avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts; and

WHEREAS, the guidance issued by the White House further recommended that in states with evidence of community transmission, bars, restaurants, food courts, gyms, and other indoor and outdoor venues where people congregate should be closed; and

WHEREAS, many states and communities across the country have already implemented the White House recommendations by ordering all bars, restaurants, food courts, gyms, and other indoor and outdoor venues where people congregate be closed until the public health emergency is over; and

WHEREAS, the failure to successfully implement social distancing will likely result in higher numbers of infected individuals and has the potential to overwhelm the capacity of the County’s health care providers; and

WHEREAS, it is important that control measures be taken to reduce or slow down the spread of COVID-19 in order to protect the health and safety of the County’s residents, especially for seniors and those with underlying health conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Miner County Commission that:

1.         Effective immediately, all Miner County Facilities are closed to the general public.  County and Unified Judicial System offices will continue to operate and conduct business by mail, email, online, by phone or by arranging to work face-to-face/in person on a case-by-case basis.

2.         Effective immediately, in cases when a member(s) of the public displays symptoms of COVID-19, as specified by the South Dakota Department of Health, the County offices are directed to refuse face-to-face/in person service and encourage the individual(s) to seek medical attention as specified by public health authorities.

3.         Effective at 8:00 a.m. on March 27, 2020, all restaurants, food courts, coffee houses, bars, breweries, distilleries, wineries, clubs, cafes and other similar places of public accommodation offering food and beverages for on-site consumption, including any alcohol licensees with on-sale privileges, are closed to on-site/on-sale patrons. These businesses may continue to operate in order to provide take-out, delivery, curbside service, drive-thru service. Any business continuing to operate in order to provide off- site service should implement procedures to ensure social distancing and operate in compliance with federal and state health guidance in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

4.         Effective at 8:00 a.m. on March 27, 2020, all recreational facilities, public pools, health clubs, athletic facilities and music or entertainment venues are directed to close and cease operations.

5.         Effective at 8:00 a.m. on March 27, 2020, all bingo halls, casinos (video lottery), and other similar recreational or entertainment facilities are directed to close and cease

6.         The prohibitions and closures in this order do not apply to the following businesses:

a.         Places of public accommodation that offer food and beverages for off-site consumption, including grocery stores, markets, retail stores that offer food, convenience stores, pharmacies, drug stores, and food pantries, other than any portion of such business which would be subject to the requirements of paragraph #3.

b.         Health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and correctional facilities.

c.         Any emergency facilities necessary for the response to the current public health emergency or any other community emergency or disaster.

7.         This resolution shall remain in effect until such time as it is amended or repealed.

8.         Any violation of this resolution is subject to a maximum fine not to exceed $500 for each violation or by imprisonment not to exceed 30 days per violation or by both fine and imprisonment.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, and welfare of Miner County and shall become effective immediately upon passage.

Voting aye:  Reisch, Protsch, Gassman and Wentland.  Voting nay:  none.  Resolution adopted this 26th day of March, 2020.

                                                            Roger Wentland, Chairman

                                                            Miner County Auditor

Attest:  Susan Connor, Miner County Auditor


            Treasurer Pat Carmon asked for permission to waive all mailing fees associated with vehicle licensing.  As the county is limiting public access and encouraging the public to do business by mail, it was moved by Reisch, seconded by Gassman and carried to waive all mailing fees associated with vehicle licensing. 

            Welfare Director Gibi Page joined the meeting telephonically.  She presented Poor Relief Case 20-01.  It was moved by Protsch, seconded by Reisch and carried to approve payment of $1500 to Wass Funeral Home for costs associated with Poor Relief Case 20-01. 

            Emergency Management Director Kent Terwilliger presented a complete list of the pandemic supplies that are secured by Miner County.  Terwilliger desires that all requests for supplies by businesses, organizations, and/or individuals be approved by the commission.  The board instructed him to make those decisions as the Emergency Management Director.   

            Kristian Ellendorf and Melissa Lock provided information concerning court services.  Clerk of Courts Lock, Ellendorf and Protsch will work with the presiding judge to come up with a solution for holding court in Miner County. 

            It was moved at 11:23 by Protsch, seconded by Reisch to enter into executive session (SDCL 1-25-2 (1) & (3)).  The board returned to regular session at 12:11.

            The board reviewed options for conducting future meetings virtually.  More information will be distributed to the board and to the public prior to the next meeting. 

            The meeting adjourned until April 1st.  Dated this 26th day of March, 2020.

                                                            Roger Wentland, Chairman

                                                            Miner County Board of Commissioners

Attest:  Susan Connor, Miner County Auditor


Contact Info

Please see department pages for direct contact information.

Physical Address: 

Miner County Courthouse

Park Ave. & Main St

401 N. Main St.

Howard, SD 57349


Office Hours: 

7:30am-12:00pm & 12:30pm-4:00pm

Monday - Friday

(Sheriff/Dispatch Office Open 24/7)