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Street project planned near Davison County Courthouse

The Davison County Commission approved two easements Tuesday for a city street project that will affect the north side of the courthouse lawn.

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Terry Johnson, deputy public works director for Mitchell, presented the Fifth Avenue street improvements project to the commission.

He requested a permanent easement at the corner of Kimball Street and Fifth Avenue.

“The reason for that is to make the ADA ramp work to join onto a new sidewalk we’ll install on Fifth,” Johnson said.

He also asked for a temporary easement along the backside of the sidewalk to install the new sidewalk. The current structure butts right up to the curb.

Johnson said the project will get rid of the current sidewalk and steep curb, and add a boulevard to create space between the sidewalk and curb. The current curb is set further to the south. The new curb will be aligned to match the other curbs, Johnson said.

The project will also add two catch basins on the block.

“That will greatly improve drainage,” Johnson said.

It is part of a construction project that will run from Main Street to Burr Street, with construction possible this summer or next summer.

The project will pose no cost to the county, he added.

The board voted unanimously to approve the easements.

Other business

In other business, commissioners:

 Approved adding permanent part-time employees to the 2 percent plus 50-cent wage increase given other employees earlier this year.

Deputy Steve Clarke will now be paid $13.51 per hour. Sheriff’s Office clerk Paul Paulson will be paid $12.49 per hour. Deputies Darin Moke, Andy Petersen and Mark Vaughan will each be paid $14.01 per hour.

 Approved wage increases for Louis Murtha, motor grader operator, to $14.26 per hour; Kaela McCloud, a county health nurse employee, to $11.72 per hour; Leonda Doering in the Maintenance Department to $9.85 per hour; and Dawn Hindman in the Treasurer’s Office to $12.50 per hour.

 Approved starting wage increases for jail transportation officers to $12.17 per hour; and for 24/7 Sobriety program technicians to $11.66.

 Accepted the resignation of Alice Nickelson, the 4-H youth adviser for Davison and Hanson counties, in preparation for her retirement. Nickelson has been with SDSU Extension for 20 years and will retire April 21. She told the commission she’s be happy to go out on the high note that 4-H enrollment has been going up. “I’ll really miss the kids. Next fall I’ll probably be really bored, or working part-time somewhere,” Nickelson said with a chuckle.

 Approved a striping agreement for 45 miles of pavement in the county at a cost of $28,000.

 Heard a report from Veterans Service Officer Steve McClure about state government’s Operation RAV (Reaching All Veterans); McClure said he will set dates and locations for open houses to give veterans a chance to visit with him about benefits they may be eligible for.

 Approved a two-trip travel request from McClure to visit the Legislature to promote veterans affairs.

 Heard news from Davison County Jail Administrator Don Radel of a 24/7 Sobriety grant for $17,082.

 Approved a food price increase for the jail of 1.9 percent for this year’s contract with Catering By Marlin’s Inc., of Sioux Falls, doing business as CBM Managed Services.

 Approved the purchase of three self-contained breathing apparatus tanks for the jail at $420 each for a total of $1,260; Radel said they were out of date and needed replacing.

 Approved the purchase of another Geographic Information System (GIS) license for Deputy Planning Administrator Nathan Wenger’s computer at a cost of $1,500.

 Approved, after an executive session, allowing Treasurer’s Office employees to accrue more time than allowed for paid time off for 2014, but also stipulated that extra time must be used before the end of the year. Auditor Susan Kiepke said the office has been short-staffed for a while and the employees have not been able to take vacations. “The commission granted them special dispensation so they’re not losing their vacation hours,” she said, adding this type of action has been taken before for other departments.

Board of Adjustment

Sitting as the board of adjustment, commissioners:

 Approved Scott and Melanie Mullenmeister’s request for a variance to create a 4.64-acre lot outside of Mitchell. Lots are usually required to be a minimum of 25 acres.

 Approved Matthew Thomas’ request for a variance to create a 3-acre lot near Mount Vernon. Lots are usually required to be a minimum of 25 acres.

 Approved a conditional use permit for a taxidermy business requested by Brian and Michelle Hellman, which will be located west of Mitchell.