The Grant County Commissioners met in a regular session Tuesday, December 6. Two ordinances were proposed.
“Initial inquiries have been made by small agri-businesses about an area that is currently zoned for agriculture,” stated Planning and Zoning Director Krista Atyeo-Gortmaker. “If implemented, this ordinance would establish zoning regulations for the use of land for commercial purposes such as raising, growing, processing or storage of farm products, custom fertilizer/herbicide application, custom planting, custom harvesting, grain storage or processing of agriculturally-related raw products raised, grown, or purchased by a landowner or operator.” The commissioners will review the proposed ordinance and the planning and zoning board will put it up for consideration at its January meeting.
States Attorney Mark Reedstrom addressed the commission to discuss the need for a Joint Powers Agreement and an ordinance for the City of Milbank to charge fees for fire department calls outside the city limits. “We have encountered a couple situations in which a county resident, who did not request a fire call, has not wanted to pay the City for the Milbank department assisting on a fire,” Reedstrom explained. “I feel we need a legal theory put in place that would require that person to pay the city fee.”
Reedstrom’s solution included creating a Joint Powers Agreement between the City of Milbank and Grant County followed by an ordinance requiring payment for fire services. “That way, we have legal backing to go after payment for these services.” The commissioners asked Reedstrom to draw up both documents for further consideration.
Sheriff Kevin Owen presented a written agreement from Roberts County requesting a jail contract for its inmates. “Previously when we needed to house inmates in Roberts County, we had a hand shake agreement,” he stated. “They now have presented us with a formal contract.” The agreement is to house an adult inmate at the rate of $65 per day and a juvenile at $135 per day. Currently, there are no inmates housed in Roberts County from the Grant County department.
The average number of inmates in the Grant County Detention Center is seven to eight with a maximum of seventeen. “But, we try to keep that maximum to about twelve or thirteen to make things work best,” Owen said. The commissioners approved the agreement.
The board also heard a request from Jay Hess and Melissa Schmidt of Geronimo Energy regarding the Cattle Ridge Wind Farm project proposed south of Milbank along County Road 26 in the Stockholm, Strandburg, and Mezzepa township areas. The group was requesting a right of way to cross county roads and to add utility poles within the right of way for a section of the road. After discussion, the commissioners requested more time to research the project. The item was added to the agenda for the December 20 meeting.
The next meetings of the Grant County Commissioners are: Tuesday, December 20; Thursday, December 29; Tuesday, January 3; and Tuesday, January 17. Meetings are held in the Grant County Courthouse.