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Pennington County will appeal a judge's decision to invalidate amendments to a mining ordinance, the board of commissioners decided on Tuesday. 

After an executive session during the board's regular meeting, commissioners voted 4-1 to appeal the decision by Circuit Court Judge Jane Wipf Pfeifle.

The July 23 decision ruled that the county failed to comply with state laws requiring public notice of hearings while the ordinance was under consideration. The ruling was a victory for plaintiffs Duane Abata, Donald Burger and Barrett Wendt, plus a broader group of concerned citizens that opposed the ordinance amendments.

The county had claimed in its defense that because several hearings about the ordinance amendments were continued, formal public notice of each continued hearing was not required. Judge Wipf Pfeifle rejected that claim.

Commissioner George Ferebee made a motion to delay a decision on the appeal until the next board meeting on Aug. 21; the motion died for lack of a second. He voted against the subsequent motion to proceed with sending the appeal to the South Dakota Supreme Court. 

Board members also voted 4-1 to sign a statement on the appeal. The statement says, in part, Wipf Pfeifle's ruling could also affect previously adopted zoning ordinance amendments and future county policy. 

"The court's interpretation of the applicable statutes would require publication of notice of continued hearings before the Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners at least ten days in advance of the continued hearing," the statement reads. "In our opinion, this interpretation does not serve the legislative intent of the statutes and will likely result in lengthy delays and additional costs of publication to our citizens." 

Ferebee voted against the statement, saying he disagreed with its assertion on the legislative intent of the law.

"I don't think we're in a position to have that opinion," he said.

Care Campus gets name, logo

The Pennington County Board of Commissioners approved a name and logo for the county's new restoration center, or Care Campus. 

At the commission's July 17 meeting, Pennington County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Willie Whelchel, Behavior Management Systems CEO Alan Solano, and Pennington County Health and Human Services Director Barry Tice presented the new name and logo for the building, "Care Campus: Restoring Mind, Body & Spirit."

The first logo featured a sea-blue hand folded into a soft purple heart, and the outline of a person with their arms outstretched. Commissioner Deb Hadcock liked the name, "Care Campus," but said the heart shape of the logo could confuse the Care Campus with the nearby OneHeart transformation campus initiative underway by Rapid City Collective Impact. 

A 2-2 vote on July 17 continued the decision, and commissioners suggested alternate logo options. Whelchel and Tice brought two options to Tuesday's meeting: the original logo; and a new version of the original, with the same colors, hand and figure with outstretched arms, but this time in a circle shape instead of a heart. 

Whelchel and Tice said they still recommended the original logo. 

"We found the first logo submitted to accurately represent the services provided within the Care Campus," Tice wrote in a memo to the board prior to the meeting. 

After a brief discussion similar to the previous meeting's, commissioners held two votes: one to approve the original logo with the heart, and one to approve the modified logo with the circle. 

Commissioners voted 2-3 against the heart-shaped logo, with Hadcock, Ron Buskerud and Ferebee voting against it, and Lloyd LaCroix and Mark DiSanto voting in favor of it.

A second vote went 3-2 in favor of the circle-shaped version of the logo, with Hadcock, Buskerud and Ferebee voting in favor of it and LaCroix and DiSanto voting against. 

Located in the former National American University building at 321 Kansas City St., the $14 million project will house several agencies that are currently located in different buildings around town, including a detox facility and crisis care center. The project was previously called the Pennington County Restoration Center. 

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a new special retail on-sale malt beverage and wine license for Rushmore Hockey Association; and a new on-off sale malt beverage license for Jolly Lane Greenhouse. 
  • Approved a supplement to the 2018 General Law Enforcement budget for $7,575. A vehicle that the county had declared as surplus property in 2017 was destroyed in a crash, and the insurance company settled the claim for that amount. 
  • Approved a supplement to the 2018 Pennington County Sheriff's Office budget for $97,500 from the Office of Justice Programs, for the sheriff's office body cameras. 

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Online editor

Online Editor for the Rapid City Journal.