Miller updates board on Yankton County township meeting

Dawn Rye | Writer

The idea of two Yankton County townships joining Turner County was brought to the commissioners back in October 2019. At that time Mayfield Township resident Simon Healy told the board something had to change drastically. Healy said the residents wanted the opportunity to protect the family farms that have been around for decades. Turkey Valley resident Mike Swenson said if  voters allow the township to be a part of Turner County, it would estimate $320,000.00 more revenue for Turner County.

During last week’s commissioner’s meeting, Turner County Commissioner Mick Miller explained he had news attended the Yankton County townships public meeting held Saturday, Jan. 4.

According to Miller, the Irene Community Building was overflowing with residents wanting to know the next step. He said it was well organized and Healy did an excellent job as MC. Miller explained one Yankton County Commissioner was present.

Chairman Lyle Van Hove said he liked the comment in the Yankton Press & Dakotan newspaper about one of the resident’s daughter wants a chicken and they don’t want her to get a permit.

Miller asked State’s Attorney Katelynn Hoffman, “Attorney Brian Donohoe said when the question was placed on the ballot there would be three different groups would have to pass by 51 percent that it would not be a lump sum?”

Hoffman explained the way she read the statute was the question would be posed in each county if they received the requisite amount of votes. She said it would be essentially a yes or no vote with a simple majority from each county.

Hoffman commented that if Turner County votes to succeed and Yankton County votes fail, the process is done.

Commissioner Jared Hybertson asked “Is the other option they proposed last week an easier option?”

Miller said to initiate the issue, it would be easy, but for the long term, he believed it wouldn’t be. 

Hyberston asked if two townships did become their own county could they join Turner County?

Miller said the opportunity was brought up during the discussion. He noted there were a lot of unanswered questions.

Hyberston noted from what he read in the article in the Yankton Press and Dakotan the township has to decide whether they want the posed question on the ballot to join Turner County or become their own county.

Miller commented that during the meeting there was not any uproar. He said most of the time it was small talk between individuals.

He said whether the townships take a step forward or not, they already opened eyes and have already accomplished something by bringing the issue forward.

Miller explained the general talk was Turkey Valley, Mayfield, Walshtown and Marindahl townships. He said it was mentioned the four in question were organized and self-sufficient. 

Hoffman noted she believes there is a big impact that would happen for Turner County if the county added four additional townships. She understands there was a brief and formal meeting, however, Turner County just scratched the surface of what the impact could be.

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