May 3, 2022

May 3, 2022

The Miner County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on May 3, 2022 in the Miner County Courthouse Commission room.  Members present: Alex Protsch, Tom Reisch, Kari Jo Carlson, Kathy Faber and Joe Bechen.  Absent: none.  The flag pledge was recited.  Protsch asked if there were any amendments to the agenda.  Deputy Auditor Rebecca Mommaerts stated that she had received clarification on a bill payable to the SD Dept. of Human Services from States Attorney Kristian Ellendorf, which changed the need for a contingency transfer to Juvenile Detention Per Diem to Mentally Ill Patient Care.  Motion by Faber, seconded by Reisch to approve the agenda, as amended.  Motion carried. 

Motion by Bechen, seconded by Faber and carried to approve the minutes from the meeting on April 19, 2022.

The auditor’s account with the county treasurer showed a May 1, 2022 balance of $7,651,016.15 in all state, county, civil, school and trust accounts.

It was moved by Carlson, seconded by Faber and carried to approve the following claims for payment:  Road & Bridge $38,123.10, Wellmark $50,942.16, Delta Dental $1,562.26, Kansas City Life $462.02, Retirement $6,881.91, OASI $9,806.39, Commissioners $4,519.75, Auditor $8,159.57, Treasurer $7,188.75, States Attorney $5,708.75, Govt Building $2,977.50, Director of Equalization $7,926.73 (includes Amanda Austerman at $18.99/hr), Register of Deeds $7,309.80, Vet Service $911.00, Tax Deed Property HHCC $700.00, Sheriff $11,480.50, Contract Law $4,435.37, Welfare $927.83, Co Nurse $1,426.50, Ambulance $12,758.02, WIC $97.00, Extension $1,426.50, Weed $1,382.50, Dispatch $16,651.21 (includes Kelly Sherman at $18.99/hr), Emergency Mgt $2,428.50 APR PAYROLL; Darcy Laible $14.00, Tami Severson $28.00 PAYROLL TRAVEL; Alliance $150.00 911 CHARGES; Josh Esser $60.00, Nathan Kizer $20.00, Jared Steeneck $40.00 Garret Werkmeister $20.00 EVOC DRIVERS; Miner Co Recreation $2,500.00 GRANTS; Alliance $66.06 TELEPHONE.  SDSU Extension $9,915.53 4-H PMT TO STATE; Redwood Toxicology Lab $42.00 BLOOD ALCOHOL; SD DOT $217.57 CONTRACTED MAINTENANCE; Lammers, Kleibacker & Dawson $415.40 COURT APPT ATTY; National Assn of State Agencies $39.00 DUES; Emergency Safety Education $410.00 IN SERVICE EDUCATION; Former Employee $610.34 INSURANCE REIMBURSEMENT; SD Dept of Human Services $10,771.36 MENTALLY ILL PATIENT CARE; Abby Oftedal $202.00 MENTAL ILLNESS HEARING EXPENSE; Miner Co Treasurer $69.25 POSTAGE; Avera Occupational Medicine $84.00 PROFESSIONAL SERVICES; Dust-Tex $66.39 RENT; Badger Oil $121.75, Cummins Sales & Service $480.67, Klinkhammer Plumbing $111.73, Mobile Electronic Service $110.00, Ultra $1,500.65 REPAIRS; Kristian Ellendorf $900.00 STATES ATTY OFFICE EXPENSE ALLOWANCE; Lexis Nexis $149.00 SUBSCRIPTION; Dust-Tex $185.98, Gall’s $162.24, Josh Hahn $106.48, Homestead $53.99, Kimball Midwest $110.24, Michael Todd & Co. $1,453.19; Miner Co Treasurer $152.17, Tim Reisch $200.00, SD Law Enforcement Training $10.00, Tami Severson $20.00, Ultra $598.32 SUPPLIES; Alliance $985.20, Colleen Arens $30.00, AT&T $360.63, Susan Connor $30.00, Tami Severson $30.00, Verizon $86.93 TELEPHONE; Rob Eggert $140.00, SD Narcotics Officers Assn $50.00, SD Police Chiefs’ Association $85.00 TRAVEL; Northwestern Energy $1,738.78, City of Howard $4,266.67 UTILITIES.

The board acknowledged receipt of the following correspondence:  Association of SD Co Weed & Pest Boards Weed Watcher newsletter for April 2022 and email updates from the Public Utilities Commission regarding Summit Carbon Solutions’ proposed carbon capture and storage project. 

The board considered issuance of malt beverage licenses to operate outside of a municipality for the 2022-2023 licensing period.  It was moved by Bechen, seconded by Faber and carried to approve the Retail (on-off sale) malt beverage & SD farm wine license application for CC & F Retail Inc. (Jake’s Corner) for Tract A of Bessman’s First Addition the NW ¼ of S12, T106, R55, W of the 5th PM, and Tract B of Bessman’s Addition in the NW ¼ of S12, T106, R55, W of the 5th PM, Miner County, South Dakota.

Motion by Carlson, seconded by Faber to adopt the following resolution:


            WHEREAS, insufficient appropriation was made in the 2022 budget for the following department to discharge just obligation of said appropriation; and

            WHEREAS, SDCL 7-21-32.2 provides that transfers may be made by resolution of the board from the contingency appropriation established pursuant to SDCL 7-21-6.1 to other appropriations;

            THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the appropriation be transferred from contingency to Mentally Ill Patient Care $6,775.00.

Voting aye:  Bechen, Reisch, Carlson, Faber and Protsch.  Voting nay:  none.  Resolution approved this 3rd day of May, 2022.


                                                                                    Alex Protsch, Chairman

                                                                                    Miner County Board of Commissioners

Attest:  Rebecca Mommaerts, Miner County Deputy Auditor


The Commissioners received a road closure request by email from Leroy Ainslie for July 30th, 2022.  He would like to close a small section of 421st Ave in Fedora for a car show from 1:00pm until 6:00pm.  Ainslie stated that through traffic could use 2nd Street.  Commissioners had no objections to the road closure for this event.

The board adjourned as a Board of Commissioners and reconvened as a Planning Commission acting as the Board of Adjustments. 

A hearing was held as advertised to consider an application for a variance from the zoning ordinance from Mark & Tammy Struwe for planting a shelterbelt closer to the roads and adjoining property line than current zoning allows in their parcel described as Lot A in Lots 3 & 4 of NW4 of Section 3, T105N, R57W, Rock Creek Township, Miner County, South Dakota.  Present for the hearing were Zoning Administrator Tami Severson, Mark Struwe and Rob Eggert.  Severson informed the board that the adjoining landowner, Judy Barringer, has signed off on the variance, and that Ron Krempges made a condition that it must be 75 feet from the middle of the road.

Motion by Reisch and seconded by Carlson that the following Findings be approved:

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA                            )                     BEFORE THE MINER COUNTY

                                    : SS                                                          BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

COUNTY OF MINER                                         )




                                                                                )                     FINDINGS

              MARK & TAMMY STRUWE

                                              FOR A VARIANCE )




That the applicants, Mark & Tammy Struwe, have made an application for a variance plant a shelterbelt closer to the roads and adjoining property line than current zoning allows in their parcel described as Lot A in Lots 3 & 4 of NW4 of Section 3, T105N, R57W in Rock Creek Township in Miner County, South Dakota, and that Mark & Tammy Struwe are the owners of record thereof.


That the proposed use of said realty is specifically prohibited by the zoning ordinance without applicant first obtaining a variance, for which he has applied and paid the applicable fee.


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 May 3, 2022, in the Miner County Commission Room of the Miner County Courthouse.


That applicant Mark Struwe appeared in person.


That no other persons appeared in opposition.


That a presentation in support of said variance and testimony on behalf of said variance was received at the hearing and that no testimony regarding concerns for the granting of the variance was received at the hearing.  

NOW, THEREFORE, that application and testimony at the hearing all having been considered, it is the FINDING of the Miner County Board of Adjustment that the application of Mark & Tammy Struwe for a variance be approved to allow planting of a shelterbelt closer to the roads and adjoining property line for the following reasons:

1)         That the Miner County Board of Adjustment is empowered under Section 506 to grant the variance and that the requirements of the zoning ordinance regarding a variance have been met by the applicant.                                                                                            

2)         That the Miner County Board of Adjustment is able to make the applicable findings required by Section 506 of the ordinance, which are considered prerequisite to the granting of a variance.


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

It is, therefore, ORDERED that said application be approved.

Dated this 3rd day of May, 2022.

                                                                        Alex Protsch, Chairman

                                                                        Miner County Board of Adjustment

Attest:  Rebecca Mommaerts, Secretary

The board adjourned as a Planning Commission and reconvened as a Board of Commissioners. 

The board received information about the Transportation Alternatives program offered by the SD Department of Transportation.  They thought the program was a better fit for the city councils.  Faber will bring the information back to Carthage, Carlson will pass the information along to Canova, and Mommaerts will send a copy of the information to Howard.

The board acknowledged receipt of the Compensation Disclosure from the Insurance Store, for their work as agent for the County’s Wellmark health insurance. 

The board considered proposals for HVAC Scheduled Service from Baete-Forseth and Trane.  The total quoted cost of the services by Trane was less than that by Baete-Forseth, and Mommaerts and Severson mentioned already having a good working relationship with Kelly from Trane, who would perform the work for this maintenance agreement.  Motion by Bechen, seconded by Reisch to enter into an agreement with Trane for biannual HVAC services.  The board instructed Mommaerts to get an additional quote from Trane if the County elected to have the Trane employee change belts on the HVAC system (this was not included on the presented proposal). 

Mommaerts updated the board on the custodial opening.  The employment listing will be in this week’s newspaper and has been listed online; the position will close on May 11th.  Protsch and Bechen will be on the interview team with someone from the courthouse, with Faber being the back-up if one of the other commissioners is unavailable. 

Mommaerts informed the board that an appeal has been filed on their denial of Poor Relief Case 22-01.  Motion by Carlson, seconded by Bechen to Authorize Chairman Alex Protsch and Deputy Auditor Mommaerts to sign the Admission of Service and Appeal Bond paperwork for Avera Heart Hospital of South Dakota v. Miner County, South Dakota and return to the office of Robert Nelson, Attorney at Law. 

Protsch gave an update on the hotel proceedings after talking with States Attorney Kristian Ellendorf.  The purchasing party understands that the county needs to get paid by the 9th, and it doesn’t sound like they are disputing the county’s amount at all.  Eric Meyer was here a couple weeks ago doing a survey on the bar, and there are no pins on that whole block.  Meyer has to do some digging and will come back to complete the survey.  The owners of Rumor’s Bar want to add on a cooler, and the hotel’s grease traps are possibly on their property.  However, the alley might not be in the correct spot, so it’s hard to know where the property line really is. 

Severson gave an overview of the new flyover imagery using the image of the area behind Rumor’s Bar and the Howard Hotel & Conference Center.

Ron Krempges appeared before the board for highway matters.  He has received two applications for the highway’s open position and will try to interview the applicants this week.  Krempges received the paperwork back from Northern Truck to rescind their contract on the box and snow equipment.  Krempges placed the order from Sanitation Products last Wednesday.  The quote stated it would be 26 weeks on the hydraulics, and the rest of the equipment would be 14 weeks, putting it out to the middle or end of November.  They are going to try to get it done before the end of the year.  The second truck order was put in too so they can begin the second truck after the first is complete.

Krempges updated the board on the bridge project and township structure inventory.  Krempges gave handouts to the Commissioners about what they should be looking at with the small structure program applications and an example of an application.  Bechen made a motion to adopt a 70/30 cost-share for the small structure program projects in the townships in Miner County, seconded by Faber and carried.  Money won’t be available until next year, but the applications will need to be in by October of this year. 

Motion by Carlson, seconded by Reisch and carried to authorize Chairman Protsch and Deputy Auditor Mommaerts to sign the 2022 County Pavement Marking Project agreement with the SD Dept of Transportation for the striping and continuing maintenance of county roads within Miner County.

Krempges reported that the highway department has Carthage citywide cleanup on Saturday, and Canova’s will be in a couple weeks.  They are working on blading, pulling shoulders and finishing the county road culvert inspection.  There will be culverts to replace this spring.  Work has also begun on the 4-H campground road and parking pads.   

Protsch informed Krempges that he had been contacted by the Howard Golf Course about wanting bridge plank.  Krempges doesn’t want to give up new bridge plank, and doesn’t have any used bridge plank available.   However, Krempges believed there was bridge plank available for purchase through TrueNorth Steel. 

Brittany Yanish presented the Community Health Nurse Report for July-December 2021.  The report is usually done quarterly, but due to COVID, the Department of Health said it was not a priority.  Childhood vaccinations continue to be a priority.  The CHN office audit records for local schools and mails vaccination reminders.  A flu clinic was held last Fall at the Howard School District, and a vaccination clinic is scheduled for May 6th.  WIC services are able to continue remotely, but the state has asked that they transition back to in-person, when possible.  The CHN office continues to offer family planning services.  Syphilis has seen a 1,050% increase, so the CHN office has received new guidance for screening practices to help reduce the spread.  A new dietician, Kayla Aman, has joined our region.  She works in the Brookings office and travels to Miner County about once a quarter.  A new electronic health record (HER) for baby immunizations and other health services has been implemented.  Vision, hearing and health assessments continued to be offered in school, as well as hygiene and growth & development for 4th and 5th graders.

Shawn Callies met with the commission regarding marijuana cultivation.   He has heard about the revenue it can generate and has a building he would be interested in obtaining a cultivation license for, if it was legal and made sense.  Currently, zoning is only approved for up to 3 medical dispensaries, property would have to be commercially zoned, and it doesn’t allow multiple businesses to be in the building together.   Miner County does not address cultivation in its zoning right now.  It is not permitted and a conditional use cannot be accepted.  The planning and zoning board would have to rewrite zoning.  Callies stated that he is simply following the legal aspects of it all and is just looking for how to move forward.  He doesn’t want to see the opportunity go by when he could keep everything local and keep tax money coming in.  Commissioners agreed to take it under consideration and keep Callies in touch with decisions that are made.  Sheriff Rob Eggert suggested reviewing the website for more information.  Callies stated he was looking into cultivating on the recreational side, rather than the medical side, which he understands is not legal in South Dakota at the time, but he’s looking toward the future. 

Sheriff Eggert presented a request from the Ukrainian American Coordinating Council that was sent to him by the National Sheriff’s Association for outdated or surplus protective equipment.  Currently, the Sheriff’s office has three vests that are outdated.  There is a hold harmless agreement with this donation, so there are no liability worries.  Motion by Carlson, seconded by Reisch and carried to declare the three outdated vests as surplus and authorize Sheriff Eggert to donate them to the Ukrainian American Coordinating Council. 

John Pike, Highway Safety Liaison Officer for Law Enforcement, joined Rob Eggert to discuss the Highway Safety Grant.  If Miner County joins highway safety, the County can get grant money for new equipment.  The Sheriff’s office radars are hand-me-downs from highway patrol currently and are several years old, and their cameras are about 20 years old.  Most equipment should be replaced after three to four years, but the County currently can’t afford that.  The county used to partner with them back in 2004, but the agreement lapsed with the old administration.  The program has changed since then as well.    

The Highway Safety Grant is an 80/20 split, with Highway Safety paying the larger percent.  There are spending limits for equipment, of which Highway Safety covers 80% of the cost, and anything spent above that limit is paid by the county.  However, there has to be an enforcement policy to it.  The county would have to pay the officers overtime for hours working on highway safety.  Small counties, such as Miner County, are able to word the policy so that the only time the officers are paid overtime is when they are working on highway safety for the grant.  The grant provides this equipment to allow the Sheriff offices to enforce highway laws, like speeding and DUI’s.  There are three required national mobilizations where you have to have an officer working on highway safety, such as saturation patrol – Memorial Day, Labor Day and over the holidays.  There are no dues, and reimbursement for overtime is 100%, after reporting and providing documentation of a timecard and/or paystub.  There is a match with the program, but it’s a soft match, so it doesn’t come out of the county budget.  Citation and warning tickets can count toward the match.  The grant is federally funded through NHSA (National Highway Safety Association), reimburses monthly, and would go into effect October 1st for the 2023 grant cycle.  The point of the program is to reduce traffic crashes and keep people safe.  The County would need to write up a policy on how to reimburse the officers when they’re working these overtime hours for Highway Safety.  Sheriff Eggert will get examples of policies written by other counties for the Commissioners to review, and the Highway Safety Grant will be placed on the May 17th agenda. 

Eggert informed the board that Josh Hahn’s two-year anniversary was in March.  Garret Werkmeister finishes academy on June 2nd and should get a $1000 increase to his salary at that time.  Eggert requested that the Commissioners consider raises for the Deputy Sheriffs at a future meeting; the Commissioners will put the consideration on the May 17th agenda. 

Emergency Manager and Weed Supervisor Kent Terwilliger joined the meeting to talk about the burn ban.  Kent gave a handout to all the Commissioners that showed Miner County in the Moderate region.  Terwilliger suggested that the Commissioners put the burn ban on.  Howard Fire Department Chief Kevin Feldhaus wants to leave the burn ban off.  Commissioners requested the burn ban be on the next agenda.  Commissioners thanked Terwilliger for going over to help with the fire in Sanborn County caused by someone burning trees and the fire reigniting.  Carthage, Fedora and Artesian Fire Departments responded. 

Carbon Solutions representatives are coming to Terwilliger’s office today at 1:30pm. Carbon Solutions is talking to fire fighters and emergency response people about training that they are supposed to be offering. 

No updates for the weed department other than the truck is ready to go.  Two townships want Terwilliger to go out early and spray Tordon in the spring.  Terwilliger told them if they add it to their contracts, he will.  Normally, the county roads are done first. 

Severson showed some more with her imagery in regard to the Howard Hotel & Conference Center and Rumor’s Bar. 

Having no further business, the meeting adjourned until May 17th.  Dated this 3rd day of May, 2022. 

                                                                        Alex Protsch, Chairman

                                                                        Miner County Board of Commissioners

Attest:  Rebecca Mommaerts, Miner County Deputy 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)