Proceedings: BC Commissioners 1-8-20


Board Of Bennett County Commissioners

Minutes Of Proceedings

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Martin, South Dakota

The Bennett County Board of Commissioners met in regular session Wednesday, January 8th, 2020 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, Bennett County Director of Equalization; Jolene Donovan, Bennett County Treasurer; Jaci Clifford, Bennett County Register of Deeds; Terry Smokov, Highway Superintendent; Sara Frankenstein, Martin City Attorney; Area Residents: Joe Jacquot, James Johnson, Jay Yohner, Chase Strand, Bob Coyle, Wayne Heath, Bob Schlack, Sue Lewis, Roy Guptill, Gary Hines, Larry Heath, Bob Ceplecha, Tony Waters, Gloria Claussen, Amanda Risse, Amanda LaCroix, Attorney at Law.

The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m. by Auditor Angie Hicks.

2020 Assign Boards and Yearly Designations

Auditor Angie Hicks called for election of Board Chairman. Rod Kirk made a motion to elect Jeff Slattery Chairman, Judd Schomp seconded.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Chairman Jeff Slattery assumed control of the meeting.

Chairman Jeff Slattery elected Rolf Kraft for Vice Chairman with a second by Judd Schomp.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

The Commissioners set the following 2020 County Boards: 

Law: Rolf Kraft and Wayne Bond

Courthouse Building: Judd Schomp and Rolf Kraft

Medical Facilities:

4-H Promotion and Expansion Committee and Fair: Jeff Slattery and Rod Kirk

Library: Rolf Kraft

Roads: Judd Schomp and Rod Kirk

City Relations: Judd Schomp and Rolf Kraft

With a motion made by Rod Kirk and seconded by Rolf Kraft.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Judd Schomp made a motion to approve the following 2020 yearly designations:

Bennett County Booster II and Lakota Country Times shall be the official newspaper for Bennett County.

Security First Bank and South Dakota Public Investment Trust shall be the depositories of Bennett County funds.

The bulletin board located in the east corridor of the Bennett County Courthouse shall be used for official posting of all official notices for the public.

The following locations will be places for chattel mortgage sales:

The Bennett County Courthouse courtroom.

For livestock and machinery, the Bennett County Fairgrounds located in the NE ¼ of NW ¼ of Section 20, Township 36 North Range 37 West of the 6th P.M. Bennett County, South Dakota.

The Treasurer is to invest money for the County and at a regular meeting of the Board in January and July of each year to settle with the Board her accounts as Treasurer.

Polling places shall be:

Vetal/Tuthill Precinct-Vetal Fire Hall

Allen Precinct-American Horse School

Martin Rural #26/27 Precinct-LaCreek Electric Building

Martin City Precinct-Library Community Room

The hourly wage for election judges and clerks will be $9.30 plus mileage. Attendance for Election School will be $10.00.

The County per diem will be $6.00-breakfast; $14.00-lunch; $20.00-dinner, with lodging at current State rates if available, and mileage at $.42 per mile.

The County officials and employees having meetings to attend, as schools, meetings and conventions and any other educational schools called by the department heads and the State Departments, the County will reimburse for mileage at $.42 per mile; $6.00-breakfast; $14.00-lunch; $20.00-dinner with lodging at current State rates if available.

Indigent burial will be paid at $1850.00 with cremation the preferred method and paid at $1200.00

Approve Vetal and Tuthill Volunteer Fire Departments for Work Comp.

On file in Auditors Office.

Approve the Bennett County Policy Manual (This will be done at January 22, 2020 meeting).

Approve the purchase of fuel off the state contract.

As per SDCL 6-1-10 a complete list of all salaries of all officers and employees. 


Rod Kirk $425.00 Monthly

Judd Schomp $425.00 Monthly

Jeff Slattery $425.00 Monthly

Wayne Bond $425.00 Monthly

Rolf Kraft $425.00 Monthly

Community Action Program

Mary Thomsen $20,588.10

Auditor’s Office

Angela Hicks $34,865.00

Linay Little Eagle $9.75

Treasurer’s Office

Jolene Donovan $37,465.00

Pamela Wounded Arrow $10.75

States Attorney’s Office

Sarah Harris $67,080.00

Amanda Risse $11.25

Director Of Equalization $19,084.00

Emergency & Disaster $19,084.00

Jeff Siscoe

Deputy Director Of Equalization

Mickie Thayer $10.75

Register Of Deeds

Jaci Clifford $34,865.00

Veteran’s Service Officer

Don Larson $10,023.00

Law Department

Donell Bucholz $10.25

Stuart Bucholz $10.50

Tracy Mcconnachie $10.25

Eldrin Grinnell $9.75

Robert Schlack $10.00

Gary Rayhill $10.00

Jason Erwin $16.75

Kevin Curtis $15.75

Lucas Hamar $14.25


Paul Williams $44,896.00

Highway Superintendent

Terry Smokov $47,040.00

Highway Labors

Justin Friese $14.50

Jesse Ulmer $14.50

Larry Livermont $13.50

Anthony Waters $13.50

Benjamin Rostyne $13.50

Ed Johnson $13.50

Highway Clerk

Pamela Wounded Arrow $10.75


Kristine Novak $11.25

Extension Office

Mary Kay Sell $11.25


Shelly Siscoe $6,750.00

Deputy Coroners

Jason Bustin $58.00 Each

Hannah Brown $58.00 Each

James Awuah $58.00 Each

Justen Brown $58.00 Each

Karla Parkes $58.00 Each

Seconded by Rod Kirk.

All voted aye. Motion carried.


There was a motion made by Judd Schomp to approve the minutes from the December 18, 2019 regular meeting and the December 30, 2019 Budget hearing. Seconded by Rolf Kraft.

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 December 31, 2019.

Balance on hand – County $4,771,432.13; Cash Change Account$250.00; Restricted Funds $295,250.57; Savings Accounts $0.00; Cash, Checks, Credit Cards $3,475.00; Treasurer’s Change Fund - $150.00; NSF Checks $0.00; TOTAL $ 5,070,257.67

Dated this 14th day of January, 2020.


/s/ Angela Hicks, Auditor


December - Register of Deeds: $2,404.00

Public Comments

The Board decided to clear the air to start the meeting. Rod Kirk offered an apology to Sue Lewis for his verbal attack on her at the last meeting. Ms. Lewis stated you guys have an obligation to act professionally and a code of ethics to follow that is mandated by the State, and I don’t see that happening. I was shocked and appalled at the way you guys acted at the last meeting. 

Commissioner Schomp continued with the fact that States Attorney Sarah Harris is owed an apology as well. Ms. Lewis stated that she was impressed because Wayne Bond stood up and said there needs to be a second opinion on the holding facility agreement. Commissioner Schomp stated he felt like Commissioner Bond belittled Sarah Harris and her being elected in by the people. Ms. Lewis stated the fact that the contract was written by them, and asked the Board if they work for the City or the County. The Board responded with the County. Ms. Lewis continued by stating so you understand you have a fiduciary responsibility to do what is best for the County and the Community, not just for personal gain. Jay Yohner stated there is no doubt that Sarah Harris is good at her job and great for our community. Chairman Slattery said that’s what I am getting at. I’ve been here for 5 years and so far, we haven’t gotten any bad advice from Ms. Harris, she is working for the County. Commissioner Schomp stated he feels like they are trying to do what is best for the County. Ms. Lewis stated she feels like they are showing gross partiality for the City trying to shove this contract down the Boards throats, and thinks that Wayne Bond should be owed an apology. Sarah Harris, States Attorney, stated she worked on the Holding Facility Agreement with Sara Frankenstein, Martin City Attorney and also talked with the insurance company that’s for the City and the County so there are several opinions on this, and I want to do what is best for the County.

Commissioner Kraft explained that he feels that our obligation has been fulfilled by Winner Jail being our jail, and now the City wants access to the Holding Facility and we are obligated to allow them. Ms. Harris stated this agreement was behest the County Commission and the City Council. There was further discussion about the Holding Facility.

Highway Department

Terry Smokov, Highway Superintendent, discussed some changes to the plans for County Line Road Realignment. It will be re-advertised for two weeks and bids will be opened at the January 22, 2020 meeting at 10:00 a.m. Brosz Engineering is adding the amendments to the plans as far as contractors being responsible for surfacing, and the end date will be changed.

Mr. Smokov stated they are still having issues with machinery. They are working on some of the issues they can, but now Butler is not returning phone calls. Mr. Smokov was wondering if he is able to get a bidder number for Purple Wave to purchase equipment? Auditor Angie Hicks will see what the process is or if it is available to the County. 

Chase Strand, Area Resident, stated nothing has been done on 290th Street after he was told it would be back in August. Commissioner Kirk stated a contractor is supposed to be looking at it and getting back to them. Larry Heath, Area Resident, stated the mail carrier is having a hard time getting around North of Cody unless it is frozen. Commissioner Kirk stated it needs to be built up along with putting a culvert in there and some oversized rock.

James Johnson, Area Resident, wants to thank whoever cleaned out his auto-gates. Commissioner Schomp stated that was Terry Smokov and Steve Livermont. There was further discussion on the process of building up the roads.

Sealed Bids for Bennett County Road Realignment

Auditor Hicks stated we did not receive any bids to open, but the notice did come out again in the Booster for two weeks and will be opened at the January 22, 2020 meeting at 10:00 am.

Holding Facility Agreement

Sheriff Paul Williams read a letter out loud from the Attorney General concerning the Holding Facility agreement. This letter is also filed in the Auditor’s Office. Sheriff Williams gave some history on the Holding Facility and trying to re-open a jail here. Commissioner Schomp addressed the letter read by Sheriff Williams and stated the person that will be watching prisoners has to be 21 years old and trained. Is this is going to be followed by the Sheriff’s office as well? Sheriff Williams stated of course. Commissioner Schomp continued I don’t see that this will cost the County any more than it already does, the City will be covering the man power for their prisoners. Jay Yohner, Area Resident, suggested working on solutions that all Commissioners agree to, hiring jailers and giving the Sheriff a budget to make this work, or combining the police forces and that would save everyone money. Mr. Yohner continued the Commissioners need to work together and find common ground. Commissioner Schomp said Sheriff Williams needs to request more when it comes time to budget. Joe Jacquot, Area Resident, asked Treasurer Jolene Donovan what we spent on prisoners last year in winner? Ms. Donovan states there was roughly $300,000 for housing, and medical was $14,700, travel $22,800. Mr. Jacquot said let the City use it. Sheriff Williams stated I am not arguing that, they will, I am just arguing some parts of the contract. Sara Frankenstein, Martin City Attorney, discussed further Sheriff Williams’ letter. Ms. Frankenstein continued she has no problem changing the agreement with the points brought about from Sheriff Williams’ letter. Ms. Frankenstein also pointed out some of the changes previously made. If somebody is at fault for failing to supervise that will fall on that entity. Commissioner Kraft stated we are providing a jail, which is in Winner, and therefore our obligation has been met. Ms. Frankenstein brought up that its only been the City denied access, because Highway Patrol, and DCI are allowed to use it. Sheriff Williams said no they do not have key fobs. Ms. Frankenstein said well you’re using the holding facility before transporting. Sheriff Williams said I do that for the City also. Commissioner Kraft said the City expects everything for free. Commissioner Schomp said they are accepting what we are offering and if it is rejected then a judge will determine whether this holding facility is useable or not. Ms. Frankenstein said if this doesn’t get hammered out today, I am telling you what my lawsuit will look like, it will be that you have a jail right here that qualifies as a jail under SDCL 24-11-1 and under SDCL 24-11-2 you are required to keep it maintained at County’s expense, and we as arresting officers under State laws are required and allowed to use that. You could shut it down, but it would not benefit either of us. If we can’t work together, now you know what the consequences might be. Ms. Harris states I agree with using it, and we are not giving it to the City for fee, they will cover their own cost for a jailer. Sheriff Williams said we are hashing out the issues with the agreement. Ms. Lewis stated is this how I understand it, that Ms. Frankenstein’s lawsuit will be against the County if we don’t sign the agreement the way it is written? Ms. Frankenstein said this agreement has been going back and forth for months to get worked out, and that is my last resort. Ms. Lewis stated your threat against the County is duress. Ms. Frankenstein said that is how it is worked out in America if an agreement can’t be made by both parties it is brought before a judge. Ms. Frankenstein continued, I have been working with the County, I don’t know how many times I have come down, and I think we have a good contract. Commissioner Schomp stated I don’t think this is a threat. Chairman Slattery and Sheriff Williams both agreed this horse has been beat to death. Ms. Harris is going to go make the changes and present the agreement after a 10-minute recess. Commissioner Schomp made the suggestion to designate a couple board members to be City Relations. It was decided to have Judd Schomp and Rolf Kraft for City Relations. 

Judd Schomp made the motion to approve the Holding Facility Agreement with changes. Seconded by Rod Kirk.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Commissioner Rolf Kraft said I have no emotions involved in this decision it is all business. I respect the Board’s decision.

Ms. Lewis asked when Wayne Bond resigned as Chairman? Auditor Hicks stated every new year a new Chairman is elected. Sheriff Williams stated there are a couple different kinds of Sheriffs, one that just goes along with everything and one that is going to fight for the County, but I am the number two Sheriff.

Public Comment

LeRoy Guptill, Area Resident stated since the Highway Department came in and filled in an area on 215th Avenue with dirt, which he told them not to, he has flooding, and can’t get to some of his land with equipment. This has created a lot of problems. There was further discussion on this issue.

Register of Deeds Real Estate Transfer Charges

Jaci Clifford, Register of Deeds, approached the Board about raising prices on real estate transfers to $60.00 electronically, and $100.00 for paper copy per year. Currently they are charged $48.00 per year. Ms. Clifford explained the process to the Board. Rolf Kraft made the motion to approve the rates of $60.00 electronically and $100.00 paper copy on real estate transfers per year. Rod Kirk seconded.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Move January 15 meeting to January 22, 2020

Auditor Hicks requested the Board move the January 15th meeting to January 22, 2020. Judd Schomp made the motion to move January 15th meeting to January 22, 2020 with a second by Rolf Kraft.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Rural Attorney Amanda LaCroix

Amanda LaCroix, Attorney at Law, reported to the Board that she accepted a new position with the State of South Dakota, and unfortunately, she just didn’t have enough work to keep her busy. Bennett County will go back on the list for the Rural Attorney Program. Ms. LaCroix suggested to the Board that maybe in the future to add the Rural Attorney Program in with the States Attorney to keep it viable.

New or Old Business

Auditor Hicks brought up the South Entrance steps, they are falling apart even worse now. Ms. Harris suggested adding in handicap access to one of the other entrances. Sheriff Williams is going to mark the steps on the South end and block it off. It was also discussed about fixing up the curb on the North End and the Inmate Transport pad at the North end as well. Chairman Slattery is going to get Rosane Cement to see what they can do to at least fix the South steps for now, and then put out a bid.


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

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Board Of Bennett County Commission

/s/ Jeff Slattery, Chairman


/s/ Angela Hicks, Auditor

Published once at the total approximate cost of $236.25

Published: January 22, 2020

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