By Julie Ann Madden
For Union County Commissioners, salaries will still be at the top of their 2013 agenda.
At their Jan. 8 meeting, they set Weed Board employees and County Nurse administrative assistant salaries.
Weed Board salaries are Secretary Janet Lingle, $489.34 per month; field supervisor, $15/hour; assistant field supervisor, $13.39/hour; and weed sprayers, $11/hour.
Union County Nurse’s Office Administrative Assistant Rumi Weigel will get the 3 percent salary increase plus the $350 for part-time employees, bringing her salary to $11.37/hour.
It was noted Social Security deductions will increase 2 percent so employees’ paychecks will be lower amounts.
This completed the 2013 salary list for all employees; therefore, the list will be published in its entirety in the county’s four legal newspapers.
Planning Director Dennis Henze reported receiving a request from a college student who was interested in a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) position. The commission discussed creating a combined GIS/Information Technology position but no action was taken.
Sheriff Dan Limoges informed them two of his jailers were reporting for military duty. One would be gone a month and the other until November. His request to hire up to three part-time temporary jailers to cover these men’s absence was granted.
In other business, the Commission:
• Was informed Minnehaha County was holding a meeting regarding the proposed regional juvenile detention center project Jan. 17, and Ustad will attend as the county’s commission representative.
• Learned the Pictometry company which provides the county’s aerial photographs and software has merged.
According to Pictometry’s website: “EagleView® Technologies, the leading provider of automated 3D measurement technologies and analysis solutions and Pictometry® International, the leader in geo-referenced aerial image capture and visual-centric data analytics, jointly announced today that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which EagleView and Pictometry have combined their businesses into a single entity. EagleView and Pictometry closed the transaction on Jan. 7.
The merger creates a global leader providing unparalleled geo-referenced aerial imagery and analytical software solutions servicing both government and commercial customers. The new entity will offer comprehensive and robust capabilities in aerial imagery collections, geospatial analytics and 3D measurement technologies. A more diversified revenue base, greater financial resources, advanced product capabilities and significant growth opportunities will reach across current industry segments – including local and regional government, insurance, energy and utilities and construction – as well as additional verticals.”
Commission Chairperson Doyle Karpen told fellow commissioners he had asked several area utility companies if they’d be interested in subscribing to use the county’s Pictometry database. However, he didn’t get much response.
When he asked the commissioners to consider giving the entities a free 30-day trial, there was also no response so no action was taken.
• Was introduced to two new employees, Treasurer’s Office Deputy Joy Hemmingson and Assessor’s Office Administrative Assistant Tara Moreland.
Department Head Reports
• Director of Equalization Dawn Steckelberg reported S.D. Department of Revenue personnel had finished with the county’s sales ratio and compliance audit. She will now submit new county values to the state’s Department of Revenue.
Steckelberg noted the county-wide ratio is 93.895, and there are some “hot spots” that needed revisited, including small acreages and the McCook Lake area.
She is creating a five-year assessment plan, which will contain all the county’s ratios and what she’d like to do.
• Grounds Keeper/Building Superintendent Scott Sexton reported the basement renovations were completed, including installing new partitions and dispensers.
He had also cleaned out and reorganized the lock box of keys — for the first time in 17 years.
Sexton also informed them he was working with a new Honeywell Corporation representative and seeking a solution to the boiler’s warranty as the burner had not kicked in when the boiler went out.
Responding to a commissioner’s complaint about water-marked ceiling tiles in the basement, he reminded them that one of his goals was to have the commission make a decision on closing the old jail in the courthouse. Sexton noted the plumbing system continues to leak, which has also led to an abundance of gnats in the basement, including in the employees’ break room.
With the courthouse annual floor maintenance project, it’s time for the commissioners to decide whether to have me do it or bid it out, said Sexton, explaining last year, he stripped the four or five coats of wax off the floors, cleaned them and then added four coats of wax. This process takes 60 hours.
This year, the floors need cleaned and an additional two coats of wax added, which will take about 40 hours, he said, noting some of the work must be done on weekends when the courthouse is closed.
Sexton reminded the commissioners that last year, he’d presented them a company’s bid for $2,800 to clean and wax the floors with no stripping. He estimated that if he did the work, it would cost between $1,200 and $1,500 if it was all done at time-and-a-half with none done during his regular work schedule.
He requested the commission decide by their next meeting (Jan. 22).
• Sheriff Dan Limoges reported the courthouse security system had been installed and expanded some but commissioners requested at least seven more “panic alarm buttons” be installed so all employees in every part of the building would have access to a button in case of a situation like the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn. He reported it would cost an additional $700, and the consensus was to have them installed.
• Public Works Administrator Raymond Roggow and Planning Director Dennis Henze informed the board 9-1-1 funding changes require a change in how 9-1-1 address signage maintenance is accounted for in the county’s budget.
In the past, the Public Works Department has taken care of the 9-1-1 addressing signs placed at road intersections and charged the 9-1-1 Budget for maintenance. For instance, it was $500 in 2012.
Henze, who is responsible for the county’s 9-1-1 addressing system and replaces damaged individual 9-1-1 address signs, explained he charges his mileage since he drives his personal vehicle to the Planning & Zoning Budget and the rest of the expense to the 9-1-1 Budget.
Roggow suggested have all 9-1-1 addressing signage expenditures come out of the Emergency Management Administration (EMA) budget as these signs are necessary for emergency responses. He also said it could come out of the sheriff’s budget.
The consensus was to create a 9-1-1 signage line item in the EMA Budget. Roggow suggested the amount be $2,000 to $2,500 budgeted annually.
• Public Works Department: Roggow explained his new pickup and truck purchases, and that he would keep his old pickup in the county’s fleet. He will have it cleaned and a set of new tires put on it before it’s added to the fleet. It was suggested to surplus the county’s Ford Explorer suburban with this pickup as its replacement.
Roggow noted future pickup purchases would be three-fourths ton vehicles because the half-ton pickups didn’t handle the equipment weight well anymore.
He also presented a water line utility permit for Mark Chicoine to install an 8-inch irrigation line under 478th Avenue, one-fourth mile north of Brule Creek. It was unanimously approved.
Roggow will attend a Pipeline Safety Program meeting Feb. 6 in Yankton, S.D., and has room for two others to go.