August 3, 2020


Hand County Board of Commissioners

415 West 1st Avenue, Suite 203 , Mailbox 7

Miller, South Dakota 57362

Contact Information:

605-853-2182 (Auditor’s Office) & 605-853-2769 (Auditor’s Fax)

Email:  [email protected]

(this one email forwards to all five commissioners)

Emails to this account, depending on protected content, may become a matter of public record unless specifically exempted by state or federal law.


Commissioner District Map (Rural)

Commissioner District Map (City of Miller)

Gilbert “Gib” Rodgers, Commissioner, District 1 (Re-elected in 2018)

  • 2020 Vice-Chairman
  • 20713 371st Avenue, Wessington, South Dakota 57381
  • Home Phone:  (605) 458-2378
  • direct email: [email protected]
  • 2020 Committee Appointments: Weed & Pest Board
  • 2020 Department Liaison: Treasurer’s Office & Weed & Pest

Jim Jones, Commissioner, District 2 (Elected in 2016)

  • 2020 Chairman
  • 218 East 8th Street, Miller, South Dakota 57362
  • Mobile:  (605) 204-1018
  • direct email:  [email protected]
  • 2020 Committee Appointments:  Library Board & Domestic Violence
  • 2020 Department Liaison: Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management & States Attorney

Greg Palmer, Commissioner, District 3 (Elected in 2018)

  • 412 West 4th Avenue, Miller, South Dakota 57362
  • (605) 870-0505)
  • direct email:  [email protected]
  • 2020 Committee Appointments:  Northeast Council of Governments (1 of 2) & Health Advisory Board, Railroad Authority Board
  • 2020 Department Liaison:  Custodian and Register of Deeds

Jim Eschenbaum, Commissioner, District 4 (Appointed in 2020)

  • 35834 209th Street, Miller, South Dakota 57362
  • Mobile Phone: 605-204-0373
  • direct email:  [email protected]
  • 2020 Committee Appointments: Northeast Council of Governments (2 of 2)
  • 2020 Department Liaison:  Auditor’s Office, Assessor’s Office & Library

Luke Wernsmann, Commissioner, District 5 (Re-elected in 2018)

  • 2018 Chairman
  • 18790 354th Avenue, Miller, South Dakota 57362
  • Home Phone:  (605) 853-3848
  • Mobile:  (605) 204-0022
  • family email:  [email protected]
  • 2020 Committee Appointments:  On Hand Economic Development Corporation, Railroad Authority Board
  • 2020 Department Liaison:  4-H Office & Veteran’s Service Office

Secondary / Specific Webpages


Upcoming Meetings

April 7, 2020 meeting will start the summer schedule of meeting at 9:00 A.M.

Proposed Agenda for the April 7, 2020 meeting can be downloaded here.


December 30, 2019 – Special Year-End business meeting.  12p
The agenda published on 12/24/19 (4:30p) is available by clicking HERE. (Revised the date in the header to MONDAY, not TUESDAY)
Items submitted or acted upon at the meeting, not provided by link in the agenda:

December 3, 2019 – Regular monthly business meeting.  1 P.M.
  • Please, if you have year end business with the commission, this is your last opportunity for a “regular meeting”.
  • Submission of materials, bills / claims, and requests to attend will due on November 26.
  • The county offices will be closed November 11 for Veterans’ Day and November 28 and 29 for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Items submitted or acted upon at the meeting, not provided by link in the agenda:

November 5, 2019 – Zoning Board of Adjustment – Conditional Use Permits for Sweetland Wind Farm  1 P.M.
November 5, 2019 – Regular monthly business meeting.  1:30 P.M.
The agenda for both meetings can be downloaded by clicking this text. (10-31-2019 at 9:00 P.M.)
The revised agenda (additions made on Friday November 1, 2019) and fixed some links to documents is found HERE.

October 1, 2019 – Regular monthly commissioner meeting.  9:30 Commission Chambers
The agenda for this meeting will be published on September 28, 2019.
Draft Agenda for October 1, 2019 (URL links do not work, will correct on Sunday)
Final / Completed Agenda for the October 1, 2019 Meeting
Unapproved Minutes from the October 1, 2019 meeting (as sent to the Miller Press)

September 24, 2019
Documents used in conjunctions with the September 24, 2019 Budget Adoption Meeting.  (posted 09-28-19 @ 7:25p)
County Commission Meeting / Hearing for proposed 2020 budget (Legal Notice published in the Miller Press)
  • Documents Submitted:
    • None as of 09-20-19 @ 10a
Planning and Zoning / Board of Adjustment continuation from August 6, 2019

September 4, 2019
From Terry Augspurger, Zoning Official.
“The Hand County Commissioners will meet as the Hand County Zoning Board to continue the conditional use hearing meeting of August 6, 2019 for the purposed hog production facility by Ratio, LLC in the NE & NW 1/4s section 32 – 111-67 (Pearl Township). The meeting will be held at the Hand County Courthouse on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.”
If you have questions in advance of the meeting, please call the office during business hours, 8-5, M-F. 605-853-2115
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* An agenda for this meeting will be posted on or about September 19th.  Should you want to present and provide your data / handouts ahead of time, please provide them to the auditor’s office prior to September 18th (preferably before noon).

This is not a formal notice but a solid plan. The official notice will be published in the Miller Press.

On September 3rd, 2019 (at about 10:35) the commissioners will have a “work period” in which they work amongst themselves on pending issues. One topic will be two fold and about zoning. The public is more then welcome to listen to their discussion. The two topics will be the adoption of the Wind Energy Ordinance. The ordinance became law without referendum. The second will be about the proposed swine production facility. The length and format of this discussion rests solely on the commission’s needs for time and content.

On September 24, 2019 at 10 A.M. the commission will hold a statutorily required meeting for a public hearing on the county’s 2020 provisional budget. Again, the public is invited so they may be heard and offer comment.

Following the budget hearing, the zoning board will hold the continuation / conclusion of the August 6th public hearing regarding the conditional use permit for the Pipestone swine production facility. The two hearings are currently planned to take place in the commission chambers. If there is sufficient reason to believe the chambers is not large enough, the board reserves the right to move either of the meetings to the courtroom.

This information is being provided to avoid any misconceptions about when the board(s) will make a decision on the provisional budget for the county and the conditional use permit for the swine operation.

The published notice of meeting in the Miller Press will be the formal and official notice of the hearing and will supersede the contents of this message so please look to the Miller Press for the official notice. The first publication is currently scheduled for September 4.

Thank you in advance.


Next meeting is September 3rd, 2019 at 9:30 A.M., agenda items are due by August 28th.
Agenda for the September 3, 2019 meeting (subject to change on by the commissioner chair until Monday morning at 9:30a)

Previous Meetings

Notice of Special Commission Meeting for July 25, 2019 (10 A.M.) for Budget Review and possible adoption (Download Agenda with URL links)

Agenda June 4, 2019 (Draft 2, all attachments linked, added 05.31.19)
Agenda June 4, 2019 (Draft 1, some attachments will be added 05.31.19)
Agenda June 4, 2019 (Under Construction, check back soon
Agenda May 7, 2019 (consent) (added May 3, 2019)
Audio Recording of the May 7, 2019 meeting
Documents received during the May 7th, 2019 commission meeting:
  1. 2019.05.07 – ProTecDoxExecutionRoofRepl
  2. 2019.05.07 – CourthouseSkylightRestoration
  3. 2019.05.07 – WES-DraftOrdinancePlan
  4. 2019.05.07 – WES-DraftOrdinance
  5. 2019.05.07 – WES-BuildingPermitsCondUses

Items available during the commission meeting:

Public Utilities Commission public hearing held at the Miller Community Center on April 25, 2019

Audio recording can be downloaded or listened to online by clicking this button 

Recording made in cooperation with The Miller Press / Hand County Publishing.

Documents provided by Sweetland related to their presentation during the meeting:

2019.04.26-Sweetland WF SDPUC Presentation – FINAL-c

2019.04.26-Sweetland – Filing Letter-c

2019.04.26-Sweetland – COS-c

Agenda April 9, 2019 (zoning) Amended

Recording of the combined meetings (Commission, Equalization & Zoning) 

Agenda April 9, 2019 (zoning) (Commission, Equalization, Zoning combined)
Equalization Board(s) Hand-Outs
Minutes April 9, 2019 (Un-approved)

Zoning Board Hand-outs

2019.03.11 – SD-PUC & Sweetland Wind (Public Hearing) (Public Utilities Commission hosted meeting in Miller, April 25, 2019)

Agenda March 5, 2019 (Commissioner & Zoning Board)

Agenda February 5, 2019

Agenda December 6, 2018 ZONING[94947]

Agenda December 4, 2018[90774]

Agenda November 8, 2018

Agenda Oct. 9, 2018 – Executive session only, to interview applicants.

Agenda Oct. 2, 2018 – Revised

Agenda Oct. 2, 2018

Agenda Sept. 25, 2018 (Special Meeting)

Agenda Sept. 4, 2018 (Revised)

Agenda Sept. 4, 2018

Agenda August 7, 2018[31784]

Agenda July 24, 2018

Agenda July 3, 2018

Agenda June 7, 2018 (Amended)

Agenda June 7, 2018

Agenda April 3, 2018

Agenda March 13, 2018

Agenda February 6, 2018

Agenda January 2, 2018

Agenda December 5 2017

Minutes N