Edgemont will not renew county law enforcement contract

By Amber Schumacher

Staff Reporter

EDGEMONT - On Tuesday night, Aug. 21, after a long year of debates back and forth over whether or not Edgemont should continue its law enforcement contract with the Fall River County Sheriff’s office, the council unanimously voted not to re-up this year’s contract. The decision to forego the contract with the Sheriff’s office will now open the door for the city to pursue other means of protecting the town with law enforcement. 

This decision came on the heels of a nearly hour long executive session to discuss litigation contracts at the end of the city’s meeting. Earlier in the meeting however, during the public comment portion of the evening, Scott Davis opened up possibilities for the city when he stepped forward to verbally commit his services to the community of Edgemont. In his public statement Davis started, “I’m here to offer some services, for the third week in a row you haven’t had any law representation present at meetings,” referring to the lack of law enforcement present at the city council meeting for the third week running. 

Davis was a recent Republican candidate for Fall River County Sheriff in the June primary election, but lost to incumbent Robert Evans by a margin of 710 votes (55%) to 577 votes (45%). 

“I’m in a unique position to start a town marshal’s office for you,” Davis told the Edgemont City Council. “To provide you with customized law enforcement to what you feel is necessary for your town in Edgemont.”

His verbal commitment to serve continued, “I’ve got a car that is partially equipped and I’m ready to go to work for you. I have a proposal drafted up but it is not on the agenda so I won’t discuss that right now but am eager to sit down with you in the very near future.” 

Davis concluded his statement by saying, “I think we can come to some terms and help each other out here. If you’re interested I’ll leave my contact information with you at the end of the meeting and you can reach out.” It is uncertain if Davis’ appeal to the city had any bearing on their decision to discontinue their current contract with the Fall River County Sheriff’s office. 

However based on previous heated debates over the contract, Davis’ offer to start a Marshal’s office will more than likely resinate with several council members and many community members alike. 

In other business throughout the evening, the council graciously accepted the resignation letter of Ward I representative Barbara Strozewski, effective immediately upon receiving the letter. Strozewski, who wasn’t present for the meeting, had served for several terms on the council. 

The council also received a written proposal for a budget request from SHEDCO (Southern Hills Economic Development Committee) under the direction of Andrea Powers. Powers, who couldn’t be present at the meeting due to scheduling conflicts, requested $7,000 for the 2018-2019 budget year and gave a detailed account as to SHEDCO’s future goals for Edgemont. Among those goals include the commitment to development for year round greenhouse production, pursue and administer the Bulldoze and Beautify Grant to help Edgemont demolish dilapidated properties. Amid her proposal, Powers also vowed to help Edgemont rebuild those demolished properties with work force housing in the community following the guidelines of the grant.

In response to Powers’ written proposal, which won’t see any official decision until the council can discuss it, Woodward wanted to publicly proclaim her support of SHEDCO and her desire to go above their $7,000 request by granting $8 - $8,500 to the organization for all of the current and future efforts made on behalf of the community of Edgemont. Woodward especially praised Powers’ relentless efforts in furthering the economic prosperity of Edgemont. 

Prior to the discussion about the SHEDCO budget request, the council heard from Grace of the Pines Hospice volunteer Barbara who was voicing a plea for volunteers.

“We have had several patients in hospice care from this community and we want to come address some myths of Hospice care so that we may receive some more volunteers.” Barbara continued to talk about the myths and realities of Hospice care, reminding the community present that hospice the cost of hospice care is covered by medicare, medicaid, VA contracts and private health insurance. Additionally, Grace of the Pines is seeking veteran volunteers to sit alongside veteran patients, providing a camaraderie that can generally only exist between two veterans. 

According to Barbara, veterans tend to discuss previously repressed conversations and open up more freely with other veterans. This can bring them more peace by allowing them to discuss things that may have haunted them or kept them from opening up in other situations. Council member Sandra Woodward, who is also very active with the local Women’s Auxiliary chapter mentioned that Post 71 may be able to offer some volunteer hours and make it a project for the 2018-2019 year. 

In other business, the council approved the purchase of a new side by side vehicle for the city and approved the Fall Cleanup dates for September 3 through October 26, 2018. The Fall Cleanup will have the same rules and limitations as last year, including a strict deadline of October 26.

Fall River County Herald

EDGEMONT OFFICE: PO Box 660 Edgemont, SD  57735-0660   |   605.662.7201
HOT SPRINGS OFFICE: 334 S. Chicago St. Hot Springs, SD 57747 | 605.745.3930
Send news to: 
news.frcherald@gmail.com Send Ad requests to: ads.frcherald@gmail.com