Proceedings; BC Commissioners 12-4-19


Board Of Bennett County Commissioners

Minutes Of Proceedings

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Martin, South Dakota

The Bennett County Board of Commissioners met in regular session Wednesday, December 4, 2019 in the Court Room.

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

Others Present: Angela Hicks, Auditor; Sarah Harris, States Attorney; Paul Williams, Bennett County Sheriff; Taylor Risse, Booster; Jason Erwin, Bennett County Chief Deputy; Jeff Siscoe, Director of Equalization; Jolene Donovan, Treasurer; Area Residents: Madonna Peterson, Bill Cummings, Charlie Cummings Sr., Steve Hahn, Peggy Fralick, Jan and Tammy Gregg, Jay Yohner, Brent Ireland, Josh Fanning, Dennis Gregg, Barry Wolff, Kristin Prang, Karen Coyle, Joe Jacquot, Carl Novotny, Bob Toczek, Butch Ceplecha, JR and Nancy Pauly, and Jon Gregg. Brandon Petersen, Martin Police Chief; Daniel Dove, Martin Police Officer.

The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m. by Vice Chairman Rolf Kraft.


The minutes of the November 14, 2019 special meeting, and the November 20, 2019 regular meeting were approved with a motion made by Judd Schomp and seconded 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 November 30, 2019.

Balance on hand – County $4,740,766.43; Cash Change Account $250.00; Restricted Funds $304,100.91; Savings Accounts $0.00; Cash, Checks, Credit Cards $ 31,969.00; Treasurer’s Change Fund - $150.00; NSF Checks $0.00; TOTAL $ 5,076,936.34

Dated this 10th day of December, 2019.


/s/ Angela Hicks, Auditor


November - Register of Deeds: $2,166.00

Highway Department

Highway Department business on road maintenance maps was tabled until the next meeting due to Terry Smokov, Highway Superintendent, being absent.

Public Comments

Commissioner Kirk stated most of the public is here concerning Old Highway 18 being ground up. Butch Ceplecha, Area Resident, states history shows that Bennett County used to have paved roads, some of them got ground up, you go look at those roads today, and tell me this is still a good idea. If you turn this into gravel, it has to be kept up every 4 to 5 years at approximately $18,000 per mile for gravel. I believe that $18,000 per mile can be better spent by repairing the holes now and Old Highway 18 could last another 40 years. Commissioner Kirk asked the crowd those in favor of grinding up Old Highway 18 raise your hand – no one raised their hand – that answers the question, it won’t be ground up then. It is rough and needs holes repaired, but it is still solid. If it is ground up, we have enough trouble keeping up with the gravel roads we already have. Madonna Peterson, Area Resident, asked why can’t they use the $200,000 towards fixing Old Highway 18, instead of grinding it up.

There was more discussion with Area Residents on possible solutions to fix the Old Highway 18 rather that grinding it up. The Residents are also willing to help assist in any way they can towards repairs. It was also pointed out that some of the roads were worse after the Bennett County Highway Department works on them. Commissioner Kirk stated that they are pushing Terry Smokov, Highway Superintendent, to go out and check their work to make sure it is being done correctly. Steve Hahn explained to the Board some of the details on how to properly fix Old Highway 18. It was also pointed out that the State will be working on Highway 18 next year, so we may be able to get hot mix while they are in the area and it will help with the cost. The Commissioners decided to make a plan for repairing Old Highway 18. Ms. Peterson thanked Jay Yohner and other residents for doing some of the repairs.

There was some discussion with Steve Hahn on the culvert he put in on County Line Road. They discussed possibly checking into putting in a wing wall so it doesn’t wash out in the future.

Brandon Petersen, Martin Chief of Police, is asking for information from the Commissioners on a policy change in transports, and how to explain to City Council needing $15,000 to $20,000 added to his budget. Commissioner Rolf Kraft stated that the County Law Board would be happy to sit down with him and come up with some figures. Chief Petersen stated I don’t need figures, I need an explanation for City Council for budget increase. Chief Petersen stated I still have to convince the Council to fix up three cells when there are cells that are functioning now that would help with PC holds. Sheriff Williams stated the County doesn’t have the staff or budget to house people for 23 hours. Chief Petersen stated that he has the man power. Commissioner Kirk states we have the cure right here. Commissioner Kraft stated the County and City Law Boards are working towards an agreement. Sarah Harris, States Attorney, stated she talked with the Attorney General and the County can lease the holding facility to the City, but the responsibility would fall on the City. Sheriff Williams asked what about Court days with inmates coming from Winner if you have PC Holds? Commissioner Schomp stated maybe we need to have a public meeting on this issue, because the public wants to see the holding facility being used. Jolene Donovan, Treasurer, questioned Sheriff Williams about why half of his administrative assistant’s wages are being paid out of jail budget if she is not a jailer. Sheriff Williams stated I don’t have any information on that at this time, this wasn’t even on the agenda. Commissioner Kraft stated I want to make sure everything we do is legal. Ms. Harris stated there would have to be an agreement in place if this were to be done. Chief Petersen stated for the record Sheriff Williams has never denied the City use of the Holding Facility. There was further discussion on the Holding Facility and transports. Ms. Harris brought up the Joint Powers Agreement and this may be the solution to cover most of the problems. Sheriff Williams states he does not agree with this contract written up by Sara Frankenstein, and he had past Attorney Generals read it, and they stated it is not a good contract for the County. Commissioner Schomp states this is a big deal and all parties should be involved. Commissioner Schomp said this would take away some liability and make things easier. Chief Petersen said we need to come to some agreement and keep more money here. Commissioner Kirk said we need to save money, too much is going to Winner. Sheriff Williams said I would love to have the budget to run this holding facility. Commissioner Schomp states Brandon is saying the City can come up with the money to run the holding facility, so it would save the County that money. I don’t know what the problem is. Commissioner Kraft said we need to have more information and make sure nothing is done illegally. Commissioner Kirk said transports should be left the way they are, it is already budgeted with the County, who changed the policy? Sheriff Williams stated I did. Commissioner Schomp stated I am going to make a motion that transports are continued to be done at County’s expense. Angie Hicks, Auditor, states you can’t make a motion because it is not on the Agenda. Commissioner Schomp states so I can’t make that motion? Auditor Hicks states no. Commissioner Schomp states then put it on the next agenda and invite the City Council. Commissioner Kirk states I’m tired of an agreement almost in place and then it blows up. There will be a decision made at the next meeting. Chief Petersen and Sheriff Williams had a discussion on calls being handled and using the Zuercher system for calls.

DOT Flood Event Agreement

Auditor Hicks stated the DOT Flood Agreement was reviewed by States Attorney Harris, and there were no issues with it, so it just needs to be approved by the Board. Judd Schomp made the motion to approve the DOT Flood Agreement with a second by Rod Kirk.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Highway Department

Commissioner Schomp stated he just got the call from Brosz Engineering and everything is ready for approval on Cody Road. We just need a motion. Auditor Hicks states you cannot make a motion because it’s not on the agenda. Commissioner Kraft states maybe take a recess and call someone to make sure that is correct. Auditor Hicks came back and states you can discuss the issue, but a motion cannot be made. It has to be on the Agenda in order to make a motion. There was discussion on other possibilities to get a special meeting set up for this issue. Commissioner Schomp states it will not be started until after the first of the year. So just put it on the next agenda.

Martin Volunteer Fire Department

There was some discussion about a MVFD Benefit in January.

Probationary Period Raises

Commissioner Schomp asked if they are getting a raise at the first of the year as well? Auditor Hicks states yes, these are just the probationary period raises, so it just happens to fall this way with the timing. There was some discussion on these raises. Jeff Slattery made the motion to approve Probationary Period Raises, effective 10/28/2019, for Donell Bucholz Full Time Law/Jail Administration, $9.75 hourly; Tracy McConnachie Part-Time 24/7 Program $9.75 hourly; Eldrin Grinnell Part-Time Building Maintenance $9.75 hourly; Effective 11/11/2019, Mickie Thayer Deputy Director of Equalization $10.25 hourly. Rod Kirk seconded.

Voting Aye: Jeff Slattery, Rod Kirk, Rolf Kraft

Voting Nay: Judd Schomp

Motion carried.

Supplemental Budget Hearing

Auditor Hicks explained to the Board about setting the Supplemental Budget Hearing for December 30, 2019, which will be the End of Year Meeting. Rod Kirk made the motion for the Supplemental Budget Hearing set for the End of the Year Meeting date of December 30, 2019. Seconded by Jeff Slattery.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

New or Old Business

There was a discussion about over-time and how it is handled. Deputy Auditor Linay Little Eagle is also working in 24/7 until Sheriff Williams can find someone else, so she is getting paid overtime. Ms. Donovan and Ms. Harris stated they were previously told by Susan Williams their deputies could not get overtime. Commissioner Kraft states we need to check into the policy manual. There was further discussion on the overtime policy. Ms. Donovan stated the Sheriff’s Office and Highway Department are the only departments allowed to work overtime. The Bennett County Personnel Manual was read and is in agreeance with Fair Labor Standards Act. Anything worked over 40 hours a week is paid as overtime. Also, prior approval from Department Head or Commissioners is required. Commissioner Kirk said it needs to be limited. Ms. Donovan states that our Highway Department is the only highway department in the State to allow five 10-hour days year-round. Commissioner Slattery said it’s up to the department heads to send them home if there isn’t any work to do. Commissioner Kraft said it needs to be fair across the board. There was some discussion on the possibility of comp-time, and overtime. Commissioner Schomp said to add to the next meeting agenda to discuss the Highway Department winter hours of operation. It was decided to keep doing 24/7 for now until policy can be looked into further.


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

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Board Of Bennett County Commission

/s/ Wayne Bond, Chairman


/s/ Angela Hicks, Auditor

The next regular meeting will be Wednesday, December 18, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. in the Courthouse. 

Published once at the total approximate cost of $133.56

Published: December 18, 2019

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