SDATAT BOND ALLIANCE PROGRAM
Download Township Bond Application Here
Download Town Bond Application Here
The South Dakota Association of Towns and Townships implemented their bonding program for the SDATAT members in 2007. Since that time 462 of our 680 members have become bonded through the SDATAT Bond Alliance.
Township clerks and treasurers are required by statute to be bonded as are town finance officers. The law goes on to state that the amount of the bond is to be set by the County Commissioners. Generally, the bonds are for the amount of money the township budgets annually, but in some cases, the bond is set for not only the amount of money budgeted annually but also the total amount of money the township may have in reserves and other negotiable properties.
The following questions and answers were put together to answer questions you may have:
(Q) What is the Bonding Fund?
(A) The Bonding Fund is a Fund of money established by initial assessments of the members in the Fund that are kept and controlled as a separate fund from the SD Association of Towns and Townships.
(Q) Who are members of the Bond and Assurance Fund?
(A) They are towns and townships who are members of the South Dakota Association of Towns and Townships that have paid in the assessments to establish the Bond Fund.
(Q) What is the projected cost to our township?
(A) The Fund organizers are proposing that each township/town would pay $300.00 assessment for two (2) years, for a total initial assessment of $600.00. Additional coverage is available for additional cost. The total assessment may be paid right away if the town/township desires to do so. After the initial assessment no additional payment would be required unless claims would require additional assessments sometime in the future.
(Q) How much coverage will that afford?
(A) It is proposed that the Bond coverage for the clerk and treasurer/finance officer will be $50,000.00 per officer with an aggregate of $50,000.00.
(Q) Who will control the Bond Fund?
(A) The Fund will be supervised by a board of directors to be comprised of the current president, vice president, secretary and treasurer of the SD Association of Towns and Townships, and three (3) other members, all of whom would be current town or township officers representing town/township members of SDATAT.
(Q) Can more coverage be obtained beyond $50,000.00 coverage?
(A) Yes, additional coverage can be purchased. For a quote on additional coverage, call the SDATAT office.
(Q) What does the Bond Fund cover?
(A) The bond is not “insurance” but rather it is a Fund of money to cover “loss or losses” of “your money” or securities as a direct result of the intentional theft, or conversion, swindle, fraud, forgery, or other intentional misconduct by a public official in the performance of their duties.
(Q) How will claims be made?
(A) A policy for making claims will be established, but generally claims will be submitted to the Fund first to make a determination the member claimant is a member of the Fund; second, that the loss is in fact a covered loss. If the claimant is determined to be a member and also if the loss is a covered loss, the claim will be paid by the Fund.
(Q) How will the Fund be reimbursed?
(A) The Fund will be reimbursed by actively pursuing restitution from any town or township officer who intentionally misappropriates or steals money from the town or township using all lawful means, including restitution through criminal prosecution or civil means.
(Q) Will a member have to pay additional assessments if the Fund becomes inadequate to pay claims?
(A) Because this is in fact a “Fund”, members must be aware that if there are claims which ultimately exceed the amount held in the Bond Fund, members can be assessed to cover covered losses.
(Q) Will there be assessments beyond the initial two assessment years?
(A) It is the hope of the organizers that based upon the experience of other states’ bond funds, that it will not be necessary to assess members beyond the initial assessment and that the Bond Fund will be self-sustaining.
(The South Dakota Towns and Townships Bond Alliance Board of Directors reserves the right to refuse bonding to any entity.)
More information on the Bonding Program and an application can be obtained by calling the SDATAT Office, 1 605 353 1439 or request information on the "Contact" tab.