May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024

            The Miner County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on May 21, 2024, in the Miner County Courthouse Commission room.  Members present: Alex Protsch, Tom Reisch, Joe Bechen, Kathy Faber, and Mike Clary.   Members absent:  none.  Also present was Director of Equalization Tami Severson.

Chairman Protsch called the meeting to order.   The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.  It was moved by Faber, seconded by Bechen, and carried to approve the agenda.  The minutes from the May 7th meeting were approved.  No one appeared for public comment.  Faber reported on attending the Dispatch meeting. 

Motion by Faber, seconded by Clary and carried to authorize the Auditor’s Office to pay the following claims:  Ultieg $7,909.00 CONTRACTED MAINTENANCE; Lammers, Kleibacker, Dawson & Miller LLP $1,405.50 COURT APPT ATTY; Avera Occupational $110.00 DRUG TESTING; Elan Financial $162.34, Lamb Motor Co. $49,834.00, Motorola Solutions $22,304.00 EQUIPMENT; Elan Financial $276.70, HFCA $8,347.28, Wingen’s Garage $1,860.24 FUEL; Madison Community Hospital $101.00 JAIL FEE; Mark Neises $656.00 MOWING; Miner Co Treasurer $128.20 POSTAGE; Office Ally $39.95 PROCESSING FEE; Dakota Body Shop $177.35, Elan Financial $12.00, ES&S $1,107.71, James Valley Landscape $251.84, Wahltek $3,378.06 Trane $4,293.00, TwoTrees Tech $1,736.45 REPAIRS; Dawson Construction $50.66, Elan Financial $196.43, Home Service Water $40.60, John Deere Financial $755.40, Miner Co Treasurer $27.52, Office Peeps $65.00, Shane’s Hardware $588.27, TwoTrees $172.45 SUPPLIES; Joe Bechen $38.25, Jessica Charles $26.00, Elan Financial $610.92, Kathy Faber $85.68, Josh Hahn $120.00, Miner Co Treasurer $20.89, Becki Mommaerts $26.00, Karla Neises $26.00, SD Assn County Commissioners $100.00 TRAVEL.

Correspondence Received:  Thank you note from Miner County Historical Society.

Highway Superintendent Ron Krempges reported on highway matters.   Krempges received a request for reimbursement from the Rural Access Infrastructure Fund (RAIF).  Belleview Township’s costs exceeded their original estimate after discovering they had to put in 3 smaller culverts instead of the single larger culvert they had planned on when filling out their application.  This increased their reimbursement request from $10,208 to $14,825.  This year’s projects will probably cost $120,000-$130,000, and Miner County has about $268,000 in the fund.  If there is money left over at the end of the program, we may have to give the money back.  Motion by Reisch, seconded by Faber and carried to approve the extra reimbursement expense for Belleview Township out of the RAIF. 

Krempges gave an update on culvert liners and other culvert issues; costs have remained under the estimate so far.  The new freightliner truck has been received.  Motion by Clary, seconded by Faber and carried to declare surplus the 1997 Ford Model 9513 (known to the highway as T8).  The new pick-up should be coming in any day.  A pick-up (likely PT-1) will need to be declared surplus after the new one comes in.

Kingsbury County sent payment to purchase the old one-way snowplow. Krempges gave an update on Amie Kidd; she plans to attend the Highway Clerk workshop on June 25 in Huron.  Other upcoming highway work includes patching, chip sealing, fog sealing, asphalt work and blading. Krempges plans to start mowing in 2-3 weeks and will put a notice in paper for that. 

            Motion by Bechen, seconded by Faber and carried to recess as Board of Commissioners and reconvene as Planning & Zoning Board acting as Board of Adjustment.  A public hearing was held as advertised to consider application for a variance pursuant to Section 1101.04. Planning & Zoning Director Severson gave an overview of the request; East River Electric Power Coop is seeking to upgrade the Howard City Substation to 115 kV, and the control building needs to be 64’ from the center of the road for electrical clearances set by code.  Jerae Wire appeared on behalf of East River Electric; he stated the upgrade will help eliminate voltage drops.  No complaints or concerns have been received in the Director of Equalization office. 

With consideration of the information presented, it was moved by Bechen, seconded by Faber that the following findings be approved:

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA )                                           BEFORE THE MINER COUNTY

                                                    ) : SS                                   BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

COUNTY OF MINER               )

IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF  )                                                             

EAST RIVER ELECTRIC POWER                      )                          FINDINGS




That the applicant, East River Electric Power Cooperative, has made an application for a variance to upgrade the Howard City Substation 64’ from the center of the road, which is less than current zoning allows in the parcel described as NE Corner of the NE ¼ of section 3 Township 106, Range 56, Lot 13, Howard City, Miner County, South Dakota, and that the owners of this property, Howard City, have consented to this variance.


That the proposed use of said realty is specifically prohibited by the zoning ordinance without applicants first obtaining a variance, for which they have 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 21, 2024, in the Commission Room of the Miner County Courthouse.


That Jerae Wire appeared in person as a representative of the applicant, East River Electric Power Cooperative, in support of said variance and testimony on behalf of said variance was received at the hearing.


That no testimony was received in objection to granting of said variance.

NOW, THEREFORE, that application and testimony at the hearing all having been considered, it is the FINDINGS of the Miner County Board of Adjustment that the application of East River Electric Power Cooperative for a variance to upgrade the Howard City Substation with a control building 64’ from the center of the road for electrical clearances set by code should be approved for the following reasons:

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.

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 21st day of May, 2024.                                                                              

Alex Protsch, Chairperson

                                                                                    Miner County Board of Adjustment

Attest: Rebecca Mommaerts, Secretary


            Faber moved to recess as the Planning & Zoning Board, and reconvene as a Board of County Commissioners, seconded by Reisch and carried.   

            There was no action on a burn ban.  Auditor Mommaerts reported she has been in touch with LuAnn Pfeifle regarding the Senior Community Service Employment Program; Mommaerts is waiting on a response for the next step to become involved.  Auditor Mommaerts dispersed budget expenditure and revenue information from fiscal year 2023 to the board in preparation of future budget meetings.

            A tax abatement/refund request was received by the owner of Parcel #3705 due to fire damage resulting in a total loss of the house on 11/29/23.  Motion by Faber, seconded by Bechen and passed to approve the application for a property tax refund of $102.82 for the property described as W ½ of unplatted part Lot 1 Block 9 Howard City-Farmer’s due to a loss because of fire on 11/29/23. 

            The second reading of Ordinance 2024-03, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 2023-01 “The Zoning Ordinance of Miner County”, as amended, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 11-2, 1967 SDCL, and Amendments thereof, and for the repeal of all resolutions and ordinances in conflict herewith, was held.  This ordinance adds a provision for a private campground under conditional uses for a “Town District,” provided they meet the requirements of Section 1627.  Motion to approve Ordinance 2024-03 by Reisch, seconded by Bechen and passed unanimously.

The second reading of Ordinance 2024-04, an ordinance amending ordinance 2006-01, “Authorizing the Miner County Board of Commissioner to Declare a Fire Danger Emergency and to Prohibit Open Burning Within the County,” was held.  This ordinance automatically enacts a burn ban for the county when red flag warnings are put into effect by the National Weather Service or when the Grassland Fire Danger Rating in Miner County reaches Very High or Extreme, remaining in effect only until those conditions are no longer met, subject to separate action by the Board.  Motion by Clary, seconded by Faber to approve Ordinance 2024-04.  Motion passed unanimously.

A request to add links to the Miner County website was received by; the Commissioners decided against adding links, as the information did not seem overly pertinent to Miner County citizens. 

Governor Noem has granted leave for state employees on Friday, July 5th.  The Commissioners decided against granting administrative leave for Miner County employees, but county employees may use vacation if they choose, and some offices may be closed on this date. 

Treasurer Jessica Charles reported to the board that she is filing a treasurer’s tax deed on the property described as the E 60’ of Lot 10 of the SW ¼ of Section 2 Township 106 North, Range 56, West of the 5th P.M., Miner County South Dakota, owned by Cheryl Marshall.  The current amount of delinquent taxes on the property is $4,853.52.    

Motion to go into executive session by Bechen, seconded by Clary at 10:40am 1-25-2 (1).  Came out of executive session at 10:46am.  The position of Deputy Director of Equalization has been given to Barb Esser; she will begin mid-June.  Motion to go into executive session by Faber, seconded by Reisch at 10:47am 1-25-2 (4).  Came out of executive session at 10:50am.  Motion by Faber, seconded by Reisch to rehire Darcy Laible in a temporary, part-time, PRN position at an hourly rate equivalent to Level 10 ($24.25) for the DOE office for 2024 after her fulltime employment ends on May 31st.

Commissioners recognized and thanked Darcy Laible for her 10 years of service to Miner County.  Many county employees were in attendance for her recognition.

Motion to adjourn by Bechen, seconded by Faber. 

The meeting adjourned to June 6th.  Dated this 21st day of May, 2024.

                                                                                    Alex Protsch, Chairman

                                                                                    Miner County Board of Commissioners

Attest:  Rebecca Mommaerts, 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)