Area election preview: Winner to vote on mayor, Main Street today
It's a big day for local elections around the area today.
In Winner, voters will decide on how they'd like to see traffic traverse their Main Street starting in 2020, while also deciding on the city's mayoral ballot.
The South Dakota Department of Transportation is expected to reconstruct U.S. Highway 18 in 2020, the main east-west route through Winner. The Winner City Council approved Ordinance 884 that said once the construction is complete and the traffic signals are installed at the corner of Main Street and Highway 18, Main Street will become a two-way street. Currently, the three-block portion of Main running through the downtown district of Winner is a one-way route heading south.
Citizens referred that ordinance to a public vote, leading to today's decision. A 'yes' vote will adopt the ordinance and change the street to a two-way, while a 'no' vote will leave Main Street as a one-way.
Voters will also decide on Winner's mayor for the next two years. Ward 2 city councilor Jody Brozik is challenging incumbent Frank Finney for the city leadership spot. Voters in Ward 1 will also decide on a city councilor. Incumbent Dave Baker is being challenged by Roger Root for a two-year term.
In Hutchinson County, voters will decide on the future of the county's plans for a new courthouse. The county is seeking to replace the current courthouse in Olivet, which dates back to 1881, with a $4.5 million replacement. A 'yes' vote would approve that measure, while a 'no' vote would have the county's commissioners work on renovating the existing building, which would cost at least $3.5 million.
The commission has said an existing fund with $2.7 million would be used to help fund the project and would not require an additional tax levy. There was also discussion of moving the county seat out of Olivet — a community of fewer than 75 people — but that would have required a two-thirds majority vote in favor of one site.
In Presho, voters will also consider permanently vacating a one-block portion of Birch Avenue to make room for a potential Lyman School District building expansion. The closure of the street would allow the Lyman district to connect the school's Lyman Gardens gym across the street with the rest of the high school with a new lunchroom, kitchen, commons area, locker rooms and an auxiliary gym. Regardless of the vote, the school district has two sets of plans and will move ahead with its expansion plans, which is the second phase of a plan to upgrade facilities across the district. A resolution regarding the street was passed in February but was referred to a public vote.
Presho residents will also consider a city council seat in Ward 2, with Chad Penny and Tony Urban on the ballot for a two-year term.
Polls are open at all voting sites from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today.
Area municipal elections
• Alpena: Three individuals are seeking two seats on the town's board of trustees, with Chad Kopfmann, Dianna Freideman and Paul Weber each vying for a three-year term.
• Bridgewater: Two candidates are seeking a Ward I two-year term. Jerry Paweltzki and Alicen Strombeck are running for the opening.
• Burke: Two city council seats are open. Vickie Dobesh and Dennis Hoffman are pursuing a two-year term in Ward II, while Mark Benter and Tyler Van Metre are seeking the two-year term in Ward III.
• Gregory: Two candidates vie for the two-year seat in Ward III, as Ashley Lozano and Valarie Johnson are seeking the term.
• Kennebec: Three candidates are vying for two town Board of Trustee seats, each three-year terms. The candidates are Rod Bowar, Ben Oldenkamp and Hunter Schindler.
• Pickstown: Residents have four candidates seeking two seats on the town's board of trustees. Amy Hoilien, Dennis Nielsen, Jeremiah Freidel and Larry Lucas are on the ballot. Both seats are three-year terms.
• Scotland: Citizens will decide on a two-year term for Ward I on the City Council. Dennis Bietz and Victor Settje will run for the seat.
• Springfield: Three men are running for the office of mayor, as Michael Lee and William Paulson will face incumbent George Heisinger on the ballot. Voters in Ward II will also vote on an alderman seat, as James Garness and Harold "Jappy" Gosser will run for the seat.
• Spencer: Two are vying for a three-year term on the town's board of trustees. Donald Stuby and Beverly Heidelberger are up for the seat.
• Wagner: The city will have an election for Ward III Alderman, with Todd Johannsen and incumbent Roger Schroeder seeking a two-year term.
• Wessington Springs: Three candidates are up for the two-year term as mayor, as Melissa Mebius is stepping down from her post. Paul DiCarlo, Kathy Voorhees and Joe Hettinger are seeking office. Races are also taking place for two City Council seats, with Ryan Knipfer and Tim Azure looking for the seat in Ward 1 and David Ness, Mark Gran and Ellen Miranda seeking the Ward 2 seat. Both council openings are two-year terms.
Area school board elections
• Avon: Two seats are open on the Avon School Board. Incumbent Lenny Gramkow, Travis Tjeerdsma and Amber Seitzinger are up for the three-year term.
• Colome: Four candidates are up for three school board seats in the Colome Consolidated School District. Those candidates include Matthew Bolie, Brent Gill, Vince Thieman and Pamela Haukaas. The open seats are three-year terms.
• Freeman: Three candidates are seeking one of the two open seats on the school board. The three-year terms are being contested between Corey Gall, Collin Waltner and Mark Miller.