County auctions four land parcels

PHOTO BY BENJAMIN CHASE/PLAINSMAN County commissioner Larry Mattke laughs as he leads the land auction Thursday during the county commission meeting at the Beadle County Courthouse.

HURON — Two pieces of land in Huron, one piece in rural Cavour, and one in Virgil were purchased as part of a land sale held in the Beadle County Courthouse on Thursday. County commissioner Larry Mattke served as the auctioneer for seven active bidders.

Four of the five available properties for sale received a bid of the minimum assessed value, with more than one bidder interested in three of the four properties that sold. Properties were available for public bid due to non-payment of taxes.

Commissioners met for a meeting before and after the land sale, opening the morning with a report from Jerrod Kranzler of IMEG on the bridges in Beadle County.

Kranzler reported that IMEG works with multiple counties and the average sustainability score of bridges in most counties goes down year-over-year due to age and condition deteriorating of bridges, but Beadle’s has gone up, a testament to the work that the county has put into improving bridges county-wide.

Commissioners approved a street maintenance agreement with the town of Wolsey and the county highway department as well as approving two gravel bids for 2023.

Incoming superintendent Jason Fritzsche received approval by the commission to hire Mark Bertsch, beginning Jan. 12.

Merl Hanson was thanked by the commission for his service as Beadle County Superintendent in his final commission meeting.

Commissioners met as the county board of adjustment to approve a variance request by Lean Investments LLC to have a business without a frontage to the road after the sale of an adjoining property.

Sheriff Doug Solem met with the commission following the land sale to discuss meals at the jail.

Summit Food has been providing meals for the jail since 2011, but recently Solem received a contract amendment proposal for 2023 indicating a significant price increase. Based on the yearly estimated meals for the jail, Solem noted that it would be more than $60,000 increase in cost, a nearly 42% increase over this year’s cost.

Solem will further talk with Summit before the Jan. 3 meeting to attempt to find a common ground.

Otherwise, the commission agreed that going to bid for meal services may be warranted.

With a likely cost increase for food and other services increasing in cost, Solem proposed that the daily rates at the jail be raised. Currently, daily rates are $80 per day at the Beadle County jail. Solem noted that this was at least $10 lower than other counties he surveyed when he contacted other area jails.

The commission approved an increase to $95 per day for jail stays for the Beadle County jail.

Transfer of contingency funds for year-end expenditures was approved by the commission.

Commissioners also:
• Approved county GIS website hosting for 2023.
• Approved supplemental budget funds for SAKI grant.
• Denied one medical hardship request.

Commission chair Doug Ramsell thanked outgoing commissioners Larry Mattke and Tom Hansen for their years of service on the commission.

New commissioners Dennis Meyer and Allen Greenfield, as well as re-elected commissioner Denis Drake will be sworn in at the next county meeting, set for 9 a.m. on Jan. 3.

Other county elected officials taking the oath at that meeting are Auditor Jill Hanson, Register of Deeds Judy Rodacker and Sheriff Solem.

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