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Around the Region

A look at news from around the region, as reported by weekly newspapers:

Douglas County

COUNTY FACES CROP LAND TAX HIKE: Crop-rated ag land in Douglas County will see a 20 percent increase in taxes next year, according to county Equalization Director Jessica Goehring said.

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She said the move is necessary, given the price of ag land in the area selling for more than $8,000 per acre, and some properties have not been taxed at market value.

“Some people are not going to be happy,” Goehring said.

She said the 20 percent increase is the maximum allowed in a single year.

— The Armour Chronicle


FRIMAN TO SERVE ON STATE LIBRARY BOARD: Parkston Public Library Director Trista Friman was recently appointed to the South Dakota State Library Board by Gov. Dennis Daugaard.

Her term runs through October 2016, and the board consists of six members serving three-year terms.

She said the Parkston library should benefit from a developing relationship with the state library system, such as use of online encyclopedias and foreign language learning systems.

“That is probably the thing I am most excited about being on the board, is being able to access and integrate these resources into our public library

— The Parkston Advance


CITY PROPOSES TIGHTER RULES ON LAWN CARE: Changes to the city of Freeman’s ordinance on keeping lawns mowed and free of weeds are in the works.

The proposed change would give residents fi ve days to comply with the existing rule requiring residents to cut grasses that are taller than 8 inches, instead of the current 10-day notice. The proposal would also give residents one notice for the entire season, rather than sending a notification for each offense.

The second reading of that ordinance was tabled until the Aug. 4 meeting, so city leaders can research how to handle areas like storm water retention areas.

Resident Walter Salis told the Freeman City Council that the time window is too short and the appeal process would be nonexistent under the proposed plan.

“We’re all human, we make mistakes,” Salis said. “But there’s no way to dispute a claim. It’s my word against yours, and you’ve destroyed the evidence.”

City Administrator Carroll Vizecky said the city takes photos of each property before and after.

— Freeman Courier