Proceedings: BC Commissioners 12-6-17


Board Of Bennett County Commissioners

Minutes Of Proceedings

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Martin, South Dakota

The Bennett County Board of Commissioners met in regular session Wednesday, December 6, 2017, in the Commissioner’s meeting room.

The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m. by Chairman Jason Fanning.

Commissioners present: Jason Fanning, Rolf Kraft, Rocky Risse and Jeff Slattery.

Absent: Wayne Bond

Others Present: Susan Williams, Auditor; Taylor Risse, Bennett County Booster; Chris Riggins, Jackson County Highway Superintendent; Larry Denke and Glen Bennett, Jackson County Commissioners; Sarah Harris, States Attorney; Darryl Crown, Air Methods; Terry Zell, SD Legislative Audit; Craig Howe, area resident. 

Minutes Approved

The minutes of the regular November 15, 2017 meeting were approved with a motion by Rocky Risse and a second by Jeff Slattery.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Auditor’s Account with Treasurer

To the Honorable Board of County Commissioners of Bennett County:

I hereby submit the following report of my examination of the cash and cash items in the hands of the County Treasurer of this County as of October 31, 2017.

Balance on hand – County $4,189,927.08; Cash Change Account $350.00; Restricted Funds $326,736.97; Savings Accounts $0.00; Cash, Checks, Credit Cards $5,284.88; Treasurer’s Change Fund - $150.00; NSF Checks $983.27; TOTAL $4,523,132.20

Dated this 5th day of December, 2017.


/s/ Susan Williams, Auditor

November Monthly Report

Register of Deeds: $2,017.00

Highway Department

Jeff Slattery reported the Timmerman Land and Cattle Company had requested that the County buy the gravel and they would do the trucking on a section line to a driveway.

The Board agreed if the land owner or resident bought and trucked the gravel the County would lay it on a section line but could not buy or truck gravel.

The Jackson County Highway Superintendent Chris Riggins and Jackson County Commissioners Larry Denke and Glen Bennett met with the Commissioners to discuss a hauling agreement from the Bauman Pit. Rocky Risse explained that Bennett County is not sure which road they will use yet or if the pit is going to work out. There was discussion concerning roads and county residents. The Bennett County Commissioners agreed to consider a hauling agreement. Mr. Riggins stated he will submit an agreement for the Commissioners consideration. 

Air Methods

Darryl Crown, representing Air Methods, met with the Commissioners to present a plan for insurance on air medical transport. Mr. Crown stated the company could work with the County for employees or a group rate for County residents. The group is working with the Bennett County Hospital to be a preferred provider for the life flight. The plan covers the cost of the flight that isn’t covered by insurance or Medicare. Mr. Crown stated the cost would probably be $25 to $40 per individual depending on the number of individual that sign up or approximately $75.00 per family. Jason Fanning stated he would contact the Hospital and the Board will look at the information. 

Legislative Audit

Terry Zell, SD Legislative Audit, met with the Board to inform them he would be conducting the audit for Bennett County for 2015-2016 and explained the process. 

SDSU Extension

The Board reviewed a Memorandum of Understanding between SDSU Extension and Bennett County for 2018. Rolf Kraft made a motion to approve the Memorandum of Understanding. Jeff Slattery seconded.

All voted aye. Motion carried.


At the request of Susan Williams Auditor, Rocky Risse made a motion to approve the surplus of an HP Printer Inv. #1357 at no value. Jeff Slattery seconded.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

End of Year Commissioners Meeting

The Commissioners agreed to have the last meeting of the year to supplement budgets and consider year end claims on Thursday, December 28, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.

States Attorney

Sarah Harris, States Attorney, met with the Commissioners. Ms. Harris stated she is concerned with the jail not being available to the Martin Police Department. Mrs. Harris stated she is concerned with the safety of the public and the officers and the arrested. Ms. Harris stated she had discussed this with the Sheriff. The law Board will look into it.

Area Resident

Craig Howe, area resident, met with the Board to ask if the Commissioners were pursuing Resolution #5-2016 concerning tax exempt trust land. The Board stated they were and Mr. Howe stated he had been deceived by the Board because at the August 2016 meeting he understood the County would not pursue the request for federal impact aid for tax exempt trust land. Mr. Howe also stated Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies would be posting a 13 part series of articles concerning Bennett County Resolution #5-2016.

The articles are presented by Mr. Howe to state reasons why he feels the resolution is not factual and is racist.

Rolf Kraft presented information concerning County finances and services provided for people living on trust land. There was discussion concerning impact aid to the schools. Mr. Howe stated the County does not provide any services to trust land and the County is not in financial trouble and he requests the Resolution be rescinded. Mr. Kraft stated he felt some of this was due to a cultural point of view and the County was trying to inform the federal government of Bennett County’s financial needs.

Jason Fanning stated the Resolution would not be rescinded. The group discussed changes that could be made. Mr. Howe stated the issues are about tax exempt property and not the people and the County should request PILT money because it’s already established. He also stated the Resolution should be rescinded because he does not believe there is a problem because the County is not in financial trouble, crime is not high and the County has no rights to appeal to the federal government for funding. The Board requested Mr. Howe inform them on how the Resolution could be rewritten. The Board agreed to look at any suggestions Mr. Howe would make and they agreed the Resolution should be about taxes and not Indian people. 

Jason Fanning made a motion to rewrite the Resolution. Rocky Risse seconded. 

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Mr. Howe requested Bennett County stop fighting deeded land going into trust. 

Executive Session

Rolf Kraft made a motion to go into executive session concerning personnel with States Attorney Sarah Harris at 12:08 p.m. Jeff Slattery seconded.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Chairman Jason Fanning declared executive session closed at 12:50 p.m.


There being no further business to come before the Commissioners, Rocky Risse made a motion to adjourn with a second by Jeff Slattery.

All voted aye. Motion carried.


/s/ Jason Fanning, Chairman


/s/ Susan Williams, Auditor

The next regular meeting will be Wednesday, December 20, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. in the Commissioner’s meeting room. 

Published once at the total approximate cost of $93.24

Published: December 20, 2017

502 Second Avenue, Martin, SD 57551 • 605-685-6866 •