November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

            The Miner County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on November 16, 2021 in the Miner County Courthouse Commission room.  Members present:  Alex Protsch, Garrett Gassman, Kathy Faber and Tom Reisch.  Absent:  none.  The flag pledge was recited.  Tami Severson was also present.  Motion by Gassman, seconded by Faber and carried to approve the agenda.  No Commissioner report of meetings attended was given.

            The minutes of the November 2nd meeting were approved.

            No persons appeared for Public Comment. 

            It was moved by Reisch, seconded by Gassman and carried to approve the following claims for payment: Alliance $150.00, Santel $55.12 911 CHARGES; SD DOH Lab Service $80.00 BLOOD ALCOHOL; ICAP $691.67 COMMUNITY ACTION PAYMENT; Lammers, Kleibacker & Dawson $1,452.85 COURT APPT ATTY; Tri State Emergency Mgmt Assoc. $20.00 DUES; HFCA $16,070.98, Safety Kleen $400.00, Sturdevant’s $68.96 FUEL; Minnehaha Co Juvenile Detention Center $488.00 JUVENILE DETENTION; Miner Co Treasurer $91.96, Stamp Fulfillment Services $1,734.75 POSTAGE; Lake Co Sheriff $4,950.00 PRISONER CARE; Lewis Drug $0.97 PRISONER MEDICATION; Architecture Incorporated $1,000.00, Avera Occupational Medicine $236.00 PROFESSIONAL SERVICE; Miner County Pioneer $730.72 PUBLISHING; Dust-Tex $70.39, Microfilm Imaging Systems $385.00, Miedema Sanitation $700.00 RENT; Alliance $3,000.00, Cummins Sales & Service $490.32, Dakota Alignment $84.67, Howard Auto Clinic $687.87, HFCA $40.00, James Valley Landscape $119.00, Midwest Fire & Safety $293.80, Office Peeps $293.70, Puetz Design+Build $164,726.83, Ultra $1,560.43, Wingen’s Garage $140.00 REPAIRS; Homestead Building Supply $83.88, Michael Johnson Construction $920.59, Rolling Prairie Grain $2,454.80 ROAD MATERIALS; Relx, Inc. $149.00, State Bar of SD $500.00 SUBSCRIPTION; Boyer Trucks $192.94, Butler Machinery $120.18, Jill Calmus $90.00, Cardmember Services $15.96, Dakota Data Shred $101.40, Dawson Construction $81.47, Diamond Mowers $570.44, Driveline Service $1,267.33, Econ-O-Wash $21.30, Gall’s $55.66, Home Service Water $28.60, HFCA $4,228.15, Kimball Midwest $239.59, McLeod’s Printing $207.52, Miedema Sanitation $10.00, Miner County Treasurer $78.00, Office Peeps $9,051.77, Puthoff Repair $40.04, RDO Equipment $940.35, Rivers Edge Bank $43.73, Runnings $134.99, Rusty’s $239.37, Shane’s Hardware $504.51, Sturdevant’s $674.38, Transource $27.39, Ultra $62.00, Wheelco $109.60, Wingen’s Garage $85.00 SUPPLIES; Verizon $92.07 TELEPHONE; Best Western Plus Ramkota $219.98, Kathy Faber $33.60, Garrett Gassman $26.46, Governor’s Inn $96.00, HFCA $20.38, John E Reid & Assoc. $149.00, Ron Krempges $28.00, Kent Terwilliger $39.48, Wyatt Walter $12.60 TRAVEL; Central Electric Coop $133.90 UTILITIES.

            With the upgrading of the HVAC system within the courthouse, Miner Insurance submitted an increased value for the building.  It was moved by Gassman, seconded by Faber and carried to increase the value of the courthouse for insurance purposes to $4.3 million.

            Commissioners reviewed the quote for commission room chairs for the public.  They instructed the auditor to place the order for 12 black padded folding chairs through Office Peeps.

Joining the meeting were Jim Knight and members of a team that has been formed to develop a petition for the formation of a Water Project District for the Lake Thompson area.  Knight reviewed the recent project which facilitated the clean out of the outlet located towards the south end of the proposed water project district.  This project was approved by the SD Board of Water & Natural Resources and will hopefully allow flood water to dissipate more quickly.  He stated the group is aware that down-stream counties and property owners don’t want the excess water.  By creating this district, they are wanting to explore ways to alleviate the flooding issues.  SDCL 46A-18 provides laws for creating a water project district.  The petition will need to be presented to the SD Board of Water and Natural Resources.  This petition must be signed by 25% of the qualified voters within the proposed area.  If approved by the state an election would be held requiring 60% approval of voters.  Elected directors will make the final determination of projects but the team has developed a list of projects for the directors to consider:

1.          Implement procedures to assure emergency medical and fire equipment access to residences during a flood.

2.          Conduct an engineering study to determine feasible strategies to prevent backup of flood waters.

3.         Conduct an engineering study to determine the effect of roads blocking water flow in the southern parts of Lake Thompson.

4.         Provide for regular maintenance of the Lake Thompson outlet.

5.         Investigate benefits of channel development in the southern reaches of Lake Thompson

6.         Investigate benefits of aquatic vegetation control to enhance stream flow.

7.         Determine the cost of residential repairs due to flooding.

8.         Conduct an evaluation of the economic impacts of the floods to agriculture.

9.         Conduct an evaluation of the impact of flooded wildlife habitat.

10.     Determine the economic impact of floods on Kingsbury County and Miner County.

11.     Develop proposals to secure funding to implement projects.

Funding for the Lake Thompson Water Project District could come from a variety of sources.  A tax can be levied not exceed one dollar per thousand dollars of taxable value of property within the district.  County commissions may contribute;  Grants can be applied; and Gifts from individuals and groups.

Gassman voiced concern as to those who will be able to cast a ballot in forming this district.  Reisch asked about FEMA funds. Knight stated those opportunities to fix the roads did not fall into that category due to no organization of private land owners to work with FE to secure funding.  Reisch would like the input from the Miner County landowners before moving to support this project district.  Knight has not talked to any individual landowners within Kingsbury & Miner Counties.  They have met with the Kingsbury County Commission earlier in November.  Knight stated this group wanted the commissions to be informed before contacting landowners or holding public information meetings. 

Commissioner Gassman asked if the Water Project District board members would be districted to ensure representation for those landowners of Miner County?  Knight agreed that it would be a good idea to have districts within this project district.  Those members present agreed they would add districting to the petition.

            Motion by Gassman to approve and support the Water Project District.  The motion died for lack of second. 

            The Lake Thompson team asked what could this committee do to gain the commission’s support? 

            Gassman replied to make the landowners aware of what is being proposed.  The Miner County Commission would like to know how the Miner County residences feel concerning this new district. 

            Sheriff Eggert informed the commission of the hiring of Garrett Werkmeister as deputy.  Werkmeister began his duties on November 15th.  Bullet proof vests will be received through an equipment gift with the United States Deputy Sheriff’s Association.

            Ron Krempges Miner County Highway Superintendent reviewed mowing, gravel, back-sloping, and blading progress. The culvert liner that has been scheduled for installation is behind schedule due to failure of the material.  The company is using a different type and more costly material and will install for the original cost estimate.  Bridge replacement and bridge repair bid lettings will be taking place in December. 

            The board adjourned as a Board of Commissioners and reconvened as a Planning and Zoning Board acting as the Board of Adjustments.  Gassman took the chair. 

A public hearing was held as advertised to consider an application for a conditional use permit from Shannon Hutterian Brethren, Inc. The request, if granted, would permit the applicant for an existing Class C Swine Facility and expand up to 999 animal units on a tract described as W 1716’ of N 508.2’ and Lot A & Lot B of Dakota Pork Cooperatives First Add in the NE4 of Section 10, T106N, R55W, Clearwater Township, Miner County, South Dakota.  Present for the hearing were Zoning Administrator Tami Severson, State’s Attorney Kristian Ellendorf, Mark Wipf, Ben Wipf of Shannon Colony, Brian Fredrickson of Dakota Environmental, Highway Superintendent Ron Krempges, and Larry, Janet and Jim Haak.

Mark explained the plans to continue to grow their own breeding stock and reduce the transportation between different sites/barns with the construction of a new barn on the above-mentioned site.  The barn would be constructed with a pit located under the barn.  The existing lagoon will stay on the same site.  County regulations require new construction and nutrient management plans must be DENR approved.  Fredrickson stated the plans have been sent to the state and are awaiting approval which is anticipated within the next couple of weeks. 

            Jim Haak asked questions pertaining to the design, placement of barn and existing tree belt.  Wipf stated the majority of the existing trees will be left in place.  Larry Haak stated they do not have an objection to the expansion and they attended to be informed of what would be taking place in their area.   

Fredrickson gave an explanation as to the age of the existing buildings which were in place prior to the State permitting process but they are bound by the nutrient management state permits.  The new building will be built with state permitting.  He informed the board Shannon Colony is 98% in compliance even with the older buildings.

A letter was presented to the board from Donna Schultz Sabers and Darrell Sabers.  The Sabers object to granting the conditional use permit due to the increase in methane from the expansion.   Mark Wipf stated the Hutterian Brethren has spent funds to keep the gases and odors down and their plan is to continue that practice.   

            Chairman Gassman closed the public hearing.  Following consideration of oral support and concerns of granting the application, it was moved by Protsch and seconded by Reisch that the Findings that follow be approved. 

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA)                                BEFORE THE MINER COUNTY

                                                : SS                              BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

COUNTY OF MINER              )



IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF                                              )

                                                                                                                              )     FINDINGS







            That the applicant Shannon Hutterian Brethren, Inc.  by Mark. Wipf, has made an application for a conditional use to permit the applicant for an existing Class C Swine Facility and expand up to 999 animal units on a tract described as W 1716’ of N 508.2’ and Lot A & Lot B of Dakota Pork Cooperatives First Add in the NE4 of Section 10, T106N, R55W, Clearwater Township, Miner County, South Dakota, and that they are the owner of record thereof.


            That the proposed use of said realty is specifically prohibited by the zoning ordinance without applicant first obtaining a conditional use, for which they have applied.



            That upon said application, notice of hearing was given as required by the Miner County Zoning Ordinance by mailing to the adjoining landowners and by publication.


            That hearing upon said application was held on November 16, 2021 in the Courtroom of the Miner County Courthouse.


            That applicant, Shannon Colony represented by Ben Wipf and Mark Wipf appeared in person.


That Brian Fredrickson of Dakota Environmental appeared on behalf of Shannon Colony in support of said conditional use.


            That written testimony was received and presented from Donna Schultz Sabers and Darrell Sabers in opposition to granting said conditional use.


            That a presentation in support of said conditional use and testimony on behalf of said conditional use was received at the hearing and that concerns to the granting of the conditional use were received at the hearing. 

            NOW, THEREFORE, that application, testimony at the hearing, and arguments of individuals at the hearing all having been considered, it is the FINDING of the Miner County Board of Adjustment that the application of Shannon Hutterian Brethren, Inc. for a conditional use be approved for the following reasons:

1)      That the Miner County Board of Adjustment is empowered under Section 505 of the Miner County Zoning Ordinance to grant with conditions the conditional use and that the granting of the conditional use will not adversely affect the public interest.

2)      That the Miner County Board of Adjustment certifies compliance with the specific rules governing individual conditional uses.

3)      That the Miner County Board of Adjustment is able to make the applicable findings required by Section 505, Subsection 4 & 5 of the ordinance, which are considered prerequisite to the granting of a conditional use.






            That the Board of Adjustment vote upon approval of such application was four in favor thereof and none opposed thereto.

            It is, therefore, ORDERED that said application to permit the applicant for an existing Class C Swine Facility and expand up to 999 animal units on a tract described as W 1716’ of N 508.2’ and Lot A & Lot B of Dakota Pork Cooperatives First Add in the NE4 of Section 10, T106N, R55W, Clearwater Township, Miner County, South Dakota be approved with the following condition:

1.    Approval of permits required by the state of South Dakota including but not limited to state general permit and any other required state permits.

            Dated this 16th day of November 2021.

                                                                        Garrett Gassman, Chairman

                                                                        Miner County Board of Adjustment

Attest:  Susan Connor, Secretary


The board adjourned as a Planning and Zoning Board and reconvened as a Board of Commissioners.  Auditor Connor gave an explanation of the health insurance coverage for an employee and a spouse who both work for the county and how the dependents shall be covered.  They shall be covered as follows:  Employee and Employee/Children. 

Treasurer Jessica Charles informed the board of the SD Game Fish and Parks plans to launch a new system which would increase costs for the county in issuing hunting and fishing licenses.  These licenses can be issued at Corner Pantry and Shane’s Hardware in Howard or on-line through the GFP website.  It was moved by Gassman, seconded by Faber and carried unanimously to discontinue the issuing of licenses through the treasurer’s office as of November 30th. 

            It was moved by Gassman, seconded by Reisch and carried to declare the following tax deed properties as surplus and schedule the public auction for December 7th at 9:30 a.m. in the commission room of the Miner County courthouse. 

Lot One (1), Block Three (3) of Aldrich’s Addition to Canova Village, Miner County, South Dakota


Lot Thirty-one (31). Block Thirteen (13).  of the Original Plat of Canova Village, Miner County South Dakota

Several employees along with Mary Henkel of the Insurance Store and Roger Risty of Risty Benefits joined the meeting to review the proposed health insurance renewal options.  Currently the county employee’s health, vision, dental and life insurance is through The Insurance Store.  Henkel presented the renewal rates for the current Wellmark Plans.  These plans saw an 8.2% increase in premiums.  Roger Risty presented the same Wellmark Plans with the option of a Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan (MERP).  Utilizing this method could mean a possible yearly savings to the county.  A committee of Garrett Gassman, Kathy Faber, Auditor Susan Connor, and Deputy Auditor Rebecca Mommaerts will work on the options and bring their findings to the December 7th meeting. 

            It was moved by Gassman, seconded by Faber and carried to enter into executive session (SDCL 1-25-2 (3) & (1)) at 11:48.  Returned to regular session at 12:23 p.m. 

            Motion by Faber, seconded by Gassman and carried unanimously to appoint R. Joe Bechen as a Miner County Commissioner filling the vacancy of Wentland’s term which will end on December 31, 2022.  This position will be up for election in 2022. 

            Auditor Connor presented the following information concerning the Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management grant available for the federal disaster mitigation plan which must be renewed every 5 years.  It was moved by Faber and seconded by Reisch to adopt the following resolution. 


            WHEREAS Miner County is submitting a grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the State of South Dakota; and

            WHEREAS Miner County is required to appoint an Applicant Agent for the purpose of signing documents and assuring the completion of all application documents;

            NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Miner County Board of County Commissioners appoints Alex Protsch and/or Kent Terwilliger as the authorized Applicant Agent. 

            Voting aye:  Faber, Reisch, Gassman and Protsch.  Voting nay:  none.  Resolution adopted this 16th day of November 2021.

                                                                        Alex Protsch, Chairman

                                                                        Miner County Board of Commissioners

Attest:  Susan Connor, Miner County Auditor

            Having no further business, the meeting adjourned to December 7th.  Dated this 16th day of November, 2021.

                                                            Alex Protsch, 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)