Mitchell Honored for Ten Years

Belle Fourche News

A special moment took place during the regular County Commission meeting to honor long-time highway mechanic Kenneth Mitchell. He was honored for ten years of service as a part of the Highway Crew as a mechanic.

Public Comment was centered around the processes used by the commissioners to handle the affairs of the county including supplying information to the public, violations of marijuana license approval, and distribution of money brought in by taxes.

Sue Broadhurst wanted an answer about Public Comment on the Five-Year Bridge Plan brought up at the September 19 meeting. According to SDCL 1-27-1.16, Open Meetings, “ any printed material relating to an agenda item of the meeting is prepared or distributed by or at the direction of the governing body or any of its employees …the material shall either be posted on the governing body’s website or made available at the official business office….”

Broadhurst remarked that it was difficult to make an informed public comment on something that she had not seen any information. She wanted an answer from the commissioners so that she could be informed on any business coming before the commission. “I want all the information before the meeting,” she said.

Travis Ismay again asked why GLP Custer Dispensary and Cultivation was approved when there was clear violation of Woodruff’s paperwork. He asked for an explanation for what he sees as a violation of their own ordinance. “How much money did the county lose when the marijuana businesses violated the ordinance?” asked Katie Hoffman. She believes the State’s Attorney is being frivolous with various charges she has made.

Hoffman continued to ask questions about taxes, wages, and other places she sees money being bled from the county. “Our county looks like our courthouse-neglected and falling apart,” she said.

A representative from Brosz to present the bridge inspections that are due this year. As he explained, the inspections are of older and more troubled bridges. He also noted that he has seen notable improvement in the bridges throughout the county.

First on the list was Mail Road bridge. This bridge received a BIG preliminary engineering grant. The bridge is about 83 years old.

The bridge on Snoma Road is a bridge that SD DOT has said is scour critical. Bridge scour is erosion surrounding a bridge foundation and is the number one reason for bridge failure. DOT is enforcing the inspection of bridges that have a scour problem.

The bridge on Winkler Road is another old timber bridge that must be inspected annually. Many bridges throughout South Dakota were built in the ‘50s and ‘60s and the life of the timber is aging.

Viken Road bridge has had plans submitted to DOT and Brosz is waiting on the bid letting processes. Another scour concern is the Whitewood Creek bridge that was built in 1966.

The final bridge for annual inspection is less than a mile east of Newell. It has a sheer-type crack, whether from an overload or other stress. Inspection will make sure there is no other present cracks.

The commissioners discussed repairs on the roof of the courthouse. Commissioner James Ager had received the only bid from Rapid Exterior. The company informed him that the roof was in “pretty tough shape” but was repairable.

A new membrane-like material should be stronger and more resilient than what has been used, Ager said. The work and the product all have a warranty with a total cost of $37,604.

The commissioners voted to approve the project and added that it be done as soon as possible. Commissioner Frank Walden brought information about new chairs to the commission. The chairs that he had found that are similar to the present ones cost approximately $400 each. Commissioner Karrol Herman noted that her chair was fine and didn’t need replaced. Others joined her views and the general consensus was that new chairs were not needed at this time.

The next regular meeting of the Butte County Commission will be November 7 at 9:30 a.m. in the Butte County Courthouse.