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County commission repeals mandatory mask rule

The Lincoln County Commission met June 23 and repealed the mandatory face mask rule for entry into the building.

Emergency manager Harold Timmerman reviewed that Minnehaha County and the City of Sioux Falls do not require masks in their administration buildings, but do in the courthouse. Union County has also discontinued the mask requirement.

The commission voted 3-1 to make wearing face masks up to the individual’s preference, with Tiffani Landeen voting no and Jim Schmidt absent at the time of the vote, though had expressed his support of keeping the face masks mandatory. Those reporting to the court system or 24/7 program are still required to wear masks, but those going to the administration offices have the choice. Temperature checks are still required at the door.

Timmerman also updated the commission on changes to the courthouse emergency plan. In the case that the building needs to be evacuated, they will use the Canton Library as the meeting place to account for everyone.

Toby Brown, planning and zoning director, presented the first reading for a rezone of 9 acres from A-1, agricultural to RR, rural residential three miles south of Harrisburg. He noted that the application does not conform to the county plans and the preliminary plan was not sufficient. Planning and zoning recommends denial.

They also had a first reading for an ordinance of Lincoln County amending Article 9, Grading and Drainage, of the 2011 Revised Subdivision Ordinance of Lincoln County. Brown said it was a housekeeping amendment to clarify submittal requirements and added language that would require a developer discharging off the property would have to notify the landowner downstream. Chairman Mike Poppens questioned that portion of the amendment and said further scrutiny was needed. Brown said a second reading and public hearing will be July 14.

The commission approved the agreement with Minnehaha County for them to use Lincoln County’s building inspector when their inspector is gone for an extended period of time. Minnehaha County would reimburse Lincoln County for $65 per inspection. He noted that is it not a mutual agreement because Lincoln County is staffed sufficiently to meet inspection needs.

Highway Department superintendent Terry Fluit presented information to reduce the speed limit on Louise Avenue north of the roundabout. It is currently 40 mph going south and 55 mph going north. The commission approved the motion to make both directions 40 mph.

Fluit also provided the grant application for approval for bridge removal on county road 126. The commission approved.

Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken, Avera’s Thomas Otten and Sioux Empire Community Triage Center interim project director Steve Lindquist presented information about the center to the commission. The idea of the center is to divert people out of the jail system and into initiatives to keep them out of jail. Currently Avera, Sanford, Minnehaha County and the City of Sioux Falls have put together more than $1 million for operating expenses. However, they need more to fund it. They asked the commission to review their information and contemplate what they could put toward helping fund it. The commission had previously supported spending $25,000 per year for three years at an earlier meeting.

Human Resources director Julia Disburg presented retirements for Janice VerMulm as a full-time tax and license clerk, and Mary Romereim as a full-time administrative assistant. She also presented information on elected official and staff salary data for consideration for the 2021 budget year. She recommended a 2 percent raise for staff.

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