Moody County commissioners recently passed a resolution for an emergency disaster declaration based on damages left behind from excessive snow and flooding.
Damages include washed out roads and culverts, and soft roads. Those conditions were caused by higher ground moisture going into winter, a large amount of snow, early rains that accelerated flooding and high waters on the Big Sioux River, according to the resolution. It will go on to the state, along with declarations filed by 28 other counties so far this year, said Terry Albers, county emergency management director.
Moody County, along with townships and cities within the county, must have more than $25,000 in damages in order to submit a declaration, he said. “We passed that a long time ago.”
The state has to have a combined $1.2 million in losses to have a state-wide declaration.
Many weather forecasters predicted this year’s flooding could surpass the spring floods of 1969, but it hasn’t turned out that way.
In 1969, the Big Sioux River water level was 14.77 feet in Flandreau, while this year it peaked at 13.11 feet, Albers said. This year ranks the seventh highest level, he said.
Albers handed out more than 4,000 sandbags this year, a high number compared to other years. “This is the most number of sandbags I’ve handed out ever,” he said.
He also was concerned about one critical piece of infrastructure, the Big Sioux Community Water System treatment center. If the level had reached the level of 1969, the plant would have been an island.
Albers said it is an issue that needs further review because the treatment center is critical to providing water. In the worst-case scenario, if the treatment center was surrounded, they could get workers in by boat but wouldn’t be able to get in big equipment, he said.
In other county business from the April 2 meeting,
•Cindy Kramer of Kramer’s Livestock Auction of Colman wants to increase the number of days she would be allowed to have auctions, be permitted to sell an expanded variety of items and be able to keep more animals on site at one time.
She is limited to one auction a week at this point and would like to have at least two so she could have a Friday-Saturday-Sunday sale, she said.
She also wants to be able to have 499 animal units on site, rather than the 200 she is limited to at this point, she said. An animal unit is determined by the size with a horse being two and baby chicks being only a fraction of one unit.
Kramer is allowed to sell the equipment that goes with each animal but said she wants to sell other general items, such as fencing materials, tack, cages and other things needed by 4-H kids or young farmers starting out.
Kramer presented a pile of surveys filled out in support of her business, and three people attended the meeting in support.
State’s Attorney Paul Lewis said some of the things Kramer wants to do don’t fit the ordinance. Her business needs to be one or the other, either a livestock auction or an auction house. Household goods can’t be sold through the livestock auction, for example.
Kramer’s lawyer will draw up the paperwork on what they are requesting and bring it back to the board of adjustment for further consideration.
•The board of adjustment also approved the expansion of Dakota Superior Gilts I of Pipestone by 1,558 animal units, essentially doubling its production. The conditional use permit for the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation southeast of Flandreau would make the hog operation a class A CAFO, instead of the previous class B status.
That change allows Dakota Superior to have 648 nursery swine, 1,272 swine weighing up to 300 pounds and 5,784 head of breeding, gestation and farrowing swine for a total of what is calculated under a formula as 3,166 animal units.
No one opposed the expansion.
•A motion by John Schiefelbein to change the speed limit on Old Highway 77 from Highway 34 to the Brookings County line died for lack of a second. He wanted to move the speed back from 60 miles an hour to 55 miles an hour for safety concerns. He also has attempted to change the limit before, since taking office in January.
“It’s a bad piece of road,” he said. The speed limit on the highway before and after the 60-mile-an-hour stretch is 55 miles-an-hour.
•The Sheriff’s Office is working to hire a deputy and a dispatcher after recent resignations.
Commissioners accepted the resignation of Deputy Logan Baldini who is going to the Brookings Police Department because of a pay increase. They also accepted the resignation of Gabe Frias, a dispatcher who has been hired as an officer with the Flandreau Police Department.