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Commissioners discuss Justice Center progress, wage adjustments, and election precinct boundary chan

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday, Nov. 14 in the Lincoln County Boardroom. Commissioners heard of updated plans to the Justice Center, adjustments to wages, election precinct boundary changes and public input.

Julie Dotzenrod from the TEGRA Group joined the meeting to give an update on the Justice Center. 

“I’m here with Lynn Remmers from JLG and we’re just here to give you kind of an update on the Lincoln County courthouse project. We have just finished design development with the drawings, so basically that is finishing up the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, design, roofing materials, interior and exterior finishes, and landscaping those type of items we had Henry Carlson do a cost model update on that as well which we’ll share with you today and then Lynn will also be sharing the schedule and just some high level interior and exterior finishes,” Dotzenrod said. 

Remmers approached the podium to give an overview of the progress this far. 

“In a month we’re going to come back to this group again and do a little bit deeper dive into the design and so what I’m going to share today will be kind of a precursor to that discussion. We’ll give you a little bit more background information kind of where we’ve been and kind of show you what we have developed in terms of some materiality and design we’re going to talk a little bit on the current budget and then talk next steps,” Remmers said. 

There have been a few updates to the schedule at the end of schematic design phase that was sent off at the end of September and sent to Henry Carlson for pricing. 

“Last week, we started doing some budget and scope alignment so spending some time in discussion with the contractors and also continuing conversations this week with subcontractors. We have a process in place that Henry Carlson is looking to bring trade partners on early and this gives us a chance to meet with those contractors talk through options and also during bidding allows us to do some early procurement,” she said. 

Even with the changes to the schedule, the project is still scheduled to begin in the Spring. The target budget for the project is $54.8 million and the project is still within the budget. The next steps in the project include further refining the scope and finalize the budgets for the December 12 meeting. The Commission thanked everyone for their time and efforts in preparing the presentation. 

Linda Montgomery joined the public comment portion of the agenda item to voice her opinion. 

“I’m here as a citizen of Lincoln County whose church just happens to be in front of this building and my question is, when we talked earlier on the church and our school and back of it was going to be left untouched and you know I look at this beautiful building and I do know that it blocks the view from one way and the other way — so that’s my question. We’re just wondering where does the church stand in that the properties on that corner? My other question is, and maybe you addressed it, in the wetland part of that land won’t support the building and I’m assuming that’s the wetland and then how much did that change this building position at all that you’re talking about, you know? I’m just asking those questions and want to see if they could be addressed, if they can’t I guess I understand that but I think those are two questions that as a community we’ve kind of talked about you know in the coffee shops,” she said.

Remmers was given the opportunity to answer some of Montgomery’s questions. 

“Yes I can speak a little bit to your question. I want to make sure I’m understanding within in regards to the church and the placement so the church itself we are not impacting this site. We are we are set back to the north a little ways and west of the church property and then the wetlands, we are the portion of the site that actually was part of the wetland delineation was the very southwest corner of the property there was a small creek that runs through that area and so I think it was .7 acres or something very, very small in terms of land area and that version of the building or of the site is not being affected at all that was part of the delineation we didn’t kind of prove that we weren’t affecting that area it’s part of the natural drainage way so and we the building then placement is for far enough away as not to impact that,” she said.

Human Resources Director, Traci Humphrey requested board action to review and approve the memorandum requesting an adjustment to the 2024 wages for Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Command Staff. 

“Last week, you all signed and approved the FOP contract in line of what we’ve done in the past and to in order to avoid wag compression the Sheriff brings the request for the command staff to receive the same annual COLA as the rest of the deputies and law enforcement there. This is the request for you all for 2024 as laid out, it is a request for a 7% wage adjustment in paragraph one for the deputies and sergeants so we’re asking in paragraph three that the command staff, which would be our chief deputy or lieutenants and our three lieutenants, received that same COLA,” she said. 

Motion approved.

Auditor, Sheri Lund joined the meeting to request board action to approve the Auditor’s proposed election precinct boundary changes. 

“With the legislative changes that were done for the boundaries in 2021, we’ve come across some problems in precincts and we need to do some adjustments the precincts that are going to be changed will be Grant, LaValley, Worthing, Lynn, and Sioux Falls 1-12,” said Lund.

 “The biggest change is going to be that the South half of Perry and LaValley are going to be combined with Grant and Worthing and then the polling locations would be in Worthing and the church. Then we have the resolution that would also combine two smaller precincts together. The precincts would be the northern Norway Fairview and Fairview Inc. combined with Hudson and Eden. We are still looking for a voting location in that precinct but combining these two precincts will bring that total precinct to 711 voters in that whole area. They’re all in the same legislative Commission and everything else, so the only thing that would change would be their voting location. The city of Tea currently all votes together in one precinct. The suggestion is to have one precinct per city ward which breaks one precinct into three. The change is necessary due to the growth in Tea to spread them out a little bit more so that there’s not so such long waiting lines. Overall the combined changes will affect about 8500 voters that will need to be notified and that will cost about $4,335. There are 13,000 total voters that will undergo a precinct change,” Lund continued. 

Motion approved.

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