Codington County commissioners took no major action during their Tuesday meeting but did hear from several sources during the 90-minute meeting.
The commissioners approved directing $5,750 of the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment funds to the Boys and Girls Club Teen Court. The state provides the money to the state’s attorney office, which then consults with the commission on where to allocate it.
The commissioners agreed Teen Court is a good choice. It’s a diversion program where defendants between the ages of 10 and 18 are given a second chance. The state’s attorney’s office allows some defendants to stand in front of a jury of their peers to explain the crime they committed.
According to Kyle Thyen of the Boys & Girls Club, the defendants, if convicted, must perform community service, must apologize and must write an essay on the effects of alcohol on youth. If defendants refuse they are returned to the state’s judicial system.
Louis Canfield of the B&G Club said a $21,000 Teen Court Association grant has expired with no future funding in site.
“At least these funds will help us plan for the short term,” he said.
The commissioners also were updated on the Dakota Range Wind project which may eventually place energy-generating wind turbines in Codington, Grant and Roberts County.
Mark Mauersberger, DRW project manager for Apex Clean Energy, said precise tower locations in Codington County have not yet been determined pending review by Xcel Energy of Minneapolis, which will purchase the energy produced by the wind farm. He did say “We’re not going to expand the footprint” in the county.
When and if the project does expand it will be into Roberts County, and Mauersberger said studies are being done to avoid impacting culturally sensitive areas.
What he wanted from the commissioners was a letter of support.
“We would appreciate a similar letter from Codington County as that’s been requested by Xcel Energy,” Mauersberger said. “We’ve received similar support from Grant County. We’re coming before you to ask the same.”
The project and Apex’s approach to those who will be affected by the towers has drawn praise from the commission. A letter will be drawn up but will require a vote in the near future before it’s sent.
Ray Kranz of Kranz Insurance and two representatives of Sanford Health Insurance updated commissioners on the 2018 policy. All single and family premiums are increasing for 2018 over what we paid in 2017 if the commissioners approve the premiums next week.
Ben Stout, who does economic development work for the S.D. Department of Agriculture, spoke to the commission about the positive impact large livestock operations can have on host counties.
Stout provided economic comparisons of Sioux County in Iowa and Kandiyohi County in Minnesota to Codington County, touting the financial advances offered by the two out-of-state counties. He said large operations are usually successful and non-obtrusive if managed correctly.
He also stated that the human health in Sioux County, which has more than 800,000 farm animals in it, is one of the best in the United States.
In another matter, the commissioners agreed to begin advertising for a new deputy state’s attorney. The position became open when Becky Morlock Reeves was appointed the new state’s attorney when Patrick McCann became a magistrate judge.
The new deputy’s pay will range from a low of $53,828 to a high of $65,000 depending on experience.
During reports, Director of Equalization Shawna Constant gave an update on ongoing appraisals and also answered questions on tax adjustments on bumper strips that farms can deploy to reduce nutrient runoff into waterways.
Anne Kriese of the Community Health Nurse’s office said that flu shots begin today (Oct. 11) and that immunizations for children ages six months to age 18 will be held Oct. 26 at the Extension Complex.
The commissioners also agreed to pay $9466 to receive flood monitoring from U.S. Geological Survey stations in the county. They also approved a plat resolution for the Nelson Addition in Henry Township.
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