The Bison Courier •
Thursday, March 20, 2014
3rd Annual Chili Cook Off!
Saturday, March 22 The Buzz Stop5 p.m.
How good is your Chili??? Lets find out!!!!
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.