Five new motor graders arrived at the Sully County Highway Shop last week.

At their special budget meeting on September 26, Sully County commissioners voted to move the meeting time from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. for all future meetings effective with the regular commission meeting on October 1.

The special meeting was again dominated by executive session for matters of personnel. Under routine business, the minutes from the September 3 meeting and an automatic budget supplement were approved.

After meeting in executive session, the board voted to not participate in the Local Emergency Management Grant Program and to therefore adjust Olson’s salary effective October 1, 2019 resulting in an estimated reduction of more than $5,000 to Olson’s salary and benefits in the 2020 Emergency Management fund.

The remainder of the budget for 2020 was approved with a few minor changes by a 4-1 vote with Fanger casting the ‘nay’ vote.

Total taxes to be levied by the county in 2020 are 2,502,930 at the end of the two-year property tax opt-out.

In public comment, Janet Schmahl, Planning & Zoning Administrator/Geographic Information System (GIS), representing her office and as a citizen of Sully County expressed her disappointment in the board’s decision to eliminate the County website, citing a breakdown of communication of information and the board’s lack of consideration of usage of the web site by patrons and employees. Schmahl cited that building permits, zoning ordinances, GIS information, along with contact information has been an important portal of information for patrons with updated information being added all the time. Deleting the website is a step backward, and Schmahl asked the board to reconsider their motion regarding the website. There was no comment from the board.

Highway Supt JJ Schall and Highway Secretary Amanda Tennant distributed information regarding the 5-year road plan which is scheduled to be approved at the October 1 meeting date. The new 2019 John Deere motor graders have been delivered. The board voted to assign match grant funds to the Johnson Bridge.

Schall and Tennant gave an update on FEMA sites and deadlines for information to be submitted. Schall and Tennant were commended by FEMA for the great work that they are doing recording and updating information needed by FEMA.  Also a listing of surplus equipment was approved, discussion on a part time position and the retirement of Stewart Hyde effective September 26 was noted.

Laura Stoltenburg from the Department of Human Resources Vocational Rehab Project Skills and Cheri Hill, contact person for the ABO School District, gave a presentation on the project skills program that is a paid work experience program for high school students with disabilities. The program is a cooperative arrangement between the state Vocational Rehabilitation agencies and the local school districts with the purpose of providing students the opportunity to learn different skills in a variety of placements, with the assistance of a job coach.