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Lincoln County Commissioners address rezoning, licensing, and legal Issues

The Lincoln County Commissioners met Tuesday, August 22 in the Lincoln County Boardroom to discuss a rezoning request, malt beverage licenses, court appointed attorneys fees and more.

Planning Director, Toby Brown joined the meeting via teleconference for the second reading and public hearing for an Ordinance of Lincoln County, SD, rezoning Tract 1, Klinghagen’s Addition, NW1/4, Section 5-T99N-R50W, LaValley Township, from the “A-1” Agricultural District to the “C” Commercial District, and amending the Official Zoning Map of Lincoln County. The Planning Commission recommended approval.

“The applicants name is Dennis Klinghagen, he is also the property owner, this parcel is approximately 1.18 miles Southwest of the City of Harrisburg, the properties to the North and East are zoned “C” Commercial in the Valley Business Park which was developed by the applicant,” Brown said.

The City of Harrisburg has planning jurisdiction over the property. The Planning Commission approved the request unanimously. Klinghagen joined the meeting to further address any concerns over the request.

“At one time, I planned to put a house on the property, but as it turns out, I’m glad I didn’t because I would be looking at a wall of dirt and a big metal building, and since it’s the last piece I own there, I would like to make it into commercial property,” he said.

With no public opposition, motion carried.

Auditor Sheri Lund requested board action to approve a temporary permissible use malt beverage license.

“There are some folks that are going to have a birthday party out at the 4-H grounds and are requesting a permissible use out there for a small group for a couple people’s 40th birthday party, they are going to have a small group get together with 60-70 people,” she said.

The group will not sell alcohol but will be allowed to consume on the property. Motion carried.

Lund also requested board action regarding an application for County Aid Lien Compromise Settlement of juvenile court-appointed attorney fees, competency evaluation and medical records cost in the amount of $4,260.43. Tara Harberts was present at the meeting to discuss options with the Commission.

“These charges are brought on by the school district and total $4,260.43, for my daughter who is 11, on an IEP and a behavior intervention plan. The school had brought these charges on after they also did an illegal use of restraints, and so I felt that these charges were to cover their actions and I felt like my hands were tied to get a court appointed attorney for her when it got to the point where she needed to get the competency evaluation,” Harberts said.

Lund asked Harberts if she was requesting to have the complete balance wiped out, a portion, or to make payments. Harberts is requesting to have the full balance wiped out.

“It’s a financial burden, I am a single mother of my daughter with her disabilities, I don’t receive any child support for her, and I just don’t feel like we should have incurred these costs, I feel like the State’s Attorney, knowing her history, should have dismissed them before we had to use these funds,” she said.

“Just speaking as an attorney myself, who works in the juvenile court, had you had to hire an attorney outside private council, that would have ended up being much more than what this bill is here and as far as the cost for the competency evaluation and getting the medical records, those are funds that the taxpayers have already expended on your behalf and when you filled out that court appointed application, you understood that this would be a lien against you and agreed to that. I would think if there was any compromise to be made, you’d have to talk to the court appointed attorney to see if they would adjust their bill. For that reason and because I don’t know the ins and outs of the case, I’m going to be a no on this,” said Commissioner Landeen.

Auditor Lund offered the option of having two commissioners review Harberts’ financial information and make a recommendation rather than tabling the conversation and having Harberts return. Commissioners Poppens and Schmidt agreed to review the information and work with Harberts on finding a solution.

Civil Deputy State’s Attorney, Joe Meader joined the meeting to request board action to approve and authorize the Chair to execute and Engagement Letter for Condemnation Litigation.

“After this board’s action earlier this month where you voted in favor of a resolution of necessity, the next step for this board to take is deciding how to move forward with that and we have reached out to Clint Sergeant and he has provided this board an engagement letter in which he offers a reduced rate which is on the presentation here, and we’re just asking for board action regarding that engagement letter,” he said.

Scott Montgomery joined the public comment portion of this agenda item.

“One thing I would like to bring up is South Dakota codified law 7-18-9 on condemnation of private property by the county. The last paragraph in that section says nothing in this section may be construed by authorizing County Commissioners to condemn property for County Courthouse or jail site until a majority of the voters of the county have voted in favor of an erection of the courthouse or jail. Your letter from Clint Sergeant says in the first couple of sentences, thank you for reaching out and informing that the Lincoln County Commission has approved the use of eminent domain to acquire the property necessary to complete the new Courthouse construction project. Those seem to be in direct conflict with one another, so I think you’re violating the law. There were many offers made by Darcy Johnson for land to be used for construction of this building which was, I don’t know if ignored or not acted on. I don’t know how we decided that this chunk of property is the ideal place, your engineers plainly stated that access off the West road was adequate, it’s on video, I watched it right here and at that same meeting, members of the Courthouse committee got up and said that they ought to acquire land from the McKinney’s to add an entrance. I just think it’s wrong that the Commissioners didn’t contact all the surrounding landowners before acting on this whole process. If this thing goes through, you’re going to inundate this whole neighborhood with criminals,” he said.

Commissioner Landeen thanked Montgomery for taking time to come speak with the board. Motion carried unanimously.


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