Disaster Declaration approved; Culvert to be put in on 295th St.

By Taylor Risse

A special meeting of the Bennett County Board of Commissioners was held on Wednesday, June 12 to approve Bennett County’s Disaster Declaration, Resolution #2-2019.

Commissioner Judd Schomp informed the board of a used Walk ‘N’ Roll packer in Rapid City that would be very beneficial to Bennett County’s road grading process. The used Walk ‘N’ Roll packer is currently priced at $14,000 which is $6,000 less than new price. A Walk ‘N’ Roll packer is hooked behind a road grader to pack the road after it has been graded. Purchasing a Walk ‘N’ Roll retriever was also discussed. The retriever is a disk that hooks on to the front of a road grader and disks the edges of the road, making it easier to pull the shoulders up.

The motion was made and approved to purchase the Walk ‘N’ Roll packer and retriever disc subject to highway department approval.

The county received three quotes from local contractors to put in the new culvert on 295th street, near Rodney Rayhill’s. It was asked why the Bennett County road crew can’t put the new culvert in. It was explained that the water needs to be diverted while the new culvert is being put into place and there is no excavator to place the culvert.

The quotes were:

Doug O’Bryan Construction  $16,139.20

Hahn Construction $18,800

Bob Ceplecha $19,500

The quote of $16,139.20 from Doug O’Bryan Construction was approved with the condition that the work be done within 30 days beginning June 13, 2019. The culvert is at the site, ready to be put in.

County resident Adam Johnson met with the commissioners to discuss moving an existing county road due to flooding issues. Johnson lives in the southeastern portion of the county near the state line. Johnson explained to the board that the county road, where it’s currently at, is down in a hole and has four foot of water above the grade of the road.

Since the road flooded this spring, residents in the area have been driving through John Witt’s field to get to town. Johnson told the board that Witt is willing to sign an easement to turn their trail into the main road. It would be roughly one mile of new road to build. A little dirt work would need to be done, between 50-60 loads of gravel, and three auto gates. Johnson said they are willing to help with any of the labor and some the costs if needed. They are willing to put in their own auto gates until the county builds the road; they’re just asking that the county furnish the concrete sills. 

The old road would revert back to the land owner, John Witt, after the new road is built.

To get gravel to the road from the Bauman pit, it would have to be trucked through Tuthill and then to Cody. There is a stock pile of gravel from the Colome area in Kilgore for $550 a load delivered. After discussion it was thought that hauling the county’s gravel from the Bauman pit wouldn’t be much cheaper than that.

Discussions will continue to be had throughout the summer to get the road moved and built by September.

A motion was made to purchase six concrete sills from Allard Precast in Valentine for the auto gates.

Chad Christiansen with the US Fish and Wildlife Service met with the board to inform them of a lake renovation project they’re doing on Cody Lake. They are wanting to put in rotating carp screens and replace two culverts that are already there.

A motion was made to give permission to the US Fish and Wildlife Service to put in carp screens and replace the culverts.

Auditor Susan Williams requested that a rate be set for rental of graders and loaders from contractors for cleanup and damage repair from the spring storms. It was decided to set the rate at $100 an hour.

Commissioner Schomp gave an update to the board on the events leading up to getting the Allen road fixed. The road was fixed on Wednesday, June 12.

The next meeting will be Wednesday, June 19, at 9:30 a.m.

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