Proceedings: BC Commissioners 2-5-20



Board Of Bennett County Commissioners

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Martin, South Dakota

The Bennett County Board of Commissioners met in regular session Wednesday, February 5th, 2020 in the Court Room.

The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m. by Chairman Jeff Slattery.

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

Absent: Wayne Bond.

Others Present: Angela Hicks, Auditor; Sarah Harris, States Attorney; Taylor Risse, Bennett County Booster; Paul Williams, Bennett County Sheriff; Kevin Curtis, Bennett County Deputy Sheriff; Jolene Donovan, Bennett County Treasurer; Jaci Clifford, Bennett County Register of Deeds; Jeff Siscoe, Emergency Manager; Area Residents: Tom Beck, Wayne Heath, Larry Heath, Marion Schultz, Laloni Livermont, Wayne Sterkel, Steven Rous, and Dennis Rous.


There was a discussion about how to handle the minutes. Judd Schomp stated Jackson County Auditor writes the minutes, then emails them to the Commissioners to look over before being published. Auditor Angie Hicks stated she will get ahold of Jackson County Auditor and visit with her. Rolf Kraft made a motion to approve the January 22nd minutes with a 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 January 31, 2019.

Balance on hand – County $4,965,633.09; Cash Change Account $250.00; Restricted Funds $295,298.13; Savings Accounts $0.00; Cash, Checks, Credit Cards $185,196.59; Treasurer’s Change Fund - $150.00; NSF Checks $0.00; TOTAL $5,446,227.81

Dated this 10th day of February, 2020.


/s/ Angela Hicks, Auditor


January 2020 - Register of Deeds: $4,743.80

Highway Department

Terry Smokov, Highway Superintendent, was absent due to training in Winner, SD. Judd Schomp stated there needs to be a special meeting Friday February 7, with the Board and the Highway Superintendent at 2:00 p.m. 

No Maintenance Roads

Wayne Sterkel, area resident, informed the Board he and Judd Schomp drove around the western part of the County and looked at roads. Dennis and Steven Rous, area residents, expressed their concern that 289th Street near Batesland needs to be built up. Laloni Livermont, area resident, stated anytime they want to go anywhere they have to go all the way around. Rod Kirk stated we discussed this issue at the last meeting and it was decided not to do the “No Maintenance Roads”, because the County would be going backwards. Judd Schomp said they are going to discuss these issues with the highway superintendent on Friday because things have to change. Mr. Rous stated 199th Ave is not in great shape either, but it is drivable. On 289th Street there are culverts that are buried and they cannot function properly, therefore a portion of the road is under water. Larry Heath, area resident, asked why the roads in Bennett County are not getting taken care of, and why are they worse than they were 20-30 years ago. Commissioner Schomp stated last year was spent taking care of all the flooding, and the roads were neglected. Mr. Rous stated on 199th Ave, the road needs to be built up in order for the culvert to work properly. Commissioner Schomp stated hopefully next summer we can get that road built up. Mr. Sterkel stated at least have some maintenance done on these roads. There was further discussion on these roads being in rough shape. There was discussion on how the snow removal is handled. Commissioner Schomp stated they are trying to get more efficient. There was a complaint that there is a lot of gravel being pushed off the roads with the snow. Tom Beck, area resident, asked how do you determine what is a minimum maintenance road? Chairman Slattery stated mail routes, and school routes priority. Mr. Beck asked who went over these roads? Commissioner Schomp stated himself, Rod Kirk, and Terry Smokov discussed them. Mr. Beck stated after he complained about his road, both ways that he has to get out of his place are listed as minimum maintenance, which they were not before. He continued there are families that live down these roads and two of them have health concerns. Commissioner Schomp stated he doesn’t know how they got put on there. Mr. Beck expressed his concerns about emergency vehicles trying to reach people if there is “No Maintenance” or “Low Maintenance” roads. Commissioner Kirk stated let’s not do this and handle them as it has been in the past. Mr. Beck presented some pictures of 221st Avenue to the Board, after asking for a culvert at the previous meeting. There was some further discussion on complaints and issues with the county roads. Mr. Beck suggested hiring contractors to help with some of these roads. Mr. Rous gave some history on how they handled roads in the past. Commissioner Schomp stated the Highway Department has a large surplus, and to start spending some of it to fix these roads. Rod Kirk made the motion to do away with the “No Maintenance” and “Minimum Maintenance” roads. Judd Schomp seconded.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Resolution #1-2020

Jeff Siscoe, Emergency Manager, discussed with the Board the National Flood Insurance Program ordinance and Resolution #1-2020. Sarah Harris, States Attorney, stated the ordinance has to be read twice and action taken at the next meeting. The resolution only has to be read once, but will just read both. Ms. Harris read the first reading of Resolution #1-2020 and Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance title. There was more discussion on the issue with Mr. Siscoe. The Board expressed their concerns about this infringing on people’s personal property rights. Ms. Harris is going to look into this issue further for the next meeting. The Board would like to hear from the public on this issue of flood insurance at the February 20th meeting.

Hughes County Contract

Paul Williams, Sheriff, explained to the Board this is a standard contract with Hughes County Juvenile Services Center. There was further discussion about the contract. Rod Kirk made the motion to approve the contract with Hughes County Juvenile Services Center. Judd Schomp seconded.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Law Department Patrol Pickup

Sheriff Williams informed the Board that the new patrol pickup will be here in 1-2 months. The Board suggested the old patrol pickup be taken out to the highway department for them to use. Judd Schomp made the motion to approve paying for the new patrol pickup in full. Rolf Kraft seconded.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

New Hires

Sheriff Williams discussed with the Board that Stuart Bucholz is being hired on full-time, and Dawnte’ Mills is the new Administrative Assistant. Jolene Donovan, Treasurer, stated she has a problem with hiring Ms. Mills at $11.00 an hour, because it is more that her deputy makes after being here a year. There was some discussion with Kevin Curtis, Sheriff’s Deputy, explaining that Ms. Mills already has clearance and training from previously being an OST dispatcher that is currently taking up to 6 months to be done through the State and FBI on new hires without experience. Commissioner Kraft stated that different jobs have different requirements and not everyone can make the same amount of money. Ms. Donovan stated except for here. There was further discussion about hiring Ms. Mills at a higher wage. Commissioner Schomp and Ms. Donovan expressed their concerns about the higher wage. There was further discussion about wages throughout the courthouse. Rod Kirk made the motion to approve Dawnte’ Mills, Law Department/Jail Administrative Assistant, effective 1/29/2020 at $11.00/hourly. Rolf Kraft seconded.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Commissioner Kraft made the motion to approve Stuart Bucholz at full-time Transport/Jailer/24-7/Civil Servant effective 2/2/2020 at $13.00 hourly. Rod Kirk seconded.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Licensed Abstract Company Fees

Jaci Clifford, Register of Deeds, informed the Board of the new fees for licensed abstract companies for copies of documents. Ms. Clifford explained the different fees, and she has discussed these changes with Brian Kirk and Larry Long (Home Abstract Company) they agreed with the changes. Ms. Clifford stated they could go with either $0.40 per copy or a flat rate of $900.00 per year, and then they don’t have to keep track of the number of copies made. Judd Schomp made the motion to approve the flat rate of $900.00 per year for licensed abstract company fees with a second by Rod Kirk. 

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Emergency and Disaster Printer/Scanner

Jeff Siscoe, Emergency Manager, stated the printer cost is about $350.00, and a scanner is about $450.00. There was some discussion about getting an all-in-one rather than two separate pieces of equipment. Judd Schomp made the motion to approve a printer and a scanner for the Emergency and Disaster department. Rod Kirk seconded.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Chairman Jeff Slattery called for a 5-minute recess at 10:52 am. 

Chairman Slattery called the meeting back to order at 10:58 am.

Personnel Policy

Commissioner Kraft stated he would like to table the issue so that he can look over all the changes in Ms. Harris’ copy. Deputy Curtis stated he has a couple issues that haven’t been mentioned in the manual, such as smoking too close to the building and people walking in have to walk through the smoke, and the other is having non-service animals in the courthouse. There was some discussion held on these issues. Angie Hicks, Auditor, brought up some issues for Terry Smokov, Highway Superintendent, since he was gone for training. Mr. Smokov’s issue is that the Highway Department works 10-hour shifts, but when there is a holiday, they only get 8 hours. They are being shorted two hours, and the same goes for vacation and sick time. Commissioner Kraft talked about wage increases throughout the year and the cost of living increase versus performance raise. There was some discussion on the wages and raises, and probationary period for new hires. It was determined by the Board to table this issue until the next meeting on February 20th.

Surplus Items

Auditor Hicks presented a list of surplus items to the Board. Sheriff Williams talked with the Board about some tires to be surplused in the future. Rod Kirk made a motion to approve the surplus items as follows: Under $500.00 for a 1988 Brother typewriter #261, 1985 hanging plat file #255, 1988 HON desk #262, 2004 HP flat screen monitor #1267, and 2 green chairs; surplused at $0.00 HP computer tower #1407 to be destroyed. Seconded by Judd Schomp.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Move Meeting

Auditor Hicks informed the Board that due to training for the Auditors office on February 19th in Kadoka, the meeting needs to be moved to Thursday February 20th, 2020 at 9:30 am. Rolf Kraft made the motion to move the February 19th meeting to February 20th, 2020 at 9:30 am. Seconded by Rod Kirk.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Courthouse Lights

There was some discussion on the courthouse lights. It was decided to check with ACE Hardware to see what their prices are for the LED lightbulbs.

Old or New Business

Auditor Hicks stated that Russ Olson with Legislative Audit was going to do a conference call, but had a meeting come up so he is going to do a conference call at the February 20th meeting on the 2017 & 2018 audit.

Sheriff Williams stated the Sally Port measurements would be 20 feet wide by 28 feet long. The camera system is up and running, but a new monitor is needed, due to technical issues.

Commissioner Kraft reported on the library meeting. 2019 totals are as follows: 5,389 people went to the library, 1,553 hours spent on the computers, and 2,071 books were checked out.

Sarah Harris, States Attorney, reported to the Board that the grant was approved for the courthouse camera security system, and we also received the check. There was some discussion about the system.

Commissioner Kraft informed the Board about looking into a Justice Center for Bennett County. Stephen Parkes is going to get ahold of Kevin Rascher to see who to talk to in Pine Ridge about how this grant works.

Ms. Harris asked about getting someone in to look into heating and electrical work for the Courtroom. Auditor Hicks stated Kratovil Electric is coming Friday morning. It was decided to have Kratovil Electric do a quote for electrical work in the courtroom.


There being no further business to come before the Board, Judd Schomp made the motion to adjourn. Rod Kirk seconded.

All voted aye. Motion carried.

Board Of Bennett County Commission

/s/ Jeff Slattery, Chairman


/s/ Angela Hicks, Auditor

The next regular meeting will be Thursday, February 20th, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in the Courthouse. 

Published once at the total approximate cost of $153.09

Published: February 19, 2020

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