SDLTAP to assess Shep’s Canyon Road for the county

Brett Nachtigall/Fall River County Herald-Star

Commissioners discussed a pair of Fall River County roads at their meeting last week, including the work currently being done on Battle Mountain Road, pictured above, and the work that is needing done on Shep’s Canyon Road.


By Cathy Nelson

HOT SPRINGS – When the Fall River County Commissioners met on Tuesday, Oct. 20, they heard again about the need to improve Sheps Canyon Road from Angostura area resident, Jeanine Lecy. The commission has been discussing what to do to improve the road for several months, hoping to get more financial help from Game, Fish and Parks. Sheps Canyon Rd., which is six miles long, links up with Highway 71 and leads into the west side of the Angostura Recreation area. Many homes are accessed from that road.

“We live there full time,” Lecy said. “I’m so upset that the Sheps Canyon Road is so dangerous.” She said people are coming to this area to look for land, including land on Shep’s Canyon Rd.

She explained that she had called and talked with county Highway Superintendent Randy Seiler, the Custer Department of Transportation, and Game Fish and Parks in Pierre about the road. She said that someone from the South Dakota Local Transportation Assistance Program (LTAP) would come and assess the road to see what needs to be done and would meet with Seiler.

“I want the road fixed before someone gets killed,” Lecy said. “There needs to be more signs on the road, too.”

Commissioner Joe Allen said that the speed limit needs to be enforced, “or we’ll still have problems.”

Commissioner Joe Falkenburg said, “It is time to get something done.” They plan to talk with an LTAP representative.

The commissioners discussed another road in the area with Emergency Manager Frank Maynard. The road that travels up Battle Mountain is hard to maintain, especially when running rainwater cuts out grooves in the road. The State is working on the lower section of the road, but the section toward the top is rutted and needs improvement also, according to Maynard. They discussed how to slow down the water runoff. Commissioner Heath Greenough suggested putting in riprap.

After that discussion, Maynard reported that the moisture which this area has received recently will cut down on the fire danger. He said the fire departments have done a good job of getting to the fires and extinguishing them. Commissioner Greenough thanked the fire departments.

The second reading of the Bond Ordinance for Fall River Health Services was held. Commissioner Nabholz said a number of people he had talked with told him that Fall River Health Services needs to pay back the $150,000 they owe the county. The debt is from a loan made at Interstate Bank to run a 24-hour clinic in 1999, which FRHS did not pay. The county paid the debt for FRHS but has not been reimbursed. The commissioners voted four to one to approve being the pass-through for the bond for FRHS. Commissioner Nabholz voted ‘no.’ The county will not be responsible to pay for anything concerning the bond.

See separate commission story about a packing plant that is being planned for Fall River County.

In other business, the commissioners approved the following items:

• Put oil on county road 79F

• Tracts presented by Robin Wynia of Andersen Engineering

• Leave COVID-19 resolution as is, with greeters at the courthouse basement door. Commissioner Nabholz voted ‘no.’

• Sheriff Bob Evans’ request to hire Isnalawica Belt as certified deputy, and Sydney Belt as dispatcher

• Liquor license hearing set for November 17 at 9:30 a.m.

• Register of Deeds request to reclassify LaVella Birkland to full time.

Because election day is on November 3, the next commission meeting has been changed Thursday, November 5.

Fall River County Herald Star

EDGEMONT OFFICE: 410 2nd Avenue   Edgemont, SD 57735-0660 | 605.662.7201
HOT SPRINGS OFFICE: 334 S. Chicago St.  Hot Springs, SD 57747 | 605.745.3930
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