Gold Mountain Loop Road District

Which way do we go now?

Page Updated May 2, 2018

Scroll down for the 2018 Annual Meeting Minutes

Gold Mountain Loop
Road District

Hill City, South Dakota

Board of Trustees:

Chair: Randy Larson
POB 863 Hill City SD 57745

Vice Chair: Duane Gaulke
POB 1141 Hill City SD 57745

Sec/Treas: Ed Gerken
POB 747 Hill City, SD 57745

(click for larger view)

Captioned simply "Burnt Fork 1907," there's no indication
which of the many mines along that road is depicted.
The Queen Bee Mine is perhaps the best candidate,
as it was among the most developed in that time period.
Of the Queen Bee, nothing remains today but traces.
Photo courtesy Dorothy Hartle.

Page created July 28, 2016

Updated May 2, 2018

for the purpose of informing Gold Mountain residents and the public of this newly formed Road District

and other items of local interest pertaining to the area.



District email:

POB 563 Hill City, South Dakota

Board of Trustees:

Chair: Randy Larson


POB 863 Hill City SD 57745

Vice Chair: Duane Gaulke


POB 1141 Hill City SD 57745


Ed Gerken


POB 747 Hill City, SD 57745


Minutes of the May 1st, 2018 meeting

The 2018 Annual Meeting Gold Mountain Loop Road District was held at 7pm Tuesday, May 1, 2018, at the residence of Randy and Rosan Larson with the three trustees- Randy Larson, chair; Duane Gaulke, vice-chair; Ed Gerken, Sec/Treas and about 15 District members attending.

Old business consisted of a brief fiscal report by Treasurer Gerken who stated the District's account balance was $4519.92. The next installment of funds from the County was expected to be approximately $2000 and should be in the account in the third or fourth week of May, bringing the treasury total to around $6500.00.

First item of new business was the expiration of Gerken's term as Sec/Treas. Nominations were opened with Vern Vollmer nominating Gerken for another term and Duane Gaulke seconding. Gerken agreed to fill one more term to help assure continuity of the District and with no other nominations forthcoming, the motion was accepted.

Chair Randy Larson submitted the total of his costs incurred in the District's formation in the amount of $250. Motion made by Gerken and seconded by Gaulke to repay Larson for his out-of-pocket costs.

Larson then brought up a recent road work estimate of $3709.16 from Talley Construction for grading and cleaning ditches along Burnt Fork Road and grading on the Gold Mountain Loop. It was noted this did not include estimated total costs of gravel nor culvert repairs.

At this point an open discussion was held where the member's opinions and the District's possible options were brought up by many of those attending. Many of the same issues as were mentioned during the 2017 meeting were reiterated. Controlling traffic speeds, drainage, potholes, culverts, proper grading for water runoff and adequate gravel beds to promote longer road life and how much of the roads and spurs within the District would be included were among the topics.

Some members with experience in the expenses involved felt that total cost for a complete repair might easily hit $20,000. Again, the possibility of taking out a loan to acquire the funds to do the entire job was suggested. District Chair Larson brought up we need to first assure the future longevity of the District so that such loans could be repaid without the County having to step in.

As the current board members inevitably retire from their positions, if new members cannot be found, the County will then appoint board members from the District population at large until all fiscal obligations have been met. Neither Gerken nor Gaulke were willing to obligate the District to such a large amount so early on in the District's existence. Besides the fact we have no firm figures for costs to have a loan amount to apply for.

With the grading estimate from Talley in hand and knowing there will be additional costs for gravel and other needed work, it was obvious the District cannot take on a complete renovation in this first round of actual work since the formation of the District in 2016.

Thus it was decided we should again contact John Talley for a more complete estimate of costs before deciding where and how much work should be done. (Larson made that call to Talley the day following and we await a more accurate picture of potential costs. Gerken will inform the members of the updated estimates once that info is in hand.)

Ongoing maintenance was also briefly discussed. Our District is lucky to have several members who own blades and equipment volunteering their time to take on some portions of the work of snow removal and light grading. Scott Bobzin, who has been a Godsend with his snowplow, and Duane Gaulke were both willing to assist with this. Other members with equipment have also contributed their machines and effort.

It was suggested the District keep a "rainy day" fund for such work as might be needed to be hired out. That is reasonable, but with our limited funds difficult to assign an amount. Funds do arrive sporadically throughout the year and while not large, those dollars would be available to assist with ongoing costs.

Despite the lack of a firm plan, the board has a better idea of how to proceed. It was agreed we are in a better position now than before the formation of the District, and the fact we now have enough money in the treasury to actually begin the work. Recall last year on this date when there was a mere $44 available or in years prior to the District, when all repairs were paid for out of pocket.

This round-robin discussion took the better part of the hour. With no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 7:50pm.

Meeting minutes submitted by Ed Gerken, Sec/Treas

May 2, 2018 and published on the District website at:

Signed: Ed Gerken

GMLRD Sec/Treas

May 2, 2018

Please reply to any of the three trustees with any comments or suggestions you may have.

Click for full size

-- OLD NEWS --


District email:

POB 563 Hill City, South Dakota

Board of Trustees:

Chair: Randy Larson


POB 863 Hill City SD 57745

Vice Chair: Duane Gaulke


POB 1141 Hill City SD 57745


Ed Gerken


POB 747 Hill City, SD 57745


Minutes of the May 2nd, 2017 meeting

The 2017 Annual Meeting Gold Mountain Loop Road District was held at 7pm Tuesday, May 2, 2017, at the residence of Randy and Rosan Larson with the three trustees- Randy Larson, chair; Duane Gaulke, vice-chair; Ed Gerken, Sec/Treas and 8 District members attending.

Old business amounted to a short report by Teasurer Gerken, who announced an initial $44.78 deposit had been paid by the county into the District's checking account in February. Taxes are not due until April 30th, but payment may be made earlier. Someone paid in January and the allocation was recieved by the District in the following month of February.

The majority of the first installment of funds from the 2016 allocation is not expected to arrive until May 20th, 2017. Smaller incremental payment may come in both before and after that date, as the taxes are paid. Similarly, the second installlment will arrive on or around November 20th from funds received by the county in the month prior. Suffice it to say the entire year's allotment is not received in one fell swoop. This is the reality Road District's must work with, especially during the first few years until a rhythm is established.

Gerken then briefly reiterated the steps that had been taken thus far in the formation of the Road District as a legal entity since the process had begun in July of 2016.

After a brief discussion, old business was closed.

Primary new business for the District was the election for the vice-chair position which has been filled by Duane Gaulke. Mr. Gaulke was generously willing to serve another term, whereupon motion was made by Randy Larson and seconded by Ed Gerken, and the vote was unanimous in favor. Motion carried and Duane Gaulke was re-elected for a three-year term. Gerken has one year remaining and Larson two.

Official busniess concluded, the floor was opened to any other new business. Gerken mentioned District costs he has paid to assist in conducting business prior to any actual allotments accruing to the District. This is $77.17 at the present time. He reminded Randy Larson to make a tally of his own costs of about $250 for sending certified mailings and other costs involved with getting the District formed.

At that time, Larson presented an invoice in the amount of $459.18 for road work which Mike Busetti had performed in April, repairing some of the water runoff damage along the Burnt Fork frontage along Gold Mountain Loop. Mr. Busetti has since sold his equipment, so the District is once again seeking input and advice for who to hire.

These amounts will be paid as the District's account can afford, with emphasis going to paying Mr. Busetti first.

This more or less concluded official District business, so the floor was opened to discussion. The amounts of expected allocations were discussed, with the concensus being made that we are not very certain of anything until we see the actual deposits being made into the account. It could run from a thousand or two soon upwards another few hundred or a thousand. The "Tax Levy Request Report" from the County says $4723 estimated for the year. Alternate funding sources were suggested and discussed, such as a bank loan, which might expedite some of the work ahead of the District's expected payments actually arriving.

Jim Simpson was among the meeting attendees. He has job-related experience in some of these matters and the other attendees listened closely. Simpson mentioned that banks are willing to lend to road districts, since the funds to repay are more or less assured semi-annually. With no fiscal track record for Gold Mountain to go by, it was decided to wait for the first installments to arrive in a few weeks, so the trustees can better estimate what might be needed and if such steps as taking a loan are warranted. Larson said it wouldn't hurt to find out what the bank might be able to help provide, in case such an obligation was deemed useful and affordable. A very conservative approach is warranted in these early stages of the new District.

Simpson also had advice on who might be able to perform the work, he agreed to contact Dan Sagdalen to make initial inquiries. Many possible options were brought up and discussed. Opening plugged culverts, possibly adding additional culverts, clearing the runoff ditches, solidifying soft sections of the roadbed, drainage pans versus culverts, road covering(s), such as gravel or chipped asphault, mag water and other suggestions were all brought up and tossed around by the members. Potential costs involved and how much the District might be able to accomplish near-term were uncertain, but ballpark estimates were made. Essentially, it was quite obvious we would be unable to do it all or as much as district members had suggested. While it is possible for a Road District to vote on an additional tax levy to increase the allocation in future years, that is not being contemplated. The last thing we want is for anyone's tax bill to increase due to road repairs.

If funds limit what can be done at once, the issues needing the most attention will be addressed first. Larson stated he receives the most complaints about Burnt Fork. Proper runoff and drainage coming down off multiple places along Gold Mountain Loop Road District might be coincident, since improving that minimizes further damage to both roads. Once all that work is coming along, a better surface might be contemplated. Not much sense in a smooth surface if a big rain might just wash it out again in the same old problem spots, causing us to redo expensive repairs over and over. But it was agreed at least some gravel is needed to bolster and fill weak or low areas.

Mr. Simpson very generously offered that he would buy a load of gravel out of his own pocket to help out, if other members would do the same. April was a tough month for your humble Secretary Treasurer and I assume for others as well. It would be a grand gesture, since the cost of a load of gravel would be several hundred dollars, but I include it in the minutes in case other District members might also feel so inclined. Most members at the meeting seemed willing to wait to see the allotments and perhaps such a group effort could then be consided as an expedient to bolster our funds if reality falls short of our near--term goals. Duane Gaulke mentioned he has a skid steer with a small backhoe style attachment which might do some work and help open ditches. Such offers as these can only help. If you see them, let them know you appreciate their willingness to help.

Progress was made in this hour-long round-robin meeting. At its conclusion, it was decided as wisest to bide our time a little longer to be more certain of what the district can expect to have to work with. Another meeting of the trustees will be held at that time in late May or so to pool the resources and make some decisions on setting work in motion.

The potential exists to begin work sooner if a contractor can be found who is willing to work on the terms of waiting until funds are deposited to be paid for the work, as Mr. Busetti had previously agreed to, with his invoice submitted by Larson earlier in the meeting. Thanks Mike!

Meeting was adjourned at about 7:50pm. Though nothing concrete had been decided, all the attendees were much better informed and felt it had been an excellent meeting.

Meeting minutes submitted by Ed Gerken, Sec/Treas

May 4, 2017

Please reply to any of the three trustees with any comments or suggestions you may have to help get the ball rolling.

Click for full size image


April 19, 2017





An Annual Election of Officers will be held on

May 2nd at 7:00 p.m.

at the

Randy and Rosan Larson residence

at 12291, Gold Mtn.

Hill City, South Dakota.

At the election, the following office will be filled:


Current Chair: Duane Gaulke

Nominations may be made on the floor during the meeting

Voters with disabilities may contact the secretary/treasurer for information or accessibility.

Secretary/Treasurer (Ed Gerken)

Gold Mountain Loop Road District

Click me!

March 25, 2017

Road Repair Status Report

In an informal meeting held on March 25th, the Board of Trustees reviewed progress on commencing road repairs on the Gold Mountain Road District. This included the sharing of forms which Chair Randy Larson had received from Pennington County pertaining to any changes to be made in how the District is set up. No need for changes was percieved, since the District is yet to receive funds or complete its first year. The first installment of approximately $4,600 should be deposited in the District's treasury around the 20th of May, with the second half in November, 2017.

Randy Larson indicated he had spoken with GM resident Mike Busetti, who offered his services in commencing repairs to the road. He was generously willing to wait until monies were in the District's account before being paid. He asked for $75 per hour for his work and has his own equipment. Voting yes to accept the arrangement offered by Mr. Busetti were Larson, Gaulke and Gerken. Motion carried.

There was some discussion about the upcoming opening for Vice Chair, currently held by Duane Gaulke. Action was tabled while the Board studies the regulations and required notices which may need to be filed and the deadlines for doing so.

It was decided to inform the members of the District about the progress and decisions made thus far and to use this webpage and emails as the primary method to do so. The timing felt right for Mr. Busetti to step up and begin work, since it is before any upcoming Spring rains make the road too wet and soft to work. The date on which monies will be received is also now known along with the expected amount.

On that, the meeting was adjourned. The Trustess will continue on an informal basis with the work of studying and complying with the County's legal requirements.

  Report and meeting minutes submitted by Sec. Tres. Ed Gerken on March 25, 2017

1920 post card of the fire lookout on top of Harney Peak.

2016 Report and Meeting Archive

July 23, 2016 - First Meeting: Election of Officers and Formation of the Road District.

Minutes were taken by Rosan Larson, Acting Secretary

Fifteen residents of Gold Mountain Loop were in attendance. After introductions were made, the meeting was called to order by Randy Larson on July 23, 2016 at 10:06 A.M. at the Larson residence. First order of new business was the election of officers, the start of which was called and seconded by Rosan Larson and Earl Davis.

After a brief discussion of the requirements of establishing a Road District in Pennington County, it was announced that it was now time to elect three members of the Board of Trustees, with details of who among the members of the Road District could serve and who could vote. It was announced that nominations from the floor would begin at this time.

Nominations were for Randy Larson, Duane Gaulke and Ed Gerken. There were no further nominations from the floor, so nominations were closed. Due to the fact that only three people were nominated to fill the three Trustee positions it was decided on by the floor to have the nominees draw to stagger the length of their term.

The elected members of the Board and the term for each one is Randy Larson, 3 years; Duane Gaulke, 1 year; Ed Gerken, 2 years. At this time Randy Larson declared the election closed at 10:30 A.M.

The Board Members immediately met and chose amongst themselves to have as Chair - Randy Larson, Vice Chair - Duane Gaulke and Secretary/Treasurer - Ed Gerken.

Upon discussion among the attendees, it was decided not to increase the Mill Levy on the Road District and that it was prudent to take no further action until the Road District's formation was accepted and recorded by Pennington County.

The next meeting of the Board will be Wednesday, July 27th at 7:00 P.M. at the Larson residence for the purpose of completing the papers to submit to the County. The meeting was closed at 10:40 A.M.

July 27, 2016 - Meeting of the Board of Trustees

All three Trustees Randy Larson, Duane Gaulke and Ed Gerken were in attendance and the meeting opened at 7:05 P.M. at the Larson residence. The purpose was completion of the two forms required by Pennington County to formalize the formation of the Gold Mountain Loop Road District. The Mill Levy was marked to remain unchanged from its current level of Unorganized Road District. Larson will file the completed forms with the County.

Sentinel FCU (Telco FCU) was chosen as the bank for the Road District's account. Sec/Treas Ed Gerken will handle the initial paperwork to open the account. There was some discussion among the Trustees that any Board Member should be able to write a check, but perhaps amounts over a certain limit should require at least one additional Trustee's signature, but nothing was acted upon until such time as there are funds in the account.

Gerken will also handle publishing the minutes and other items as may concern the Road District on his website. This website and by emails will constitute the Trustee's primary means of contacting the membership. Since not everyone has email or has provided their email address, in those cases phone, mail or a physical drop box placed in a prominent location will serve to inform of any upcoming annual meetings or actions by the Trustees which would merit notifying the Road District's members.

It was decided to proceed with the first steps in the formation of the District in the next few days if possible, since Trustees Gaulke and Larson both expect to be out of town by the end of the week.

The next meeting date is pending upon completion of this work. The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 P.M.

Some local history and other items of interest

Send me an email if you have something to post here. This section may grow to have its own page.

Hill City History Books in PDF by Ed Gerken

One Mile Of Hell
First Published 1996

Harney Peak Mining News
First Published 1997

Hill City Then & Now
First Published 2000

Hill City Recollections
Unpublished, 2002

(click for larger view)

Gold Mountain Mine in 1975
Owing to renewed development  of the property in the 1940's, the Gold Mountain Mine seen above
is one of the few historic mines in the Black Hills on Forest Service land with some structures still standing, however barely.
This is a view of it taken by the author in 1975 and since that time it was approaching ruin and was a danger to sightseers.
The US Forest Service was recently convinced not to demolish the remaining structures at Gold Mountain,
but instead rebuild them and make the area into an interpretive site. That work has since been completed.

I have a lot of Hill City, Burnt Fork and Black Hills history and will share some of thar here.

For more historic Black Hills views, please visit

Trails of Time

Other Local Items

Ed Gerken sez "Scott, you need this for next year!"

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webmaster: Ed Gerken