While we wait until everyone's here at 11 a.m., you can post questions for commission chairman Ken Davis.
Ken has said he won't respond to questions from people who hide behind a user name instead of their real name. I agree, so please use your real name when asking questions. We'll begin in about 5 minutes.
Welcome to a Live Chat with Pennington County Commission chairman Ken Davis. The conflict between the Black Hills Stock Show and Rushmore Plaza Civic Center has been widely publicized. The civic center board has given the stock show board until tomorrow to finalize a contract. If they can't come to terms, could the stock show be held at the Pennington County Fairgrounds?
If needed, but that would not be the best for the area and the business community as a whole.
I should note that the contract is for the 2013 Stock Show and beyond. The January 2012 event will be at the civic center and fairgrounds. Are the Fairgrounds facilities capable of hosting all of the stock show events?
I don't think that would be the best situation, to move it to the fairgrounds, but yes it is a possibility with the addition of one more building.
Thanks, Ken. On another subject, a recent Journal article looked at the inspections of septic systems that were required under the county’s new septic system ordinance and found that of 750 inspections done so far, 150 systems were found to have violations. Does that failure rate justify the septic ordinance?
No it does not justify a new ordinance, when under the state laws allowed the county to inspect septic tanks for public safety.
In light of the initial inspection results, will the county commission make any changes to the septic ordinance?
We are in the proccess of reviewing the county ordinances and possibly some minor changes could happen.
Can you tell us what the changes might be?
not at this time, our legal folks are reviewing for possible changes along with the planning commission.
Doesn’t the number of septic violations indicate that, contrary to septic owners who said the ordinance wasn’t needed, the owners were not keeping their septic systems in good condition?
there is a lot of difference between a broken baffel and a leeking tank. next question please.
Thanks, Ken. Will the commission revisit the issue of speaker time limits?
Possibly, depends on if the folks that were dragging out the meetings, begin to be constructive or still want to remain destructive.
Growth in the county is continuing to expand. Does the county have the resources to add services – roads and policing -- to residential and commercial expansion?
Do we have the resources, yes, but we have to utilize them in the correct fashion and put the funds in the correct places, get the best bang for the buck.
Thanks. Extension Service is a state program that functions with county support and county offices. Are you satisfied with the changes to Extension Service in Pennington County?
No, if the state didn't have the funds to continue, how will they come up with the funds to build their Taj Majhal's that they want to build accross the state.
With the new plan, they want something grand, but want to tie up the counties funds and buildings
in case it doessn't work.
Is that why the county commission would not fund an additional Extension employee?
When we were doing the 2012 budget, we cut about a million and a half dollars from all county budgets, we figured that one employee was enough, in that department. All county budgets took a hit, including a state program, called extension.
Thanks. A final question. What do you see as critical issues for the county commission to resolve in the coming year?
371/2 million in building projects, roads, pine bark bettles, county infrastructure and employee wages.
Thank you, Mr. Davis, for participating in our Live Chat this morning.