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Lincoln County Commissioners advances courthouse project

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners met on Tuesday, December 12 in the Lincoln County Boardroom. Commissioners discussed agenda items including updates on design features for the new courthouse, budget supplements, handbook updates, and more.

Todd Orr from DLR joined the meeting to give an update on design features at the new courthouse.

“It’s a pleasure to be back here today to talk about the design progress and design development of the new courthouse here in Lincoln County. We are now at a point where the building is taking shape, it has a look and it also has the interior aesthetic of the courthouse, so we’re happy to present the exterior development and the interior development. We’ve developed the architecture around creating that civic presence on the site, and as we get into the design development, we need to now understand how is this building going to last, work with our contractor partners to select materials that are durable and maintainable for a building that’s meant to last here in the community,” he said. 

DLR has chosen to use precast concrete as it is a durable and economical material for the main body of the building. A textured option is also being looked at to highlight key elements at the entry of the building. The building will face South towards the main highway. 

“The notion of the exterior design and the interior design are very well linked and sort of the approach we have,” he said. 

Many of the same color themes and building materials will be used on the inside and the outside of the building keeping with the theme of natural materials and wood tones. Motion approved.

Dave Derry and Mike Carlson of Henry Carlson Construction joined the meeting to get board action to approve the guaranteed maximum price with Henry Carlson Construction in the amount of $45,649,131. 

“The overall project budget has not changed, we’ve been working shoulder-to-shoulder with the design team, the owners, and reps for months now aligning scope and budget and this is where we are at. We feel we’ve done what we set out to do and from the construction manager’s standpoint, we’re going to establish the guaranteed maximum price at $45,649,131 from here, we just need the approval for the design team to move into the construction document phase so we can get this out on the street,” Derry said. 

Motion approved.

Auditor Sheri Lund joined the meeting for a public hearing.  

“Pursuant to SDCL 7-21-22, for the purpose of adopting the following supplements to the 2023 Budget: A supplement adding $100,000 to Board of Commissioners Budget for personal services not budgeted for; $10,000 to Treasurers Budget for personal services for the change in payroll deductions and other current expenses change in leadership; $15,000 to Postage Revolving because of change in accounting for postage; $79,000 to the Highway Department Intergovernmental Expenses for the Wheel Tax for Cities/Townships paid more wheel tax out; $45,000 Airport for personal services, $45,000 Airport operating transfer in, because of new Airport Manager Position; $28,481.08 RAIF (rural access infrastructure fund) for sub-recipient payments paid out not budgeted for; $300,000 Debt Service Tif # 8 underestimated tax that would be collected,” she said.  

Motion approved.

Kelly Brack joined the public comment portion of the public hearing to voice her opinion. 

“My husband and I do a budget every year and we try to get it right. Oftentimes, I will say we need a little bit more wiggle room, and I understand there are going to be budget shortfalls, but $100,000 seems like a lot and I’m just curious, how can we prevent these budget shortfalls? This is a significant amount of money and this comes from the taxpayers. I just want to state that I think we need to re-examine our budgeting for Lincoln County,” she said.

Auditor Lund was given an opportunity to respond as to where the $100,000 comes into play. 

“The $100,000 is due to the fact that we hired a Commission Administrative Officer that we had not budgeted for,” she responded. 

Human Resources Director, Traci Humphrey joined the meeting to get board action to approve Employee Handbook updates. 

“I brought before you all today two different items, one is the handbook edits for review and the other is the finalized employee handbook. The goal of this update was to not bring anything new for you to make a decision on, but there is one item that I want to clarify the rest of this is all to help make sure our practices are reflected in the handbook and to do some general cleanup of periods, commas and other things like that. We had the various offices review and make sure everything was in line. As you can see in the attachment, the handbook edits for review are 47 pages and a number of comments are reflecting on new data or adding new information along the lines as well as adding further clarity,” she said.  

Humphrey had three main clarification questions for the commissioners.

“The first in regards to seasonal employees, our previous language stated that employees can be hired that are not budgeted and I felt that with from what I understand from the auditor’s office and from the mission of the commission we don’t hire anyone that has not been authorized by you all or is in the budget, so I reflected that change to say we do hire seasonal employees. The other item I want to bring to your attention is in regard to the PTO. It was brought to our attention after we enacted the PTO policy that we made a typo with where we had our accrual rates. We determined we had calculated it incorrectly and how many months it takes to get to that accrual rate. Other than that, everything in here I’m ready to go line by line,” she said. 

Motion passed.

Building and Ground Superintendent, John Rombough requested board action to authorize the Building and Grounds Superintendent to purchase a 2023 Ford F-350 from Lamb Motors off of state bid. 

“This is an item that I had budgeted for next year’s budget, but for primary reasons of one of my major projects, the demolition of that house in Tea was combined with a future project that will be busted out next year, I have that additional money available this year and with the idea that the delay in getting this vehicle next year will probably be like an eight-month wait, and this vehicle is currently available right now, I’d like to move forward,” he said. 

Motion approved.


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