Hospital construction, renovation complete

Posted June 13, 2013 at 11:16 am

Hospital construction.jpg

Hand County Commissioners held their monthly meeting June 4.

The commissioners approved an agreement with the Walworth County Jail in Selby, to house and maintain prisoners if necessary. The agreement is for $50 per adult per prisoner day, and $125 per juvenile per day.

They accepted the resignation of Suzy Wernsmann as deputy register of deeds.

At the request of the Hand County Library, the commissioners reappointed Gloria Keck to the Library Board, and appointed Marianne Peterka to replace Shirley Steers on the board. They also approved 13 computers used at the library to be discarded.

Renae Simons, community health nurse, explained the many services provided to County residents by family and community health services. The commissioners approved a request to increase the County’s annual share of support by three percent.

Hospital administrator Bryan Breitling presented partial payment estimate #30 for the hospital project. The total, which included construction management and architecture fees, came to $103,508.94, to be paid with USDA funds.

Breitling said $3.1 million has been spent from the USDA funds of $3.5 million, leaving a balance of $329,874.

The total project cost came to $5,484,759, which had been budgeted at $5.5 million.

Breitling said the construction and renovation is “essentially completed.” A donor wall unveiling ceremony will be held Thursday, June 13 at 6 p.m., and will be especially for everyone who made a donation toward the project. On Wednesday, June 19 at 2 p.m. a Blessing of the Hospital Campus will be held, to recognize the formal spiritual celebration of a place of spiritual and physical healing.

Community tours of the hospital campus are scheduled for Friday, July 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Alcoholic beverage permits were approved for the Miller Speedway and the Hiway Store, each for a one-year period. A special one-day permit was approved for the American Legion, for a demolition derby in July.

Ron Blachford, David Sivertsen and County highway superintendent Jeff Hargens requested permission to use County labor and the County scraper, along with road oil and gravel, for constructing the school parking lot. The City will provide a grader for the work, and the school will pay for the fuel. The commissioners approved the request. Work will probably be undertaken in July.

Also approved was a temporary easement agreement with the South Dakota Department of Transportation, so handicap access can be placed at the Hand County Library corner. The SD DOT will be responsible for improvements and any damages, and commission chair Luke Wernsmann said cost to the County is only one dollar. Wernsmann said improvements will be made along the highway through Miller, but the County is only required to agree to the work undertaken at the library corner.

Emergency manager Nehemia Volquardsen reported Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) planning meetings have started for Hand County townships and municipalities. The meetings are held to identify mitigation projects prior to a disaster event (flooding, tornado, etc.). Volquardsen said the meetings hopefully will lead to mitigating identified problem areas, and are required in order to receive grant funds. He urged commissioners to attend meetings, as it is a county mitigation plan. The next meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. June 25 at the Miller Fire Hall.

Highway superintendent Hargens stated free dump site hours will be Saturday, June 22 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, June 23 from 1 to 4:30 p.m. He received approval to attend the annual highway conference in Pierre June 12 and 13.

Commissioners approved a bid from Quoin Financial Bank for financing the County’s purchase of a John Deere road grader, costing $262,500.00. The plan approved is a 20 percent down payment, with the balance at 3.2 percent interest, to be paid over a five-year term, with the first payment on the balance due in 2014.

Discussion was held about a portable pugmill, which is a machine used to grind and mix materials, such as asphalt. Hargens said with a pugmill, County workers could do the mixing themselves for road work. However, the cost for such a machine is about $332,000. Commissioners agreed a pugmill would be a useful addition, but Commissioner Wernsmann commented, “The big thing is, can we afford it?” It was decided much more research is needed before making any decision.

Sheriff Doug DeBoer discussed a judicial system grant for installing security cameras in the courtroom area of the courthouse. He also presented information about wages, according to data from the Labor Market Information Center in Aberdeen. He cited wages for secretarial employees in the central area of South Dakota, and pointed out wages paid by the County are below average.

DeAnn Hargens, register of deeds, met with commissioners regarding hiring a deputy register of deeds. She had received four applications. Commissioners gave permission for her to hire her choice for the position, and they will give formal approval at the July 2 meeting.