County commissioners reinstate burn ban


Walworth County Commissioners at their Tuesday, May 7, meeting reinstated the burn ban across the county.

According to the ban, it is unlawful to burn refuse in an open container. All container burning must covered.

Any damage done to land or property as a result of open burning will be the financial responsibility of the person conducting the burn.

County residents are urged to contact the fire chief in their community with questions concerning the burn ban.

Thanks to the joint efforts of county and city forces, derelict property in Mobridge will once again be returned to the tax rolls, according to City Councilman Gene Cox and State’s Attorney James Hare.

Often it is referred to as the “While property” for an individual who once owned one of the pieces of connecting properties; the properties located at 515 Fourth St. West and 324 Fifth Ave. West have been, at the very least, an eyesore and at worst, a health hazard with no running water, etc. The properties were taken over by the county for non-payment of taxes.  Cox and Hare reported that there has already been interest in both properties. One individual had to be evicted before anything was started. Abandoned vehicles, white goods, and much refuse were reportedly hauled away. Only one of the buildings (the green house) is considered salvageable while the other is not. There have been inquiries about the restoration of both. The successful bidder will be required to submit a cash bond to insure that they don’t walk away for the agreement. The successful bidder will also be responsible for any liens, etc.

“I’ll bet the residents of the area just want to give you a hug for all your hard work in improving their neighborhood, ” commissioner Don Leff remarked.


Brennan Consulting

Commissioners held a conference call with a representative from the consulting firm Brennan Consulting and realized that it may not be possible to “get on the same page” with the firm about whether or not the company fulfilled its contracted obligation to furnish an adequate feasibility study. The study pertains to renovating and building a proposed correctional institution.

In the submitted study representatives at Brennan stated that the employment needs if a 32-bed facility were built would increase to 33 full time jailers at an annual cost of approximately $37,000 each.

At the present time, the jail facility employs eight full-time and five part-time jailers. Sheriff Duane Mohr unofficially speculated that there might be a need for several more employees, but not 33.

The study prepared by Brennan Consulting, for example, did not even touch on the possibility of what direction the county should prepare to go  if the state holds each county more accountable for those it chooses to incarcerate including non-violent individuals. More emphasis might be put on rehabilitation, which would change the proposed format dramatically. Representatives will be asked for their input as to what their services may have been worth.

Mohr stated that an adequate feasibility study should include, among other things:  anticipated county population, anticipated inmate population, cost per day, per inmate, and attempts to answer questions: will it pay off to the county to build it? The county has already agreed upon $20,000 for the study.

In other business, commissioners:

• Awarded the contract for cell preparation at the Walworth County Landfill to low bidder Jensen Rock and Sand of Mobridge at $138,448.50. The other bidder was Morris Construction at $190,184.50.

• Heard from Emergency Management Director Adam Fiedler that he has relocated his office from the Mobridge City Hall to the Mobridge Police Department.

• Defeated a motion by commissioner Duane Martin to require logbooks in all county owned vehicles, three votes to two.

• Approved extending the weight limits on posted county roads.

• Approved the salary for new full-time non-certified jailer Brandon Carlson at $12.77 per hour with a six-month probationary period, etc.

• Approved an increase in salary for Kari Beaman, who successfully completed her six month probationary period by $.50 per hour to $13.27 per hour.

• Approved a general permit for a construction and demolition debris site at the request by Superintendent of Selby Schools Darrell McFarland.

• The property surrounding Lake Molstad is closer to being closed to the public. Cam Wal Electric has disconnected the utility lines but must remove a utility pole. The county intends to retain easement to the land surrounding the lake.

– Sandy Bond –


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