Commissioners vote to leave Joe Day Road open

The regular meeting of the Gregory County Commission was held Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. in Burke.

CHS report

Teri Schoenefeld, County Health Nurse, met with the board to present the second quarter 2017 activity report from her office.

Closure of Joe Day road

Amy Bartling, States Attorney, and several residents of the county met with the board to discuss the closure of Joe Day Road to vehicle traffic requested by Jamie Soukup and Ron Soukup that was tabled at the August 15, 2017 meeting. The Day brothers presented a resolution to the commissioners to close the Joe Day road. They claim that the road is only passable in dry weather condition and that kids drive back in there and have parties. It has silted in about 15-20 feet and a boat hasn’t been launched in the area for quite some time.

On the other hand, the SDGF&P doesn’t want another access to the river closed. Information was presented for and against closing the road to vehicle traffic. John Corey, SD Game, Fish and Parks, stated there are several underdeveloped areas in the state that provide access to shore lines for hunting and fishing with bathroom facilities.

The commissioners by a three to one vote, with Jeff Johnson absent, voted to leave the road open to vehicle traffic.

Mutual aid agreement

Brad Christensen, Emergency Management Director, met with the board to present a mutual aid agreement for the sharing of resources during emergencies or disasters within South Dakota Office of Emergency Management’s Region 5. The board agreed to authorize Myron Johnson to sign the agreement.

Rural attorney recruitment


Suzanne Starr and Rachelle Norberg met with the board to explain a rural attorney recruitment program. The program is available to communities under 10,000 people to help small communities recruit attorneys. The program requires a five year commitment with a $12,500 per year payment for five years. First payment would be at the end of the first year of practice. The cost is split with the county paying 35%, United Judicial System 50% and the state bar 15%. Ms. Norberg is a third year law student from Gregory County and is interested in the program. Ms. Starr will present a contract in a couple months for the county commissioners to review and see if Gregory County is interested in the program.

2018 provisional budget

The board reviewed the following 2018 Provisional Budget and made the following change.

Operating Transfers Out - from $0 to $1,255,000 to be put in three separate funds. The road and bridge fund will receive $1,200,000; the 911 fund will receive $25,000 and the last $30,000 will be put in the Emergency Management and Disaster fund. At that time the 2018 provisional budget hearing was held as advertised with no change made.

Commissioner meeting

date change

The date of the second meeting in September was moved from the 19th to the 26th due to the annual county convention dates.

Emergency management


The commissioners authorized Myron Johnson to sign the Emergency Management State and Local Agreement.

Travel and appoint

board member

The following travel requests were approved by the board. Laura Kahler to travel to Pierre on October 13, 2017 for the annual evaluation and for the commissioners and officials to travel expenses on September 18-19, 2017 to attend the annual convention at Rapid City.

The commissioners appointed Sonny Plugge to the Gregory County Planning/Zoning Board.

Highway superintendent report

Brad Ellwanger, Highway Superintendent, met with the board to discuss various projects within the county.

Employee hired for

highway department

The commissioners hired Paul Lanz as the newest highway department employee at $16.00 per hour effective on September 18, 2017 with a six month probation period. Health insurance coverage will start October 1, 2017.

Legislative audit

The board reviewed the letter from the State of South Dakota Department of Legislative Audit for the two years ending December 31, 2016. The commission authorized Myron Johnson to sign the representation letter.

The next regular meeting for the Gregory County Commissioners will be held on Tuesday, September 26 at 9:00 a.m. at the Gregory County Courthouse.

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