City, county, park board and school board elections will all be coming up this June. Multiple positions will be up for election this year at all levels. Petitions are available at your local auditor’s office and are due April 7. In the county departments, Auditor Shana Brost, Recorder Brenda Cook, Sheriff Dean Danzeisen, State’s Attorney Jessica Binder and Treasurer Darbie Berger are all up for election to four-year terms. Commissioners Frank Bitterman, Gary Murray and Wayne Entze are all of for election, also for four-year terms. At the Stanton City Council, the seats held by Tom Sayler and Jason Hill are up for re-election.
The Mercer County Commission decided last week to not grant a tax exemption to Marquis LLC, the company working with a process to help coal burn cleaner at Antelope Valley Station. Sam Larson, representing Marquis LLC, and Donald Boehm of Basin Electric Power Cooperative were on hand to discuss the topic with the commissioners. Larson began the conversation by stating Marquis had waived any prior tax exemption of the coal beneficiation from the start of their operation at Antelope Valley Station to the present. Taxes for that period would still be paid, amounting to approximately $67,000. The company was still looking for the 15 percent tax exemption moving forward. State law currently allows for an 85/15 percent tax exemption for the first five years of coal beneficiation process by a company. The 85 percent is granted automatically by the state, but the 15 percent has to be approved by the county.
Water infrastructure was the main topic of discussion this week when the Beulah City Council met for its regular meeting. At its previous meeting the council had tabled further discussion on Ordinance 408 pending input from Water Plant Foreman Gary Neuberger on whether or not to regulate seals on water meters. Neuberger was not available at the time of the council meeting. City Attorney Scott Solem brought forward two versions of the updated ordinance, one reflecting the updated language and one without. Councilor Brant Keller noted that he was in agreement with Neuberger’s perspective that, in going forward, the installation of water meters should include seals.
Beulah Elementary students got a first-hand look at some pretty big birds last week during special presentations held on Friday. The program included a book on owls, bringing out a Screech Owl, an American Kestrel and a Red-Tailed Hawk and offering detailed information to the students on how the animals would live in the wild. John Halverson, co-founder of the Black Hills Raptor Center, led the presentation. Halverson’s been working with raptors for about five years, starting right before founding the center in 2010. His mission? To educate youth throughout the region on the subject.
Beaver Bay proved to be a dangerous location late Friday night when two local men went through the ice and were helped by anglers and emergency responders.