Official Newspaper for the City of Bison, Perkins County, and the Bison School District A Publication of Ravellette Publications, Inc.
P.O. Box 429 • Bison, South Dakota 57620-0429 Phone: (605) 244-7199 • FAX (605) 244-7198
Volume 31Number 27December 19, 2013
Holistic Managementworkshops to be heldin McIntosh and EagleButte, South Dakota
The South Dakota GrasslandsCoalition, Corson, Perkins,Dewey, Ziebach, and Tri-CountyConservation Districts, TatankaRC&D, and the Natural Re-sources Conservation Servicehave rescheduled their 3 day Ho-listic Resource ManagementWorkshops. One will be heldTuesday, January 7 throughThursday, January 9, 2014 from10:00 AM to 5:30 PM each day atthe Cheyenne River Motel Con-ference Room in Eagle Butte,South Dakota. The second onewill be held Wednesday, January15 through Friday, January 17,
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Commissioners tackle a variety of issues
By Beth Hulm
Commissioners had a widerange of topics on their agendalast week and, as always, roadswere a priority discussion.The meeting kicked off at 10a.m. with the decision to moveforward in hiring an engineer forPerkins County’s share of Rail-way Street, which runs on Lem-mon’s north side, bordering (andshared with) Adams County, ND.That road has become heavilytraveled with increased facilitiesat Southwest Grain.Perkins County will pay for theroad that begins at Lemmon’s citylimits and goes west, for aboutthree-quarters of a mile, to theNorth Dakota state line. Engi-neering alone for that section willamount to somewhere between$600,000 and $700,000.Commissioner Rusty Foster isconcerned. “I’m really confusedhow Perkins County can keep upwith Adams County,” he said.North Dakota has the oil money(and federally matched funds)that South Dakota doesn’t have.Perkins County owns the southhalf of the road and AdamsCounty the northern part. Be-cause federal money is involved,the road has to be built by federalstandards.Commissioner Mike Schwei-tzer assured his peers that all en-tities have to agree – the twostates, two counties, City of Lem-mon and the Department of Transportation. “If you guys aretrying to tell me that this roaddoesn’t need to be fixed, he said ,“you need to drive it.”“I don’t argue that it don’t needto be fixed,” Foster said. Hethinks it could’ve been done for alot less money if the feds weren’tinvolved. He termed it “rip-off deal.”Wayne Henderson, commis-sioner for the western part of Perkins County, chipped in with,“We don’t have much choice, re-ally” and Willard Ottman, Lem-mon, remarked, “You’re damnedif you do and you’re damned if you don’t.” Bison area commis-sioner Brad Besler had little tosay about it.Schweitzer called it “a greatproblem to have” because thatroad brings many trucks to Lem-mon and the people driving themspend money in town, maybeeven making it their “tradetown.”Contracts won’t be bid untillate 2014 for construction in2015.Schweitzer was equally vocalabout a road project within theTown of Bison. Chairman JuellChapman has a letter from Gov.Dennis Daugaard in which heawards the Town of Bison a$193,500 Community AccessGrant through the Department of Transportation to fix Coleman Ave. That street is the main thor-oughfare into town, leading to theschool, government offices, courthouse and most of Bison’s busi-nesses including Grand Electricand West River Telephone, whichare located on Coleman Ave.The grant is a 60/40 match anddoes not include any engineeringfees, estimated at approximately$90,000. Last September, mem-bers of the Town Board had ap-proached commissioners, asking
Grade 5th and 6th singing Winter Fantasy at the Bison School Christmas concert. Left to Right: Katie Kvale, Veronica Voller,Samantha Jamerson, Kiley Schuchard, Hannah McKinstry, Taylor Fisher.
Bison School Christmas concert
them to share the engineeringfees and 40-percent match be-cause, although it lies withinBison’s city limits, most of it – from Carr Street north to High-way 20 - is county-owned.Schweitzer predicts that therewill be “backlash” from the Cityof Lemmon if the county helpspay for repairs. Lemmon also hasa county road that runs throughit. “It is not fair,” he said, but healso said that he won’t stand inthe way of the project being done.If the county does help supportthe project, Schweitzer would bein favor of turning the road overto the town after it is finished.In the application that thetown wrote, they included a reso-lution, passed by the town’strustees, in which they statedthat they would be solely respon-sible for maintaining the roadonce it was fixed. The next step isto wait for somebody from theDOT to visit with details. Acting Highway Superintend-ent Duane Holtgard was awardeda $500 bonus check for everymonth in that position, beginningDec. 1, until a new superintend-ent is hired. He’ll also receive a$50 stipend for the use of his per-sonal cell phone. Holtgard visited with thecounty board for a long time lastweek, bringing them up to dateon projects that are in processand those that need to be accom-plished. At Holtgard’s recommendation,one of the two trucks that wererecently ordered will be cancelled,mostly because they aren’t readyfor delivery yet. The county willhope to piggyback off a BrookingsCounty bid to equip the remain-ing truck.There are still vacancies on thehighway crew and Holtgard saidthat wages need to be higher sothat those positions can be filled. All employee wages for next yearwill be set at the January 7 meet-ing.Highway workers will be get-ting a new winter coat. They arenecessary for “warmth andsafety,” Holtgard said.Todd Fink, of Fink Dirtmoving,
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