December 18, 2017

Fireworks: When and Where?

To legally use your fireworks this 4th of July it is important to know the restrictions on when and where these are allowed.  Many of these restrictions are based on the current fire danger. See the county website homepage for local fire dangers.  Remember: Fire dangers are posted in the morning and weather conditions can change greatly by evening.  Always use good judgment and avoid using fires in high winds.

Hot Springs:

Within the City of Hot Springs fireworks will be allowed from July 2nd through July 4th (midnight) if the fire danger for the Black Hills is LOW or MODERATE.  For more information on what you can use within the City of Hot Springs see their ordinance page.


No fireworks within city limits.


No information at this time.


The County is divided into two areas: The Black Hills Fire Protection District which includes all lands north of the Cheyenne River and the Grasslands which is all the land south of the Cheyenne River.    Fireworks are never allowed in the Black Hills Fire Protection District.  Fireworks are allowed in the grassland area on private land if the fire danger for the Grasslands is LOW.  Fireworks are not allowed on federal lands (Black Hills National Forest, Buffalo Gap National Grasslands, etc.)

Commercial Reassessment

This summer the Department of Equalization will be conducting a reassessment of all commercial properties in Fall River County.

Done: All

The assessors would like to thank everyone for their cooperation during this summer reassessment.  All field work has been completed except for a few odds and ends.

Preliminary notices with new values will be sent out in mid-January. After preliminary notices are sent there will be about four weeks during which you can meet with the assessors regarding the new value.

Official assessment notices will be sent March 1st. Any changes to properties after that point will require filing an appeal to the Board of Equalization.

Employment Opening: Clerk

Clerk: The Fall River County Department of Equalization is accepting applications for a permanent full-time clerk. Applicant must have excellent customer service, computer, math, written and verbal communication skills, and have the ability to read maps and understand legal descriptions. Working day is 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. Starting wage $9.50/hour. Position has full benefits: health insurance, SD retirement, annual & sick leave. Submit applications to the Department of Equalization. Deadline is April 29.


Check out our Employment page for more information and applications.

South Dakota 9-1-1 Coordinator Receives National Award

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota’s 9-1-1 Coordinator is being honored this week for her efforts to help establish a new statewide emergency communications network.

Shawnie Rechtenbaugh of Pierre will receive the Government Leader Award Tuesday night in Washington, D.C. The award is being presented at the 13th annual NG9-1-1 Honors Awards Reception which is sponsored by the NG91-1-1 Institute, 911 Education Foundation and the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT).

Rechtenbaugh is an employee of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety. She is coordinating the state’s efforts to implement a Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) system.  The network would provide an advanced technological communications link to various emergency communication sites located statewide. The system, which will take years to fully implement, is the first statewide hosted 9-1-1 network in the nation.

As the state’s 9-1-1 coordinator, Rechtenbaugh has been working with the contractor building the system and has served as the contractor’s liaison to the South Dakota 9-1-1 Coordination Board. Department of Public Safety Secretary Trevor Jones says Rechtenbaugh’s work has been extensive and detailed.

“Shawnie has been working with 28 different emergency call centers statewide on this project,” Jones says. “It takes someone who has the knowledge, patience and ability to deal with different systems and people. That’s Shawnie. The sole reason South Dakota’s move to NextGen has been successful so far is because Shawnie is our 9-1-1 coordinator.”

Rechtenbaugh has worked in state government for 11 years.  She says the award is an honor.

“Putting together this new system is a challenge, but rewarding,” she says. “It has been an honor to be part of such a talented group of people who are working to forever change our state’s emergency communications infrastructure.”

Tuesday’s ceremony is being held in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill.

Taxes: Who Pays Them & Where They Go

Property owners in Fall River County received their tax bills in the mail this last week.  A number of people have asked questions regarding what portion of the tax burden certain classes of property are paying.  Below is a basic break-down of the 2015 (payable 2016) taxes.  These numbers are for the total taxes collected by the county. (Obviously those who don’t live in town don’t pay any tax to the cities.)  The actual percent of your tax that goes to each of these entities varies from tax district to tax district.  To find the exact percentage of your taxes going to each group please check out this earlier post.

Percentage of Total Taxes Paid By Property Class:

Agricultural  – 20%
Commercial – 13%
Residential (non-Ag) – 53%
Utility Companies – 14%


Where the Taxes Go:

School – 54%
County – 30%
Townships or Cities – 14%
Other – 3% (fire, ambulance)