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Bison Courier, March 20, 2014

Bison Courier, March 20, 2014

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Wages, a concern for all em-ployees, were discussed at greatlength. Highway SuperintendentDuane Holtgard had a request.He explained that his secretaryPatsy Crow is "much more than asecretary" and is a very helpfulassistant for his department andasked that she be given a wageincrease and a new title. Afterdoing the job for 26 years he be-lieves it is time for a well de-served raise. After somediscussion a motion passed togive her the title of Administra-tive Assistant and also to in-crease her pay to that of a deputywhich is $13.62 per hour.More discussion developed con-cerning those employees whohaven't gotten a raise. As a resulta 50¢ an hour raise was given toDeputy Finance Officers , DeputyRegister of Deeds, Deputy Direc-tor of Equalization I & II, State's Attorney's Secretary, Sheriff’s Administrative Deputy, Custo-dian and the County HealthNurse Secretary.Finance Officer Sylvia Chap-man also had a request to make.Because her Deputy I works ex-tensively in the Finance Officeand in the Treasurer's Office sheasked that Deputy I’s title bechanged to Deputy Finance Offi-cer I and her pay be raised by 25¢ per hour in addition to the 50¢raise for deputies. By unanimousapproval a motion passed tomake this change. These in-creases will be made retroactiveto February 26, the first day of payroll.Commissioner MikeSchweitzer suggested that theHighway Superintendent and theSheriff have the same wage. Aftera short discussion this idea wasacted upon and passed by a unan-imous vote.Should merit pay be a possibil-ity in the future? CommissionerWillard Ottman suggested thatwages be discussed each year atbudget time in July. Six monthevaluations could also be com-pleted by the department headsfor their departments. "It, meritpay, can increase productivity,"remarked Holtgard. In the futurethe department heads will have ameeting to discuss these ideas.Their suggestions will be "hashedover" at budget time.County Assessor, Rownea Ger-bracht was present to discussbids for a Geographic InformationSystem (GIS) she has requested.It is a web based global informa-tion system for county govern-ment. In fact the system wouldconstruct parcel layers for theviewer to examine. As a result itwould be very useful for analyze-
continued on page 6 
Commissioners discuss wages once again
 By Beth Hulm
TSP Engineers will soon be vis-iting with school board membersand administration again regard-ing the feasibility of building anew school in the Bison district.School board members have en-gaged those services for $10,000.The meeting will be a needs as-sessment and will consider suchthings as site location, space re-quirements, classroom sizes, cur-riculum objectives and its impacton the facility, building lay-out,the budget and a strategy for theexisting building.Board member Marcie Kari en-couraged the board to postponethe meeting from its originalMarch 20 schedule. She wantsthem to be prepared for the meet-ing. Things to do ahead of time,she said, would be to contactlandowners who have vacant lotsaround town to find out whatmight be available for the schoolto purchase. Finances need to becritiqued, also. “I just want us togo into it knowing what wewant,” she said. That, of course,is “…if the public votes it in.”Coming on the heels of propertytax statements and the increasesthat they reflected, Kari said,“This is coming at a difficulttime.”The current building has beenappraised at $6.4 million. Theboard suggests keeping the cur-rent gymnasium, locker rooms,cafeteria and office space andpossibly selling the elementarybuilding, which could be movedfrom the premises. The originalbuilding would likely be demol-ished. They would hope to con-struct the new building with a $7million budget.“Let’s have our stuff in a row,”Kari urged.She thinks that the generalpublic does not realize the extentof the damages in the currentbuilding. To fix everything thatgood.” The district has six monthsto make amends.Most critical was the absence of a school improvement plan forgrades 7 - 12. The last one onrecord is from 2007/08. The planis supposed to be updated everyfive years. Board member Eric Arneson asked, “How big of anelephant is that?” Azevedoreplied, “A big elephant!” Withher usual tenacity, she will tacklethat project.
continued on page 7 
needs repairs would require thatthe building be brought up to American Disability Act stan-dards. That would require mil-lions of dollars.Superintendent Marilyn Azevedo will speak with TSPabout changing the meeting dateto give the board and administra-tion more time to prepare for themeeting.Board members will considerimplementing a middle school forgrades 6-8 into any plans for anew building. They hope it willhelp them to retain teachers.Currently, teachers have classeswith students in grades 7 -12 andmultiple lesson plans to prepareeach week. It could cause burnout. Having 2-3 teachers, specifi-cally for middle school, might al-leviate that problem.Elizabeth Bonacci, Englishteacher for two years, submittedher resignation, effective at theend of the current school year.She feels that the job is biggerthan she can do justice to. In ad-dition to her classroom duties,Bonacci has been the oral interpand drama coach. She’d like topursue other interests that shecurrently has no time for.The state recently conductedan accreditation study at Bisonschool and, in some areas, it hascome up short. “We got some re-ally high marks in some areas,” Azevedo said, adding that, unfor-tunately, other areas were “not so
School moves forward with engineering firm to discuss building needs and options
Bison Courier
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 40March 20, 2014
Includes Tax
Moreau Township Equaliza-tion
meeting has been postponesto Sunday, March 23, 2014 at3p.m. at the Welter residence.
Its Bingo time!!
March 23 at1:30. Community Center. Lunchwill be served, $1.00 per card play
all afternoon. Lots of  prizes.
Perkins County HighwayDept
. has started spring bladingand are pulling the shoulders. Wewill be leaving a windrow alongedge of road, so please drive withcare.
Highlights & Happenings
Rylee Veal and Great Aunt Helen Aaker watch their Bingo cards and have Bingo cards availablefor guests as they come in. Any fees collected for playing are 100% payed back out to players.
Bingo! Itʼs what we do
Last week the Food and Drug Administration or FDA launchedits proposed changes to NutritionFacts labels on packaged foods.The proposed changes are in-tended to more accurately reflectthe nutritional value and caloriecontent of packaged foods. Thechanges were published in theFederal Register on March 3 andwill be open for public commentfor 90 days before final rulemak-ing and implementation.The proposed changes repre-sent the first major overhaul of food-nutrition labeling in 20years. The first thing consumerswill notice is greater emphasis oncalories and serving size. Thenew labels will make the totalcalorie count for a serving of foodmore prominent by using largerand bolder type and listing theamount of calories per servingsize. They will also more clearlyshow the serving size which willbe updated to reflect today's eat-ing habits. By law, serving sizesmust be based on what people ac-tually eat, not on what theyshould be eating. In addition, the rules wouldalso update the list of nutrientsthat are required or permitted tobe declared on food labels. Forthe first time, "Added Sugars"will be included since, on aver-age, Americans eat 16% of theirdaily calories from sugars addedduring food production. Second,calories from fat will no longer belisted. Instead, the kinds of fat,including total fat, saturated fat,and trans fat will be required.Next, FDA's proposed changeswill update the Daily Values of various nutrients and move thatinformation to the left of thelabel, helping consumers visuallyand quickly put nutrient informa-tion in context. Finally, the newlabels will require the amounts of potassium and Vitamin D to belisted. Vitamin D because it isimportant for healthy bones, andpotassium because it helps lowerblood pressure and prevent hy-pertension.
Proposed changes to food labels
The primary goal of the FDA'sproposed changes to the Nutri-tion Facts label is to expand andhighlight the information con-sumers need most when makingfood choices, particularly thosewith certain health issues such ashigh blood pressure or cardiovas-cular health. FDA is dividing theproposed changes into two pro-posed rules, one that would up-date the nutrition informationbased on nutrition science andthe label design to highlight im-portant information, and the sec-ond to cover the changes toserving size requirements and la-bels for certain package sizes. Tocomment on either or both rules,please visit FDA's official docketat www.regulations.gov. We encourage all South Dakotabeef producers to get involved by joining the South Dakota Cattle-men's Association. To learn moreabout SDCA or to join online,please visit www.sdcattlemen.org
2 • The Bison Courier •
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Periodicals Postage Paid at Bison, SD 57620POSTAL PERMIT #009-944
Published weekly every Thursday by Ravellette Publ., Inc.at PO Box 429, Bison SD 57620-0429
 Telephone: 605-244-7199 • Fax: 605-244-7198
E-mail Addresses: courier@sdplains.comcouriernews@sdplains.comSUBSCRIPTION RATES:
Bison............................................................................$36.04 Meadow, Shadehill, Prairie City, Reva & Lodgepole........$35.36Lemmon........................................................................$36.04out of Perkins County..................................$39.00 + sales taxout of state (
Includes all Hettinger addresses.) 
...$39.00 (no tax)
Send address changes to  The Bison Courier, PO Box 429, Bison SD 57620-0429
Display and Classified Advertising: Mon-days at 12:00 p.m. Legals: Fridays at 12:00 p.m. 
Don Ravellette
 Editor/Office Manager/Reporter:
Arlis Seim
 Ad Sales:
Beth Hulm
(605-244-5231), Beth@sdplains.com
Ravellette Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Nothing may bereprinted, photocopied or in any way reproduced from this publication, in wholeor in part, without the written consent of the publisher.
Everyone is invited to hear the 2014 graduating Seniors who attend Grace Baptist Church share their Senior Sermons during the10:30 a.m. service as follows: Sunday, March 16 -Seth Buer and Tricia Wilken. Sunday, March 23 -Brian LaDue and Drake Butsavage.
 Alcoholics Anonymous
is meeting weekly in Bison.The group meets every Thursday at 7:00 p.m. in thebasement of the Presbyterian Church. Everyone iswelcome.To have your NON-PROFIT meeting listed here,please submit them by calling: 244-7199, or e-mailingto: courier@sdplains.com. We will run your event no-tice the two issues prior to your event at no charge.
 T h is 
Don’t Forget to File! 
Haley J. Evans
Tax & Financial Services123 S. Main • Hettinger, ND 701-567-2856 haleyevans@ndsupernet.com schedule your tax appointment now 
Dear Editor,Our Governor, with the supportof the Republican controlled legis-lature, has rejected the Medicaidexpansion portion of the Afford-able Care Act (ACA). The goal of the ACA is to provide affordable,reliable health insurance to every-one. This is accomplished by spec-ifying what health insurance mustprovide (i.e. the reliable portion)and by providing assistance topurchase private health insurance(i.e. the affordable portion). Thosewith the lowest incomes are to becovered by the Medicaid system.However, significant numbers of lower income Americans are noteligible for Medicaid benefits, sothe ACA expanded Medicaid eligi-bility. The ACA provides subsidiesfor those with incomes at thepoverty level and slightly above sothey can afford to purchase pri-vate health insurance in spite of their low income. The ACA doesnot provide subsidies for thosewith incomes below the povertylevel because the ACA intended forthem to be covered by Medicaid.Unfortunately, people with in-comes below the poverty level whoare not disabled and are livingalone or with non family membersare not eligible for Medicaid. The ACA expanded Medicaid to coverall of these people, and to includethose whose incomes are up to138% of the poverty level.South Dakota, along with sev-eral other Republican controlledstates, has rejected the Medicaidexpansion. By doing so, our Stategovernment has denied health in-surance to many of our neediestSouth Dakotans. State Represen-tative Bernie Hunhoff in an articlein the Yankton Press and Dakotansays “a New England Journal of Medicine study says the lack of Medicaid Expansion will cost thelives of 94 South Dakotans”.THIS IS WRONG!!!! Our incum-bent Republican legislators sup-ported this travesty and for thisthey should be replaced.
Sincerely,Carol WilliamsYankton, South Dakota
Letter to the Editor
The Bison Courier •
Thursday, March 20, 2014
• 3
3rd Annual Chili Cook Off!
Saturday, March 22 The Buzz Stop5 p.m.
Chili ContestantsWanted
How good is your Chili??? Lets find out!!!!
1st2nd3rd placeprizes!
Remainder of Chili will be available for “FreeWill Offering” - proceeds go to a local charity.
Tasters needed for judging from 5 - 6 p.m.
Call 244-7760 for more information
Registration forms available at the Buzz Stop. Forms must be returned no later than March 20th. Space is limited - sign up soon!
 People who have moved into anew or different home over thelast year have until Saturday,March 15, to file for the owner oc-cupied, single family dwellingcertificate to be eligible for aproperty tax reduction. “We want to make sure theproperty tax reduction is receivedby everyone eligible,” said Gover-nor Dennis Daugaard. “If youhave moved into a new home overthe past year, check your assess-ment notice to ensure your homeis classified as owner occupied.” Any South Dakota homeownerwho owned and occupied a homeon November 1, 2013, is eligiblefor the classification and propertytax reduction. Taxpayers whohave received the reductions pre-viously and still own and occupythe same home will continue toreceive the property tax reductionwithout filing a new certificate. Before filling out the applica-tion, new homeowners shouldcheck their valuation notices.New homeowners whose propertyis classified as owner occupied onthe valuation notice will receivethe property tax deduction auto-matically and do not need to fillout an application. Homeownersshould be receiving those noticesin the mail. Taxpayers who have purchasedor built a new home prior to No-vember 1, 2013, and homeownerswho have not previously appliedfor the classification must applyto their county director of equal-ization by March 15. Applicationspostmarked by March 15 willqualify. The certification of owner occu-pied dwelling form is available onthe Department of Revenue web-site http://dor.sd.gov/Taxes/Prop-erty_Taxes/Forms.aspx. Homeowners who need formsor have questions regarding theowner occupied certificate shouldcontact their county director of equalization or the property andspecial taxes division of the SouthDakota Department of Revenuein Pierre at 605-773-3139.
Property tax reduction
Local input needed 
Countyʼs comprehensive plan nears final stages 
 By Beth Hulm
Thing are progressing towards finalization as acommittee, appointed by Perkins County Commis-sioners, seeks final input for a Comprehensive Planthat has been in the works for a year and a half.Todd Fink, Prairie City, chairman of the PerkinsCounty Planning Board, hopes that a final plan canbe presented to the County Commission this spring.Worried that oil activity from the north couldeventually move into Perkins County, the five-manboard of county commissioners started a conversa-tion in August, 2012 to protect the county’slandowners. Although cautious about writing zon-ing laws, they determined that it might be thelesser of two evils to enact some regulations. It isn’tonly the man camps that come with oil activity thathas the board worried. They also think about ex-pansion of large animal feed lots, wind energy andother potential industry moving into PerkinsCounty. Currently, there are no regulations govern-ing land use.Before there can be any zoning laws, however,there must first be a comprehensive plan. There isno other way for local government to gain authorityover land use.From the beginning, commissioners have made itclear that they want to respect, not restrict, countyresidents when it comes to property rights. Theplan will provide the framework to allow PerkinsCounty to move forward while protecting its ruralvalues and adapting to changes that may occur.Blaise Emerson, Black Hills Council of Local Gov-ernments, Rapid City, joined early conversationswith county commissioners, visiting the board roomand then conducting public meetings throughoutthe county in Septem-ber, 2012. PerkinsCounty is a relativelynew member of BHCLG, which offersits members assistancewhen writing grants,loan applications - andcomprehensive plans.In April, 2013, commissioners officially hiredBlack Hills Council and named a committee to rep-resent them. Emerson turned the project over toCommunity Development Planner Ali DeMersse-man, who has been working with the PerkinsCounty committee ever since.They meet regularly, have sponsored a commu-nity survey and have held public meetings in bothBison and Lemmon. Currently, they are requestingfeed back on the first draft of their plan. Countyresidents are urged to go Perkins County’s Website(http://perkinscounty.org) to respond to what’s beendone so far. After a time of public comment, a publichearing will be held with the planning board beforea final draft is presented to county commissionersfor approval.The first draft of the plan was introduced at apublic meeting in Lemmon on February 21. Thatdraft is the result of the survey and comments fromthe public meeting that was held in Bison in Octo-ber.The county’s majority strength, according to sur-vey respondents, is its people. Those who answeredthe survey stressed the importance of local busi-nesses and would like more of them, especially eat-ing establishments.Tabulated comments show the county gettinghigh marks in the areas of schools and education,recreational opportunities, public safety and theoverall appearance of the county. Respondents indicated a need for improvementin road conditions, job and shopping opportunities,and available housing.Those who offered input indicated that they hopethat Perkins County will grow but they don’t wantgrowth to change the way of life as it exists. Theywish that young people would stay to work andraise families, rather than moving away. As a result of both the survey and public meet-ings, four key goals have been established: 1.) Fos-ter collaboration, coordination and partnershipsthroughout the county; 2.) Promote and grow thecounty’s economy; 3.) Preserve the county’s landand natural resources and 4.) Protect the county’srural culture and values.The feedback survey, currently being conducted,specifically asks for opinions on those four goals.“We need to know the opinion of the people thatlive here,” Fink said.Policy statements and strategies are written intothe comprehensive plan to help in achieving thespecified goals. Already, a county website has beenbuilt to help keep citizens informed. It can be ac-cessed at http://perkinscounty.org and contains thefirst draft of the comprehensive plan for communityreview. Copies are also available in the Director of Equalization’s office at the courthouse. After reviewing the plan, it is important that res-idents of Perkins County complete the feedbackform.Some interesting statistics, which DeMerssemanrelates in the first draft, include population trendsand other demographics, as follows:In 1910, when the county was established, therewere 11,348 people living here. Census 2010recorded only 2,982. Recent census estimates doshow a slight increase since 2010, up to 3,037 peo-ple.The median age of county residents is 48.7 com-pared to South Dakota’s median of 37.1. PerkinsCounty has a lowerpercentage of childrenunder five and ahigher percentage of people over 65 thanthe state does. The av-erage household sizeis 2.15 people com-pared to the state’s2.43. There are a high percentage of people over 65who live alone.In Perkins County, 87% of its residents graduatefrom high school and 18% earn Bachelor degrees.State figures are slightly higher. In 2010, therewere 135 businesses in Perkins County and 63.7%of the population was part of the labor force. Unem-ployment is low, at just 1.2%. Agriculture, of course, is the largest industry, fol-lowed by education, healthcare and social service.There is a total of 1, 774 housing units through-out the county. Most are in Lemmon. Over 76% aresingle-family units and about 12% are mobilehomes. Over 26% are vacant. More than half of thehousing within the county was constructed prior to1960!The final draft of the Comprehensive Plan willhave three important components – land, peopleand economy – and will be written as the people of this county want it to be! That’s why communityinput is so important, Fink said.DeMersseman, has also stressed the importanceof additional community input to ensure that thegoals, policies, and strategies presented in this planreflect the desires of the Perkins County commu-nity.Working with Fink and DeMersseman on thecomprehensive planning board are Dan Kvale,Geraldine Peck and Luke Clements, Bison; Chuck Anderson, Dave Johnson and county commissionerWillard Ottman, Lemmon; Vaughn Meyer, Sorum;and Reggie Kennedy, rural Faith. Rownea Ger-bracht, Perkins County Director of Equalization, isthe liaison between the committee and the countycommission.
“We need to know theopinion of the people wholive here,” Fink said.

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