December 7, 2021

December 7, 2021

            The Miner County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on December 7, 2021 in the Miner County Courthouse Commission room.  Members present:  Alex Protsch, Garrett Gassman, Tom Reisch, Kathy Faber and Joe Bechen.  Absent:  none.  The flag pledge was recited.  Joe Bechen took his Oath of Office.  Motion by Faber, seconded by Gassman and carried to approve the agenda.  No Commissioner report of meetings attended was given.

            The minutes of the November 16th meeting were approved.  Tami Severson, Director of Equalization, joined the meeting.

            No persons appeared for Public Comment. 

            It was moved by Reisch, seconded by Gassman and carried to approve the following claims for payment after checking the accuracy of the invoice from Cedar Shore Resort:  Road & Bridge $41,880.89, Wellmark $48,256.38, Delta Dental $1,511.34, Kansas City Life $466.84, Retirement $6,541.14, OASI $9,460.64, Commissioners $4,001.50, Auditor $8,065.75, Treasurer $6,484.75, States Attorney $6,433.50, Govt Building $2,579.00, Director of Equalization $8,540.47, Register of Deeds $7,904.20, Vet Service $943.00, Sheriff $12,552.75, Contract Law $3,300.10 (includes Garret Werkmeister at $3,333.50/mo), Welfare $610.70, Co Nurse $1,404.50, Ambulance $8,990.14, WIC $91.50, Extension $1,404.50, Weed $1,490.71, Dispatch $12,251.99, Emergency Mgt $2,323.75 NOV PAYROLL; Susan Connor $14.00, Jessica Charles $14.00, Amie Kidd $14.00, Ron Krempges $14.00, Karla Neises $14.00, Tami Severson $14.00 PAYROLL TRAVEL.

Northwestern Energy $569.96 GAS SERVICE; Thomson Reuters $883.10 LAW BOOKS; Jury Members $720.00 JURY FEES; Jury Members $128.52 JURY TRAVEL.

SDSU Extension $13,414.18 4-H PMT TO STATE; Alliance $150.00, Triotel $171.53 911 CHARGES; Jencks Law $9,878.96 ABSD/NEG CHILD DEFENSE ATTYS; Avera DeSmet Memorial Hospital $51.00 BLOOD DRAW; SD DOT $67.53 CONTRACTED MAINTENANCE; Jencks Law $198.00 COURT APPT ATTY; Community Counseling Services $3,500.00 DRUG ABUSE GRANT TO OTHERS; HFCA $21,443.42 FUEL; Northwestern Energy $220.39 GAS SERVICE; Community Counseling Service $3,500.00 GRANT; Emergency Safety Education $113.61 IN SERVICE EDUCATION; Howard Auto Clinic $350.00, LeadsOnline $1,223.64 INVESTIGATION EXPENSE; Lake Co Sheriff $30.00 JAIL FEES; Lincoln Co Auditor $377.50 MENTAL ILLNESS HEARING EXPENSE; Josh Hahn $4.55, Stamp Fulfillment Services $333.00 POSTAGE; Beadle Co Sheriff $320.00, Lake Co Sheriff $3,900.00 PRISONER CARE; Lewis Drug $18.58, Madison Family Dental $320.00 PRISONER MEDICAL; Avera Occupational Medicine $100.00 PROFESSIONAL SERVICES; Miner Co Pioneer $304.00 PUBLISHING; Diesel Machinery $1,900.00 RENT; ES&S $4,445.00, Howard Auto Clinic $76.99, Office Peeps $112.14, Ultra $1,202.25, Wingen’s Garage $140.00 REPAIRS; Mustang Seeds $625.50, Spencer Quarries $191.55, Sturdevant’s $11.46, Truenorth Steel $18,668.60 ROAD MATERIALS; Kristian Ellendorf $900.00 STATE’S ATTY OFFICE EXPENSE ALLOWANCE; RELX, Inc. $149.00 SUBSCRIPTION; ABN Army Surplus $199.96, Boyer Trucks $451.84, Bright Arrow Technologies $200.00, Butler Machinery $120.18, Jessica Charles $111.02, Susan Connor $16.11, Dakota Data Shred $63.47, Dust-Tex $170.85, Homestead Building Supply $6.49, HFCA $32.90, John Deere Financial $473.52, Office Peeps $2,631.23, Pheasantland Industries $345.42, Puthoff Repair $151.53, Rockmount Research $1,059.70, Rusty’s $144.95, Tami Severson $20.00, Shane’s Hardware $1,287.78, SD Federal Property Agency $89.00, Sturdevant’s $382.42, Ultra $78.00, USPS $100.00, Wheelco $448.73, Wingen’s Garage $85.00, Brittany Yanish $91.45 SUPPLIES; Alliance $918.97, Colleen Arens $30.00, AT&T $634.69, Century Link $15.42, Susan Connor $30.00, Tami Severson $30.00, Verizon $92.07 TELEPHONE; Patricia Hartsel $27.20 TRANSCRIPTS; BestWestern Plus Ramkota $192.00, Cedar Shore Resort $365.90, Susan Connor $55.44, HFCA $18.63 TRAVEL; First District Assn of Local Govts $9,133.41 URBAN/RURAL DEVELOPMENT; City of Howard $2,407.49, Xcel Energy $30.85 UTILITIES.

            Treasurer Jessica Charles joined the meeting and explained the Tax Deed Properties that were up for auction.  The taxes on the properties were abated back in November.  Also in attendance was Karen (Prather) Johnson of Canova.  Chairman Protsch opened the bidding for Lot One (1), Block Three (3) of Aldrich’s Addition to Canova Village, Miner County, South Dakota at $435.00.  One bid was received from Karen Johnson for $435.00.  Property was sold to Karen Johnson.  Chairman Protsch opened the bidding for Lot Thirty-one (31), Block Thirteen (13) of the Original Plat of Canova Village, Miner County, South Dakota at $36.00.  One bid was received from Karen Johnson for $36.00.  Property sold to Karen Johnson.  The law office will prepare the Quit Claim Deeds for these properties. 

            The Commissioners reviewed the correspondence/reports received prior to the meeting: Veterans’ Service Officer November report (Tim Reisch will be back to working fulltime as VSO after December 8th), 1st District CEDS Review, Victim Witness Report, Miner County Conservation District & NRCS reports, SD DENR-Revised Phosphorus-Based Nutrient Management Plan/Shannon Hutterian Bethren, and the Sheriff’s reports for September through November.

            Jill Calmus, 4-H/Youth Advisor and Sheriff Rob Eggert joined the meeting.  Calmus handed out sketches of the proposed 4-H campground.  She informed the board that the east fence had been torn out due to safety issues as the poles were rotting.  The campground area has been flagged out.  They would like to start with 5 gravel camping spots, 53x16 ft each, with 16 ft between each spot.  Each spot would have electricity only; Steve Litterick is going to get a quote from Jerry Winker for the electrical work.  The County Highway Department is going to do the gravel and dirt work when weather allows.  The campsite would use the honor system with a drop box.  The existing fence would need to be moved west about 20 ft; this would still leave room for parking.  If more campsites are added in the future, they would probably be added on the east side.  The property will need to be rezoned by the City, and a road will have to be vacated by the City to complete the work.  Garrett Gassman made a motion to ask the City of Howard to rezone the area to R3 from R1 and to vacate the road, seconded by Kathy Faber and carried.

            Rebecca Mommaerts, Deputy Auditor, informed the board that a Memorandum of Understanding between the County and SDSU Extension for 2022 has been received.  The County’s share was reduced to $39,662.12 (quarterly installments of $9,915.53). 

Director of Equalization Tami Severson presented the following plat for consideration. 

It was moved by Reisch and seconded by Faber to approve the following resolution:


BE IT RESOLVED that the plat shown hereon and described as LOT 1 OF CLITES 2ND ADDITION IN GOVERNMENT LOTS THREE (3) AND FOUR (4) OF SECTION THREE (3), TOWNSHIP ONE HUNDRED EIGHT (108) NORTH, RANGE FIFTY-SEVEN (57) WEST OF THE 5th P.M. IN MINER COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA, be approved and accepted by the Board of County Commissioners at its meeting of December 7, 2021 and the county Auditor is hereby instructed to endorse on such plat a copy of this resolution and to certify the same.  Voting aye:  Protsch, Reisch, Gassman, Faber and Bechen.  Voting nay:  none.  Resolution adopted this 7th day of December 2021. 


                                                      Alex Protsch, Chairman

                                                      Miner County Board of Commissioners


Attest:  Rebecca Mommaerts, Miner County Deputy Auditor


            The Commissioners asked Sheriff Eggert for clarification on the Cedar Shore billing, with Mike Clary being listed and charged twice for the same date.  Sheriff Eggert explained that both Cora Schwader and Mike Clary had rooms on the same night, and they must have just both been under Mike Clary’s name.  The Commissioners approved the bill for payment.

            Ron Krempges, Highway Superintendent, joined the meeting.  He informed that board that a county employee had been in a vehicular accident over the weekend and would be out of work until Krempges receives a work release from a doctor, at which time he may have weight restrictions.  Kingsbury County owes Miner County $27,181.92 through their work agreement, which they were going to try to get approved at their meeting today for payment.  Krempges updated the board on culvert replacement in the county, including the use of thick poly/plastic culverts as opposed to traditional steel.  They are more expensive, but last at least twice as long, and they eliminate the need for roads to be cut so traffic doesn’t need to be detoured.  Hydrology studies show it is supposed to increase flow as well.  The downside is having to have more inventory on hand and needing dry conditions for installation. 

The Bridge between Howard and Epiphany bid was awarded to Knowles Construction in Sioux Falls last week; The bid came in at $526,000.  

It was moved by Gassman and seconded by Faber and carried to adopt and sign the following resolution.




            WHEREAS, Miner County wishes to submit an application for consideration of award for the Bridge Improvement Grant Program:

            STRUCTURE # 49-093-020, 2.3 miles East of Carthage over Rock Creek and

            WHEREAS, Miner County certifies that the project is listed in the county’s Five-Year County Highway and Bridge Improvement Plan; and

            WHEREAS, Miner County agrees to pay the 20% match on the Bridge Improvement Grant funds; and

            WHEREAS, Miner County hereby authorizes the Bridge Improvement Grant application and any required funding commitments.

            NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the South Dakota Department of Transportation be and hereby is requested to accept the attached Bridge Improvement Grant application.

            Voting aye:  Gassman, Reisch, Faber, Bechen and Protsch.  Voting nay:  none.  Resolution adopted this 7th day of December 2021.

                                                                        Alex Protsch, Chairman

                                                                        Miner County Board of Commissioners

Attest:  Rebecca Mommaerts, Deputy Auditor


The Highway Dept will work on the spillway in Carthage after the first of the year.  The truck that was ordered has come in in Sioux Falls.  It will likely be transferred to Northern Truck and paid for with next year’s budget.  Northern Truck is ready to do box work and was ok with taking it before the County pays for it.  Once paid for, it will need to be put on the County’s insurance.  This was purchased through the half-price program, which there will be another two rounds of this year, though they will be at 35% instead of 50%.  A truck was in the 7-year plan for 2023.  Gassman recommended putting the applications in to save the county money on future purchases.

Due to a number of accidents at the four-way stops in Carthage, Krempges has looked into additional safety measures.  Krempges gave a few options to minimize future accidents; the Commissioners instructed Krempges to purchase the flashing lights for the tops of the stop signs (approximately $130 each).  They instructed him to put two on the N/S intersection on Main Street in Carthage and four on the 425th/222nd intersection.  Krempges hopes to get the work done at the 4-H grounds next week and plans to have evaluations for his department ready for review at the next meeting.

Those in attendance for the consideration of health, vision, dental and life insurance were Sheriff Rob Eggert, Emergency Manager/Weed Supervisor Kent Terwilliger, Director of Equalization Tami Severson, Treasurer Jessica Charles, Highway Superintendent Ron Krempges, Amie Kidd, Kathy Weidler, Brittany Yanish, and Darcy Laible.  Gassman informed the board of his meeting Kathy Faber, Auditor Connor and Deputy Auditor Mommaerts in regard to the health, vision, dental and life insurance choices presented at the last meeting.  Gassman recommended choosing the Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan (MERP) option presented by Risty Benefits due to potential savings to the county, but keeping the dental, vision and life insurance plans with The Insurance Store in Howard, due to the unfamiliar plans presented by Risty Benefits.  Bechen stated that he had checked around and not many agents have even heard of this MERP option.  He stated that he didn’t want to take business away from local agents and didn’t think the potential cost savings warranted a switch.  Bechen made a motion to keep all plans with the current insurance carrier, The Insurance Store, seconded by Reisch.  Voting was done by roll call: Bechen-aye, Faber-aye, Gassman-nay, Reisch-aye, Protsch-aye.  Motion carried. 

            Curt Neises joined the meeting.  He informed the board they had 30 days for newly acquired property up to $2 million due to an endorsement on our existing policy.  The previous owner is still in the building and still operating as a hotel.  The current carrier was not certain how to insure the building given the situation.  Neises reached out to other agencies and was only able to find one willing to provide insurance, but at a significant cost.  Neises tried to get the value down as far as he could which ended up being $1.5 million.  The premium is at a minimum of 25% earned.  The liability insurance would have a max of $1 million for a little less than $1,000 per year, while the property insurance would be just under $15,000 per year.  State’s Attorney Kristian Ellendorf joined the meeting, along with Deputy State’s Attorney Greg Protsch, Dave Graf, Pastor Irma Arredondo, Jen and Tim Belmore, and one other.  Ellendorf advised the Commissioners to hold off on their insurance decision until after the legal matters on the agenda. 

            Ellendorf informed the Commissioners that under the statutes, they had the ability to reconvey the property back to Judy Shaw, in light of the information that Dave Graf had been given an option to buy the property by Shaw.  If Graf became an assignee for the property, the County could reconvey the property to Graf, and he could become owner of the entire parcel.  This would save the county from having to pursue legal action against Shaw, and would release the County from having ownership of the hotel.  Reconveyance cannot be less than the amount of the taxes, interest and costs owed to date.  Once Graf gets a purchase agreement signed by Shaw, he can come back to the Commissioners and request the county reconvey the property to him.  Ellendorf stated that the County shouldn’t pass a resolution until Graf has a legally binding agreement with Shaw to purchase the property.  Once he does, a resolution will need to be published in the minutes, and after 20 days, the county will execute and deliver a quit claim deed to the real estate upon full payment of the real estate taxes, interest and costs. 

            Graf explained his verbal agreement with Shaw and his future plans for the building.  Graf would like to see the building reach its full potential as a conference center, hotel and restaurant. Graf stated that marketing has always been a huge hinderance to the building’s success in the past, and he has plans to remedy this.  Graf plans to work with Jon Kennedy, President of GrandStay Hotels on a possible franchise deal.  Pastor Irma and Jen and Tim Belmore stated they have ministry and other conferences they’d like to bring to the area, but have had trouble setting them up under current management. 

            Treasurer Charles informed Graf that the County did not take over their portion of the building until November 8th.  The taxes were about $22,000 this year, and would likely be close to that next year; the actual amount should be known around the week of December 20th.  Graf stated that if Shaw returns before then, he could possibly get a purchase agreement in place by December 21st.  The Commissioners agreed to table litigation in light of this potential purchase and put the item on the December 21st agenda. 

            Faber made a motion to accept Miner Insurance’s bid for liability and property insurance for the hotel, seconded by Gassman and carried.  The insurance will become active as soon as Neises emails the paperwork; Protsch will stop in Miner Insurance to sign the paperwork this afternoon.

            Kent Terwilliger presented department updates.  Brandon Jacobson has offered to serve on the Weed Board.  Motion by Gassman, seconded by Bechen and carried to appoint Brandon Jacobson to the Weed Board.  Terwilliger informed the board the county would be receiving one of the six rapid tag machines allowed for the state.  The rapid tag machine checks people in and out and logs man hours at meetings, exercises and emergency situations.  Terwilliger will be gone for classes on how to use the machine.  Kent informed the board there will be a Weed Board meeting on December 15th.

            The board entered into executive session at 11:54am (SDCL 1-25-2 (1)).  The board came out of executive session at 12:10pm. 

            Having no further business, the meeting adjourned to December 21st.  Dated this 7th day of December, 2021.

                                                                                    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)