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County Commissioners discuss finance, infrastructure issues

With all members present, the Lincoln County Commissioners met Tuesday, April 2 in the Lincoln County Boardroom. Commissioners heard agenda items including a new Auditor’s office position, bridge grants and labor agreements. 

Auditor, Sheri Lund was the first to present in front of the commission, she requested board action to authorize recruitment of a Finance Manager within the Auditor’s Office. 

“I am coming to you today with two requests; my first request would be to add a position to my office of finance manager. The position’s primary responsibilities would be to understand and implement financial tasks related to the Auditor’s Office. The position would encompass the Chief Deputy Auditor’s responsibilities and would also include preparing financial reports, grant tracking, and all other aspects of the tax levy process. The second request would be upon hiring of the Finance Manager to reclassify the current Chief Deputy Auditor from a 1077 to an election coordinator 10610. The duties of the Chief Deputy Auditor would be transferred to the Finance Manager and in reviewing of the previous classification of elections specialists it is not in line with the duties performed or in comparison to medium to large counties because the position has oversight of temporary staff and election day workers. The reclassification would be budget neutral, there would be no hourly wage change in the reclassification and adding the Finance Manager would be between $33.63 and $37.11 per hour,” she said. 

Motion approved.

Highway Superintendent, Terry Fluit joined the meeting for board action to authorize and approve a contract with Duininck Inc for the 2024 paving project.

“We bid this back in February and awarded it back in late February in the amount of $2,299,446.68,” he said. 

With no questions from the commission, the motion was approved.

Fluit requested board action to approve and authorize an agreement with the South Dakota Department of Transportation for a preservation grant for structure #42-020-201, project #BRF 3017 (00)24-1 PCN 09M0. 

“The grant amount was for $1,253,100 for the structure that is on County Road 105, about a tenth of a mile South of County Road 140. We refer to this structure as the Orange Bridge. A little over a year ago, I came to you and we had a previous grant for this structure to do this work, but we had bid this out and the bids that came in were $600,000 to $700,000 over what cost estimates were. We tried to get additional money through a granting through the state, they said no, so we relinquished this grant and in March we were awarded this funding for this structure to get this work done,” he said. 

Motion approved.

Fluit next requested board action to approve and authorize the chair to execute an agreement with the South Dakota DOT for a preservation grant in the amount of $1,524,200 for structure #42-244-255. 

“This structure is what we call the Hudson Bridge, it is across the state line going into Iowa just East of Hudson. This will be budgeted in 2025, the Counties cost in this is going to be about $410,000. That will be about 20 percent of the total project cost. The structure was built in I believe 2008 and we have some pretty invasive work that we need to do on this structure,” he said. 

Motion approved.

Assistant Commission Administrative Officer, Paul Anderson requested board action to approve an agreement with JSA Engineers and Land Surveyors for services related to the development of an asphalt, off-street parking lot to serve the Lincoln County Courthouse and downtown Canton for $16,900 plus applicable taxes.

 “As you know, we had the demolition project of the old jail, that is now done and talking with the City of Canton, they were also agreeable to installing an off-street parking lot. We reached out and got quotes from five or six local engineering firms and we got four back. Of those four, JSA was the lowest. An additional benefit of working with JSA on this is that they are the contracted engineer for the City of Canton so it will improve communication with the city as we look at things like traffic flow and meeting the city standards,” he said. 

Commissioner Joel Arends asked how many parking spots would be added with the improvements. Anderson figured there would be around 37 additional parking spaces when the project is completed. Motion approved 4-1 with Mike Poppens being the Nay vote.

Commission Admin Officer, Steve Rasmussen requested board action to approve and execute the labor agreement between Lincoln County and Lincoln County Highway Union Local 2253. 

“This was a long negotiation, but I appreciate the professionalism of the Highway Union and the collaboration in getting this contract done. They had a current one-year agreement, so this will be a three-year. Some highlights from the county’s perspective, we did some updates to our handbook related to employee benefits and bringing in best practices, one being the PTO ESL program as well as establishing evals on a higher date and promotion date as opposed to the end of the year where you end up having all these evals done and you’re not having a meaningful eval. So throughout the year, it gives us the ability to give meaningful feedback to employees,” he said.

 Motion approved.


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