Proceedings: BC Commissioners 10-2-19


Board Of Bennett County Commissioners

Minutes Of Proceedings

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Martin, South Dakota

The Bennett County Board of Commissioners met in regular session Wednesday, October 2, 2019 in the Court Room.

The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m. by Chairman Wayne Bond.

Commissioners present: Wayne Bond, Rolf Kraft, Jeff Slattery, Rod Kirk and Judd Schomp.

Others Present: Others: Susan Williams, Auditor; Jolene Donovan, Treasurer; Sarah Harris, States Attorney; Ed Johnson, Jesse Ulmer, Justin Friese, Highway Department Labors; Taylor Risse, Booster; Terry Smokov, Highway Superintendent; Kevin Curtis, Sheriff Deputy; Kristine Novak, Nicole Novak, Stuart Drobny, Karen Geersen, Kelvin McCollam, Area Residents, Angie Hicks, Deputy Auditor.


The minutes from the regular September 18, 2019 meeting were approved with a motion by Judd Schomp, and second by Rod Kirk.

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 September 30, 2019.

Balance on hand – County $4,398,888.64; Cash Change Account $250.00; Restricted Funds $304,007.32; Savings Accounts $0.00; Cash, Checks, Credit Cards $26,874.03; Treasurer’s Change Fund - $150.00; NSF Checks $0.00; TOTAL $4,729,869.99

Dated this 4th day of October, 2019.


/s/ Susan Williams, Auditor


September - Register of Deeds: $2,444.50

Highway Department

Highway Superintendent, Terry Smokov, met with the Board to discuss problems with some of the equipment. There was also discussion on the new graders that aren’t ready to be delivered. They are getting gravel hauled to different roads. Mr. Smokov informed the Board that they are doing what work they can, but are limited with the machinery breakdowns at this time.

Mr. Smokov reported to the Board the FEMA meetings have been going well. There have been two more sites given to the project manager. It’s almost time for information to be entered into the FEMA portal. It was asked if any payments have been received by the County, and it was stated that it’s not even close to payment status. Mr. Smokov stated that they are close to having the FEMA sites done, the last one is down by Rod Kirks and they were waiting on culverts. There was more discussion on the progress of road work.

There was discussion about smaller surplus items that aren’t worth being put on Purple Wave, and that they would be better off asking for sealed bids or however we need to get rid of them. Mr. Smokov stated that he is asking to surplus a 1997 Ford Semi-Truck and it will be sold on Purple Wave. Rod Kirk made a motion to surplus the 1997 Ford Semi-Truck to be sold on Purple Wave and a second by Judd Schomp.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

There was a motion made by Judd Schomp to surplus miscellaneous equipment by sealed bids open to the public with a second by Rod Kirk.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Jeff Slattery, Rod Kirk, and Rolf Kraft are appointed to the appraisal board for miscellaneous surplus equipment.

Terry Smokov, Highway Superintendent, requested that Justin Friese and Jesse Ulmer receive $1.00 an hour raise. There was some discussion among the Board. Judd Schomp made a motion to give $1.00 hourly raise to Justin Friese and Jesse Ulmer effective September 29, 2019 seconded by Jeff Slattery.

Voted Aye: Judd Schomp, Jeff Slattery, Rolf Kraft, Wayne Bond.

Voted Nay: Rod Kirk.

Motion carried.

Rolf Kraft requested that the road out by his place, has seven families and a business, needs to be bladed he understands the Highway Department is busy, but Marvin Grass offered to blade it and be compensated for his time. There was discussion among the Board. It was decided to get material from Maciejewski Pit and hire Marvin Grass to blade the road.

There was discussion about the CAT Motor graders that were purchased by the Board. They are working on getting the new machines down here when they are ready.

There was discussion about needing gravel on Cemetery Road, and a section down by Ed Johnsons due to hunters driving and parking there. An official application request by Leland Rayhill to haul gravel was presented to the Board. It was decided by the Commissioners to have anyone that wants gravel to attend the meeting and fill out the application. There was some discussion about Leland Rayhills application request. It was decided to have Wayne Bond call Leland Rayhill and get it cleared up.

Resolution CAT Finance Company

Susan Williams, Auditor, presented the Resolution to the Commissioners for the CAT Finance Company for the two CAT Motor graders that were purchased by the County. Jeff Slattery made the motion to accept the Resolution with CAT Finance Company with a second by Rod Kirk.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Jesse Ulmer Request

Jesse Ulmer, Highway Department Labor, has a request for the Board about being personally reimbursed. The Board needs more information on this matter. Terry Smokov, Highway Superintendent, stated this brings up the issue of requesting Board members to go over the County map with him to figure out more information on all the roads.

Sealed Culvert Bids

Susan Williams, Auditor, stated there are two sealed bids. The first bid is from Wayne Johnson for $510.00 on the Rayhill Culvert to be placed over by Black Pipe. The second bid is from Terry Smokov for $320.00 on the same culvert. Judd Schomp made the motion to approve the bid from Wayne Johnson for $510.00 for the culvert. Rod Kirk seconded.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

211 System

Susan Williams, Auditor, presented the Board with information on the 211 System from a Workshop at Convention. It was determined by the Board they didn’t feel we need this expense at this time.

Extension Surplus

The Extension office is wanting to surplus #1254 HP ScanJet 2400 Scanner at no value due to it being obsolete. Jeff Slattery made the motion to surplus #1254 HP ScanJet 2400 Scanner at no value with a second by Rolf Kraft.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

New Hire

Jeff Slattery made the motion to approve the hire of Linay Little Eagle as 24/7 Clerk at $9.25 hourly effective September 19, 2019. After some discussion it was seconded by Rolf Kraft.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Security Camera System Quote

States Attorney Sarah Harris, called and got Ron Larson out of Philip, South Dakota on a conference call to discuss the security camera system. There was discussion with the Board and Kevin Curtis, Sheriff Deputy. Deputy Curtis asked if more channels were available to conform to a grant from the Unified Judicial System that he is currently researching. After some discussion it was indicated there is the option to get what is needed now to cover the Courthouse, and then in the future add in the Holding Facility. There was more discussion about the audio on the cameras and whether or not that is appropriate in a public building. The Board decided to have Ron Larson do the quote for two 16 channel systems, 16 cameras, and two monitors with the ability to expand in the future.

Tax Deed Property Auction

Susan Williams, Auditor, explained the process of the sale of the tax deed property. The auction of Original Town Block 3 lots 3-4-5 was held. The property was purchased by Nicole Novak for $2,500.00.

Security Camera System Discussion

There was more discussion with the Board, Deputy Curtis, and States Attorney Sarah Harris about the capabilities of the new system to be covered under the grant. This grant has been used to purchase other equipment such as the metal detectors. There was further discussion about conversations being recorded, whether that is legal or if it is considered an invasion of privacy.

2020 Budget

Commissioner Schomp asked if the budget is finalized, Auditor Williams stated yes. His concern is the money sitting in surplus as there is not to be more than 40 percent of the annual budget in surplus or in our cash account. Commissioner Kirk stated it’s going to be a problem. Commissioner Schomp talked to the State head Commissioner about the $2.7 million. Auditor Williams stated that is what she anticipates the total cash in general fund. Judd Schomp stated he talked with other County Commissioners about this and they said that the money gets held for a year and then put back in the budget. Auditor Williams stated that she doesn’t have the information in front of her and doesn’t appreciate this coming up in a public meeting without a chance to prepare. The $2.7 million is money assigned to different expenditures. In 2014 the County had a total $200,000.00 for the entire County, that was the first time the Commissioners did an Opt-Out. Surplus was in 2016 more than 40 percent, the Commissioners knew this and didn’t know if the Opt-Out was going to pass. Commissioner Bond said the Auditors knew about the circumstances, but understood why it was that way since we didn’t know if that Opt-Out was going to go through. Auditor Williams stated that $2.7 million is not cash that is total assigned monies. Highway surplus stays in the Highway Department. Commissioner Schomp said he was asked a lot of questions and made him nervous stating if there is over 40% then the Board could be in trouble. Auditor Williams stated she has been Auditor for 28 years and audited all 28 years every two years and never had a problem. It’s not fair to question me in a public meeting, come to my office and ask questions. We are being audited right now. Commissioner Schomp said I’m asking questions. Auditor Williams stated I’m done and walked out of the meeting.

Commissioner Schomp said he is concerned because there was discussion on the radio station about this morning. Commissioner Kirk stated that somebody is going to be held accountable and we need to get an independent Auditor. Angie Hicks, Deputy Auditor, entered the meeting and was asked if the County is going to be audited and when. Deputy Auditor Hicks stated yes. Treasurer Jolene Donovan asked when. Deputy Auditor Hicks stated we just got the e-mail yesterday from the auditor asking for documents to start the audit. Treasurer Donovan said she didn’t know anything about it. Commissioner Kirk stated there are concerns with the budget the way it is and if there is extra money that needs to be put back in the budget then that’s what needs to be done. There was more discussion about the budget and about who is held liable. There was discussion about bringing in an independent auditor not associated with the state, since this wasn’t caught in the past. There was more discussion about bringing in an auditor to explain things. Commissioner Schomp stated that if there is this much surplus then there shouldn’t have been another Opt-Out. Commissioner Bond stated that there was not enough to cover years of operating expenses, and we wouldn’t have asked for it if we didn’t need it. There was more discussion about the budgets. Commissioner Kirk found at the end of 2016 the auditors report said that he recommends that inner fund loans be repaid in a matter required by state law, management chose not to respond to this finding. Jolene Donovan Treasurer said that issue has to do with the hospital and they are to repay the County, and every year the Auditor tells us to try and get that money, but we know the hospital will not pay it. Commissioner Kraft explained that things can change or come up anytime and cause problems, and there is only a certain time that you can try for the Opt-Out and that it’s not guaranteed, but it can also cause dissolution of the County, which is what is trying to be avoided. This also avoids, if the County were to be dissolved, the outstanding bills still have to be covered, and it would fall upon the taxpayers, therefore this surplus would be used to handle that situation.


Karen Geersen, Area Land Owner, said her concern is finding out there is $2.7 million sitting in an account when our taxes have been increased over the past years and we are the third largest taxpayer in the County. Commissioner Kraft stated there has been confusion over what this $2.7 million actually is. Mrs. Geersen said that someone better call and inform the radio because County residents heard all of this and are not very happy. It was further discussed to get the State Auditor to come down sooner to explain things to the Board. There was more discussion on the budget. Commissioner Wayne Bond walked out and left the meeting. The Board asked Deputy Auditor Hicks if there is any way to get a breakdown of the $2.7 million and what it entails. Deputy Auditor Hicks stated she will see what can be done to get that information. There was further discussion on issues that are the reason for the Opt-Out and budget issues.


There being no further business to come before the Board, Judd Schomp made a motion to adjourn with a second by Rod Kirk.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Board Of Bennett County Commission

/s/ Wayne Bond, Chairman


/s/ Susan Williams, Auditor

The next regular meeting will be Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. in the Courthouse. 

Published once at the total approximate cost of $154.98

Published: October 16, 2019

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