Brenda Wade Schmidt
Moody County residents can openly burn again but must do so with caution, authorities say.
Moody County commissioners lifted the burn ban in the county on May 7, but emergency dispatchers will advise anyone who calls in with a controlled burn that they are taking a risk. Emergency crews may not be able to reach them quickly if roads are still soft and torn up.
The ban had been in place since April 24 because roads were soft and in rough shape, potentially preventing fire trucks from being able to respond to the burns if they get out of control.
Fire chiefs in the county were reluctantly willing to repeal the burn ban, said Terry Albers, emergency management director. But they are doing it so that farmers can clean up areas they need to tend to, he said.
County residents who plan a controlled burn must call county dispatchers to report they are doing it. At that point, dispatchers will caution them.
In other county news,
•Commissioners approved withdrawing from an agreement with the state through the Office of Emergency Management. The agreement meant the state paid $17,000 of last year’s salary for Albers but requirements have gotten more rigorous, taking more time, said Marty Skroch assistant to the commission.
Several other counties have withdrawn from the agreement as well, he said. “There are lots that are considering it right now.”
County tax dollars will pay for the loss of the $17,000 from the state, and Albers office should be more efficient, Skroch said.
•The county has named David Prokulevich as the Moody County Ambulance supervisor. The service has been without a supervisor for more than a year. He will be paid $42,206 a year and will handle the day-to-day schedule, training and reports.
•Bernie Opland is required to put up a fence to obstruct the scrapyard he operates southwest of Flandreau by July 1. Previously, he had planned to plant trees as a barrier, but a soil sample from the property shows that trees likely wouldn’t grow in the ground contaminated with traces of battery acid and antifreeze.
In addition, Opland has to clean up the right-of-way on the township road and move everything off the road.
Opland said he wants to clean up the property to sell it. “It’s going to be for sale this fall. I’m 74 years old. I would like to do some other things in life,” he said.
•Commissioners failed to approve a request by Wilde Air Service of Volga to be allowed to land crop spraying planes on county roads. “I think it’s a bad idea,” said Commissioner Carla Bruning. The issue died for lack of a motion.
•The county will buy a new skid steer for $48,103 and will get $18,000 for trading in the current skid loader, which is at the end of its usefulness because it is ready to break down again, said Marc Blum, county highway supervisor.
•Scott Ramsdell and Jason Unger will be able to build a home west of Flandreau in a newly established planned residential district. The Ramsdell family wanted to build a third home on the property but was required to get the land rezoned.
Commissioners approved the application for the planned district, which rezones the land from agriculture to residential, allowing additional single-family homes. The Ramsdell family has no plans to add more homes than the third one they want to permit for Unger and his family, Unger said.