County Highway Workers See Wage Increase

Belle Fourche News

by Betty Bruner
Sept. 15, 2021

BELLE FOURCHE-During the regular Butte County Commission meeting, County Highway Administrative Assistant Lori Johnston, on behalf of Superintendent Dwayne Heidrich, submitted a request to increase wages for each of the Highway Department’s employees. She explained that regular wage increases had not been given for some time and it had been brought to Heidrich’s attention that the process needed his deliberation. Employees have been with the highway department from two to 14 years. After extended discussion, the commissioners decided to approve the wage increase with back pay to be included.

Donna Jones was appointed by the commission at Tuesday’s meeting as Butte County’s Interim Director of Equalization and Planning. Jones has been serving as Deputy of Equalization and Planning preceding Lisa Nelson’s recent transfer to the County Auditor’s Office. She will serve as Interim Director while the county advertises the position of Deputy of Equalization and Planning for a fitting replacement.

Highway Superintendent Heidrich has received three bids for a tractor replacement needed by the county. Lindskov Implement of Mobridge gave a lease quote. Grosenburg gave quotes for purchasing a John Deere 6155M tractor. Butler Cat gave quotes for a Massey Ferguson 7715 as a purchase and as a lease.

The commissioners discussed whether it was necessary to purchase/lease a new tractor at this time since mowing may not be a priority at this time. Chair Karol Herman asked if it would be possible to extend the lease from Grosenburg for the rest of the fall season. Johnston said that she would check on that process.

If a tractor is purchased before the end of the budget year, the county’s budget would need to be supplemented, however if the purchase could wait until next year, it could be built into the budget. The final decision was put on hold until more information could be gathered.

The Helmer Road project remains at a standstill until MDU concludes burying the line along the road. At this point, MDU continues to stall in completing the project, but as soon as the line is in place, the road will be brought up to specs.

Helmer Road perseveres as a main thoroughfare for residents in the area. Traffic counts for the road range from 251 to 431 vehicles per day; average speed is 48 mph.

Sheriff Fred Lamphere presented a Memorandum of Understanding between Butte County Sheriff’s Office and the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office regarding detox services at Care Campus. Care Campus Detox facility provides 24-hour supervision, observation, and support for clients who are intoxicated or experiencing withdrawal.

The BCSO agrees to pay the Care Campus Detox facility at a rate of $226 per day. BCSO will also pay any costs incurred from additional services administered, to include but not limited to detox treatment and support, custodial days, evaluation, Tuberculosis and urinalysis testing. BCSO understands that it is the sole responsibility to transport clients to and from the facility. Emergency medical and/or dental care will be provided by PCSO.

The MOU was signed by Chair Herman.

Butte Lawrence County 4-H Advisor Michelle May announced that three leaders in the county were inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame. They were Ree Reich, Cindy Riley, and Tom Smith.

May also listed the 4-H member report for 2020-2021. Butte County had 97 members while Lawrence County had 43 members. There were 86 leaders in the two counties.

The County Fair had 1016 static projects enrolled. At the fair there were 52 swine, 109 beef, 265 sheep, 122 goats, 112 horses, 111 poultry, 7 small animals, and 17 dairy cattle entered in the fair this year. Eight-six static projects were taken to the State Fair in Huron, along with five families representing livestock.

The next regular commission meeting will be Tuesday, September 21 at 1:30 p.m.