County board has reservation on movie plans
A Winside native who is working on an independent film and wants to shoot a scene in the Wayne County Courthouse appeared before the Wayne County Commissioners during Tuesday’s meeting.
Tanner Schwedhelm is working with a Sioux Falls-based director on a movie called “Obeisance, Part 1.” The movie is a courtroom drama based in the 1930’s and 1960’s, and Schwedhelm would like to shoot the courtroom scenes in Wayne County’s courtroom.
Schwedhelm said the shooting would take about 2-3 days to complete and would include about 40 people, including the actors and crew. Schwedhelm and the film’s director are hoping to enter the murder mystery into film festivals in the future.
County board members expressed concern about how the courtroom would be used and whether any equipment or security devices might be compromised, and Schwedhelm was encouraged to contact the judges who use the courtroom to get their blessing first.
“With today’s issues about security, there are some concerns,” board chair Randy Larson told Schwedhelm. “I know it’s a public building, but we’re not geared for any kind of security for the unsupervised use of the courtroom. There is some high-priced equipment in there, and I have some reservations about using it.”
County Sheriff Jason Dwinell told the board that the county’s security committee should meet first and look over the proposal before giving their blessing.
County Attorney Mike Pieper also said it would be good to know exactly what days filming would take place, making sure those dates don’t conflict with scheduled county and district court dates set for the month.
“Even if the board approved it, you would have to get the judges to approve you doing it in their courtroom,” he said. “If there is a 2-3 day period available, we’d have to clear that with the courts.”
Schwedhelm said they were originally looking at filming during the month of July, but are now looking at possible dates in August that would work. Schwedhelm said they looked at courthouses in Fremont and Omaha, but neither city’s courtrooms have an old-time look like the courtroom in the Wayne County Courthouse.
In other action, the county:
– heard from Jerad Reimers, community liaison for Congressman Adrian Smith. Reimers updated the board on a number of issues, including pending legislation and review of trade agreements.
– heard from Steve Muir of Elkhorn Valley Insurance on the county’s renewal of health insurance for employees for the 2016-17 fiscal year. Muir noted increases in the range of 9-16 percent on two of the three proposals presented to the county with another showing a slight decrease. Larson said that some counties are starting to require employees to pay for a portion of their insurance. Currently, Wayne County pays 100 percent of a county employee’s health insurance coverage, but Larson said that could change in the next year or so.
The board recessed their meeting until Thursday to look at health insurance plans. The next regular board meeting is Tuesday, July 19 at 9 a.m.