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Commissioners approve cop software

Acting on a recommendation from Davison County Sheriff Steve Brink, the county commissioners unanimously approved the expenditure of $56,208 as the county's share for ledSuite, which is comprehensive law enforcement software from Zuercher Technologies of Sioux Falls.

The action happened Tuesday during the commission's regularly scheduled meeting at the courthouse in Mitchell.

The cost of the $163,417 software package, Brink said, will be shared with the Mitchell Police Division and with 911 emergency surcharge funding, the latter of which will pay $51,417 of the cost.

The price includes software licensing, installation and training.

The county will pay $10,000 a year for regular system updates and ongoing maintenance.

The new system, which is in use by some other South Dakota counties, incorporates daily police operations, including record-keeping for dispatches, arrests, reports, photos, jail bookings and the tracking of tickets and warrants.

Jail Administrator Don Radel, who has been a member of the team researching ledSuite, said Zuercher support staff will begin converting current digital records to the new system after the first of the year.

There will be an extended period of training during that time, Radel said, and the Sheriff's Office anticipates going live with the new system in late summer or early fall of 2014.

Brink said he mistakenly under-budgeted for the new system by roughly $1,200, but said cuts can be found elsewhere to make up the difference.

Provisional budget approved

After weeks of fine-tuning, the commissioners unanimously approved a provisional $7.538 million general fund budget for 2014, which is about $104,300 less than this year's $7.654 million general fund budget -- a projected decrease of 1.5 percent.

The general fund covers the daily operations of county business.

Through the end of July, the county has used $4.426 million of the 2013 general fund budget.

The overall 2014 provisional budget, with all funds included, will be about $10.95 million.

The proposed budget includes:

• General fund: $7,538,598;

• County roads and bridge: $2,855,045;

• Emergency management: $81,382;

• Domestic abuse: $5,500;

• Modernization and Preservation: $10,200;

• 24/7 Sobriety: $61,170;

• 911 Service:$223,000;

• Debt service:$175,000;

• Total of all funds: $10,949,895.

Auditor Susan Kiepke said the 2014 highway budget will be $351,504 less than this year's $3.206 million budget. Highway Superintendent Rusty Weinberg said the lower budget means 12 miles of roads in the county will not receive chip-and-seal treatment in 2014.

Kiepke said the $175,000 of debt service could be misconstrued since the county has no long-term payments on the books.

The $175,000 reflects a tax increment financing district account, which collects tax payments that the county later pays out to TIF funds set up to help spark development in areas of the county.

The final budget must be approved by the end of the month.

Publishing costs

Commission Chairman John Claggett pondered the cost of publishing the county's new 21-page drainage ordinance in The Daily Republic and suggested offering the concept of alternative -- and less expensive -- publication methods as a topic for the agenda of the upcoming Sept. 16-18 meetings of the South Dakota Association of County Commissioners and Officials in Spearfish, which the commissioners plan to attend.

Claggett said he had no problem with the publication of regular government meetings and proceedings, but only with extraordinarily large documents.

"Perhaps we should have a different venue," he said.

County Auditor Susan Kiepke said $20,000 has been budgeted for commission publications in 2014.

Statutorily, she said, the topic is a non-issue: "South Dakota codified law, as it now stands, says you will publish an ordinance in its entirety." Changes to that law must be made by the Legislature, she added.

Other business

In other business, the commissioners:

• Approved minor changes and a $750 cleaning charge for the new county building at 1420 N. Main St. in Mitchell. The community health nurses, who will share the building with the commissioners, are scheduled to move in on the weekend of Sept. 21.

• Heard briefly from Maintenance Supervisor Mark Ruml, who said he has been unable to find a company willing to guarantee repair work to the showers at the county jail unless a moisture-damaged wall can be removed. The repair issue has been a longstanding issue with the commissioners, who reached no decision Tuesday.

• Amended the agenda to include an executive session on personnel.

• Approved, after a brief executive session with Emergency Management Director Jim Montgomery, a motion accepting Montgomery's resignation effective Oct. 18 due to retirement plans.

• Noted that there will be no county commission meeting on Sept. 17, when the commissioners will attend a convention of county officials in Spearfish.