Brown County has taken the first step in restoring the large stained-glass window on the second floor of the courthouse.
Commissioners, during their Tuesday meeting, approved a contract with Ciavarella Design of Mitchell. It will pay the company $4,200 for doing paperwork concerning the window's architectural needs and another $1,800 to help the county apply for a grant to help pay for the project.
Ciavarella also will be paid an hourly rate for bidding and consultation services, as needed.
The estimated cost to take the window out, renovate it and reinstall it is $50,000. The work will be done next year.
Ciavarella will help the county apply for a Deadwood Fund Grant, said Judy Dosch, assistant superintendent of county buildings. The grants are funded by gambling money and are given to projects that retain, restore or rehabilitate historic buildings, structures and archaeology sites in South Dakota.
The maximum amount of a Deadwood Fund Grant is $25,000, and the next deadline to apply is in October, Dosch said. There's another deadline in April, she said.
Dosch also discussed other possible grants. Aberdeen has a downtown facade grant program in which $30,000 is divided among annual applicants, she said. The deadline to apply for that grant is in February.
And, Dosch said, a local Questers chapter has offered to look for state and national grants to help with the stained-glass window undertaking.
She said David Eckert, of the Aberdeen Cultural and Recreational Center, told her that the ARCC had set up a gift fund to allow people to contribute to the center's stained-glass window project. Those windows in the former Central High School building were restored a couple of years ago.
"It's a lot of money, but I think we would be irresponsible if we didn't do it," Commissioner Tom Fischbach said of renovating the window.
Barbara Johnson, a stained glass aficionado from Aberdeen, commended the county commission on moving forward with plans to renovate the window, calling it a "priceless treasure."
In other action Tuesday, the commission:
Delayed increasing the highway department's estimated revenue and spending authority by about $360,000 for the year. The Statewide Transportation Improvement Program money comes to the county each year and must be spent specifically on road projects.
Commissioner Rachel Kippley said she would like to discuss next week how some of the money could be used. Previously, she mentioned putting some of the money in a pool. Townships or groups of landowners would also be able to contribute to the fund if they had specific road improvement projects they wanted expedited.
Jan Weismantel, highway superintendent, suggested that the money go to construction work on county roads 14W and 19 that was approved Tuesday.
Authorized a bond purchase agreement for the Presentation College conduit financing project. It allows the college access to as much as $10 million in bonds for on-campus improvements that include a wellness center and suites. There is no liability for the county.
Decided to check with U.S. Bank to see whether there's a way for county department heads to monitor bank-issued credit cards.
Duane Sutton, commission chairman, said one department's credit card account has twice been breached by hackers who made unauthorized charges. In each instance, though, the charges were proven to be fraudulent, so the county didn't lose any money, he said.
Sutton declined to say which department had its account breached.
Approved creating three new positions at the highway department — two mechanics and one shop assistant.
Sutton said the age of some department equipment and the inexperience of some staffers are among the reasons Weismantel requested the new workers. The money to pay the workers was not included in this year's budget.
Had a discussion about what county employee clothing, if any, should be paid for by the county. The issue has been a recurring one for years as departments occasionally forward bills for work-related clothes to the commission.
Sutton said it's time for the commission to take a look at what other counties do, then step up and craft a policy.
Appointed Derek Ricci to the county fair board. Amy Scott, fair manager, said Ricci will serve a three-year term. He is replacing Rieck Eske.