July 31, 2020


The Miner County Board of Commissioners met in special session July 31, 2020 in the Miner County Courthouse Community Room.  Members present:  Roger Wentland, Garrett Gassman, Tom Reisch, Voni Durant and Alex Protsch.  Absent:  none.    Chairman Wentland called the meeting to order.  The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.  Motion by Protsch, seconded by Durant and carried to approve the agenda. No conflict of interest was declared.  Due to the large number of persons present for the meeting, it was moved by Gassman, seconded by Reisch and carried to relocate the meeting to the courtroom located on the 3rd floor of the Miner County courthouse. 

Chairman Wentland called for public comment for items not included on the agenda.  No person appeared for public comment.   

Chairman Wentland called for board discussion concerning the consideration of the Courthouse Facilities Study and of building a new courthouse.  Puetz Design Build representatives Jim Weber, Herm Harms and Sienna Wegenhaupt were introduced. 

Members of the public were given the opportunity to ask questions and to voice their opinions on the options presented.  Abatement of the asbestos within the building was not included in the facilities study cost estimate.  The asbestos would need to be abated no matter which option is chosen.  Questions were asked by the public pertaining to options for a heating system other than a boiler system, window condition, ADA compliance, utilization of existing office space, tax burden of the project, location of a new structure, demolition costs, and county consolidation of administrative services. 

Many of those in attendance showed their favor of renovation of the courthouse stating it is a source of pride for Miner County with its prominent historical architecture.   Others in attendance voiced their concern as to spending the estimated costs to renovate an old building. 

Several people asked for more concrete costs to be discovered before making a decision on renovation or new construction.  Deputy State’s Attorney explained that this is a preliminary vote to decide either to renovate or to build new.  After that decision is made the board can explore more in depth the avenue chosen and obtain more accurate estimates. 

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





            WHEREAS, the Miner County Commission, hereinafter referred to as COMMISSION contracted the services of Puetz Design Build for a Facilities Study on January 21, 2020; and


            WHEREAS, the Facilities Study provided a list of improvements to be completed including: heat & HVAC, electrical system, windows, exterior drainage, roof, ADA accessibility, elevator addition, courtroom ADA, lack of space & function, exterior brick & mortar, ground water in basement level; and


            WHEREAS, the Facilities Study gave a probable cost estimate for renovation of $3,587,000 and


            WHEREAS, Puetz Design Build stated in the Facilities Study “these numbers are rough estimates of probable cost and should be considered with an error factor of 15%"; and


            WHEREAS, the COMMISSION has considered the costs of renovation and of erecting and constructing a new courthouse building; and


            WHEREAS, pursuant to SDCL 7-25-3 the COMMISSION shall have authority to provide for the erection, renovation, improvement, remodeling, alteration, addition to, and repairing of a courthouse building within and for the county and to make contracts on behalf of the county for such purposes; and


            WHEREAS, the COMMISSION is desirous to authorize the renovation of the Miner County Courthouse, and intends to make the following resolution for such purposes.


            NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that pursuant to SDCL 7-25-3, the Miner County Commission hereby authorizes the renovation of the Miner County Courthouse building within the city limits of the city of Howard, South Dakota and further to make contracts on behalf of the County for such purposes.


            Voting aye:   Protsch, Gassman, and Reisch.  Voting nay:  Durant and Wentland.


            Resolution adopted this 31st day of July, 2020.


                                                                                    ROGER WENTLAND, Chairman

                                                                                    Miner County Board of Commissioners

Attest:  SUSAN CONNOR, Miner County Auditor


            It was moved by Durant, and seconded by Gassman and carried to adjourn the meeting to August 4th.  Dated this 31st day of July, 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)