Destruction Empties Sign Budget

Butte County News

BELLE FOURCHE-Highway Superintendent Duane Heidrich put it simply when he said that the damage done to the county’s road signage has emptied the sign budget during his report to the Butte County Commissioners April 16.

“It’s gone,” he said. And now all they can do is fix and not replace the signs.

He went on to explain that the cost of new signs can be over $200 each, many are less than that, but the extent of the damage has added up.

Sheriff Fred Lamphere explained that deputies have been patrolling the areas where the most of the damage has been done. However, he added, there have been several times the deputies have been pulled away on other calls. Lamphere encouraged residents of Butte County to be on the lookout for anyone vandalizing the county road signs. Call Dispatch at 605-892-2737 with any information.

Director of Equalization Cristina Wilson brought a question to the Commissioners concerning the development of lots along BBCR Road. The Planning Board had given the area residents a “hard no” on any future development, nevertheless, there is a desire to begin development. She would like to know what it is going to take to start having development in that area.

There are property owners who would like to split off portions to build homes. Wilson would like discussion to begin to see how to proceed.

The commissioners discussed the need to pursue a solution. Chair James Ager recalled being on the Commission in 2013 when the original decision was made to abstain from any further development in the area. The intention was that the decision was not permanent and would need addressed in the future. 

Ager pointed out the importance of having emergency access. 

“We need to find a solution to let these people start a subdivision,” said Ager.

Sheriff Lamphere added that a secondary egress could be along a section line and not used as a regular road. However, caution needed to be exercised because of the rough terrain. 

Commissioner Chad Erk added that public safety needs to be a priority. He had checked the Subdivision Resolution and an egress road must be 20 ft. wide and graveled. 

The commissioners gave permission for Wilson and States Attorney LeEllen McCartney to go ahead and work on a resolution to bring back at a future meeting.

“We don’t want to limit landowner rights,” McCartney said. “Any limitations should be related to a purpose.”

The county received a payment from Willow Creek Wind Farm in the amount of $343,144.11. The monies were distributed to the County with $120,100.43, the Unorganized Township for $51,471.62, and $171,572 to the Newell School.

Two resolutions were given final approval. Resolution 2024-17 which provides for the cancellation of liens issued by Butte County after being determined uncollectable due to death, bankruptcy, or other circumstances. Resolution 2024-18 provides for the cancellation of checks and warrants issued by Butte County outstanding for a period of two years or more.

Brosz Engineering was given the go-ahead for bridge inspections throughout the county. The bid came in at an estimated cost of $139,400.

There were no Public Comments made during the regular meeting.

The next regular commission meeting will be May 7 at 9:30 a.m. 

    Butte County Courthouse. Butte County has a new county website. It is not fully functionable, but should be by next month.