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County Commission engages in zoning, TIF discussion, and infrastructure decisions

The Lincoln County Commission met Tuesday, April 9 in the Lincoln County Boardroom. Commissioners heard agenda items including the first reading of a public ordinance, grant requests and request for bids.

The first reading for an Ordinance of Lincoln County, SD, rezoning a portion (approximately 7 acres) of the property legally described as SE1/4 including Lot 7 in SE1/4 SE1/4 (Ex. Parts Sold), Section 20-T100N-R49W Springdale Township from the A-1 (Agricultural) District to the C (Commercial) District, and amending the Official Zoning Map of the Lincoln County and the City of Sioux Falls Joint Jurisdiction Area. The second reading for this Ordinance with an option for public comment will be April 23.

Chief Civil Deputy State’s Attorney, Drew DeGroot introduced Todd Meirhenry to give a presentation on Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to fund the 85th Street and Interstate 29 interchange. 

“Six or eight years ago I redrafted the tax increment law that added 11-9-8, which allowed a project cost to also be a grant or monetary obligation you could fund which as I understand your commitment is kind of a monetary obligation. It’s for a project cost which would be a governmental purpose, but it’s not going to be a project cost that the county actually owns, so under state law, you can do this. The question was, how do you pay for it, could tax increment district pay for it, and the answer is yes. How it works is that the Planning Commission meets, and they recommend after a hearing that the public gets to comment on and they recommend the creation of a tax increment district and they set the boundaries and send it to the governing body for their determination,” he said.

Commissioner Joel Arends asked if there would be any revenue reports that will be received as they go through the process for an understanding of what the increment amounts will be. 

“We are always a year in the rear, so there will be an excel sheet that shows the projections of what goes in by using the past history of that area. It takes 18 months to build a good size facility. It has to be finished prior to September 1 so that the Director of Equalization can get it on the books and then the next year you’ve got the ability to appeal the evaluation and then it comes in taxes,” Meirhenry responded.  

Mr. DeGroot asked for board action to continue its investigation of the tax increment district and provide a recommendation to the Planning Commission. Motion approved.

Airport Manager, David Myers requested the Commission to approve staff to pursue grants and funding opportunities at the airport.

 “Our business today is with the continuation of the development of the South ramp construction, and we would like approval from the board to move forward on that,” he said. 

There are no costs to the county to apply for the grants. Motion approved.

Highway Superintendent, Terry Fluit joined the meeting for board action to request bids for the new office additions at the Highway Shop. 

“Plans are getting ready to be finalized by the end of this week and we will be ready to bid by next week. We’ll get it sent out to the papers and hopefully we’ll be opening bids on May 8,” Fluit said. 

Chairman Jim Schmidt opened the floor up for public comment and Scott Montgomery took to the podium to voice his opinion. 

“I know this has been projected to be somewhere around a half a million dollars, and I ask what benefits are Lincoln County or the residents of Lincoln County going to get from this? They’ve got adequate office space now; they’re operating just fine. Should we be spending a half million dollars when the economy is where it’s at right now?” he said. 

Commissioner Arends asked Fluit if they already passed a motion for bids or if it was just for the architect. 

“It was for the architect, we had a contract a couple weeks ago with the architect and I know in later January for February I was before you just requesting to get permission to have plans drawn up, so just following the process of requesting permission to go to actual bid on this item,” he responded. 

Motion approved.

Fluit also asked for board action to request bids for crushed surfacing gravel. 

“We plan to crush about 35,000 tons this year. This is a budgeted item, I have $210,000 budgeted for this. If this is approved, it will be sent to the papers this week and we will be opening bids for this on May 1,” Fluit said. 

Motion approved.

Commissioner Joel Arends asked if there would be any revenue reports that will be received as they go through the process for an understanding of what the increment amounts will be. 

“We are always a year in the rear, so there will be an excel sheet that shows the projections of what goes in by using the past history of that area. It takes 18 months to build a good size facility. It has to be finished prior to September 1 so that the Director of Equalization can get it on the books and then the next year you’ve got the ability to appeal the evaluation and then it comes in taxes,” he responded.  

Mr. DeGroot asked for board action to continue its investigation of the tax increment district and provide a recommendation to the Planning Commission. Motion approved.

Airport Manager, David Myers requested the Commission to approve staff to pursue grants and funding opportunities at the airport.

 “Our business today is with the continuation of the development of the South ramp construction, and we would like approval from the board to move forward on that,” he said. 

There are no costs to the county to apply for the grants. Motion approved.

Highway Superintendent, Terry Fluit joined the meeting for board action to request bids for the new office additions at the Highway Shop. 

“Plans are getting ready to be finalized by the end of this week and we will be ready to bid by next week. We’ll get it sent out to the papers and hopefully we’ll be opening bids on May 8,” Fluit said. 

Chairman Jim Schmidt opened the floor up for public comment and Scott Montgomery took to the podium to voice his opinion. 

“I know this has been projected to be somewhere around a half a million dollars, and I ask what benefits are Lincoln County or the residents of Lincoln County going to get from this? They’ve got adequate office space now; they’re operating just fine. Should we be spending a half million dollars when the economy is where it’s at right now?” he said. 

Commissioner Arends asked Fluit if they already passed a motion for bids or if it was just for the architect. 

“It was for the architect, we had a contract a couple weeks ago with the architect and I know in later January for February I was before you just requesting to get permission to have plans drawn up, so just following the process of requesting permission to go to actual bid on this item,” he responded. 

Motion approved.

Fluit also asked for board action to request bids for crushed surfacing gravel. 

“We plan to crush about 35,000 tons this year. This is a budgeted item, I have $210,000 budgeted for this. If this is approved, it will be sent to the papers this week and we will be opening bids for this on May 1,” he said. 

Motion approved.

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