The commission approved the burn ban Oct. 11 after dry weather and high winds led to a series of grass fires. But conditions have improved enough that Scott Meints, Emergency Management director, and rural fire chiefs recommended lifting the ban.
Controlled burns still need to be called in to the county dispatch office at 605-626-7911.
Starting a controlled burn without a proper fire break or consideration of the weather is a misdemeanor. And, if the fire gets out of control, the person who started the fire can be held liable for damages.
As emergency manager, Meints has the power to ban controlled burns whenever a red flag warning is issued. Commissioners have previously told him they would support him if he ever does institute a ban. After the meeting, Meints said he will ban burning next time there are red flag conditions. A red flag warning informs firefighting and land management agencies that conditions are ideal for fires.
In other action, the commission:
• Learned from Jan Weismantel, highway superintendent, that the highway department has a bill for roughly $69,000 from Lien Transportation for moving clay and dirt from an abandoned road site near an old overpass on the western edge of Aberdeen. Lien Transportation has also asked the county to vacate the right of way of the property near the Lien shop.
The work was done in June at the request of the county because highway department crews were too busy fixing roads at the time, Weismantel said. Commissioners have concerns about the expense. Though it was on their agenda, they did not give final approval to vacation of the right of way.
• Learned from Weismantel that County Road 20 north of County Road 5 and east of Hecla will have culverts installed after the harvest season.
• Learned from Weismantel that a gate at the so-called concrete wall between the James River and Putney Slough has been repaired.
One of the gates on the structure that controls water flow could not be opened or closed before the repair.
Weismantel said the work involved welding and putting a grate around the gate. The cost is expected to be about $1,000, she said.
• Approved right-of-way occupancy applications from East River Electric to do utility work along County Road 14 and WEB Water to do utility work along County Road 22.
• Learned that engineering costs on a project that will raise a short stretch of County Road 23 west of Warner come to about $22,000. The county will have to pay that amount, but most of the construction cost to raise the road will eventually be covered by federal emergency funds.
The overall cost of the work is about $456,000 with $373,000 to come from the federal government. That doesn't include a second stretch of that road that will also be raised.
• Approved the low bid of $494,500 from Sheehan Mack of Aberdeen for a new compactor for the Brown County Landfill. Brown County will pay for 60 percent of the cost. A grant from the state will cover the remaining 40 percent.
• Approved an abatement of $5,316 to the Aberdeen Development Corp. The unusually high amount was the result of a wrong value mistakenly being entered on a computer.
• Approved previous meeting minutes, claims, payroll, personnel changes and five plats.