The De Smet Common Council held a regular meeting Wed., April 14 at 5 p.m. at the De Smet Event Center and online via Zoom. Shane Waterman, an engineer with IMEG/Clark Engineering, gave the city council an update on the water distribution looping project. It is to be started after April 15 and completed by October of this year.
Waterman was asked by City Attorney, Todd Wilkinson, about the Main Street Revitalization Project. Clark Engineering had done some preliminary plans in the past, and with the anticipation of community funds being received from the American Rescue Plan, Wilkinson suggested it would be a good idea to get the project “shovel ready” as soon as possible. Shovel ready means that the design, blue-prints, engineer reports on plans and infrastructure involved, surveys and everything is done and ready for a project to be put out for bid.
The city council and mayor were behind the idea of getting the project “shovel ready.” Waterman said his firm would work on the infrastructure needs, design, plans and surveys. The project would need some collaboration with the ISG Group and their master plan for the “Main Street Revitalization Project.” ISG Group was hired by the De Smet Development Corporation in 2019. De Smet City Council would also be involved in the planning.
The collaboration between the three groups should yield a master plan that not only addresses the visual appeal to Calumet Avenue, or “Main Street,” but improvements that address utilities, parking, storm drainage, lighting, pedestrian traffic and many other facets deemed necessary.
Waterman was unsure of a completion date for the planning but felt by this year or spring of 2022 it should be done.
The city council had requested bids for flower barrels to be placed in front of businesses along Calumet Avenue. A local business, Poinsett Gardens, placed a bid of zero cost, winning the city’s bid. Poinsett Gardens will add topsoil and flowers to the barrels placed along Calumet Avenue. Many thanks were issued by the council members for the generous gesture.
After 13 years of service, the copier in the library has been requiring frequent repairs. Two recent repairs had been performed at over a $100 each. The library requested a new color copier with a cost of $2,683. It was approved.
De Smet Development Coordinator, Rita Anderson, reported to the city council that the new daycare has arrived. A handicap ramp must be built, and some minor repairs caused to the building by the trip here will also be done. The daycare will be taking applications and interviewing prospective students soon.
Anderson also reported that the deadline for the new community guide is May 6. She reported that a new apartment building is planned to be built in De Smet, and some new duplexes will be built on the west side of town.
Anderson told the council that tourism projections for the summer are up. The Trails and De Smet Forest project is moving galong. It seems the National Parks Service, South Dakota Department of Transportation and Game, Fish and Parks all have their hands involved. We may soon see improved trails through the area and a possible name change, but nothing definite yet.
Event Center Director, Kristy Hubbard, gave the council an update on the rentals, events and equipment, which lead to a discussion of rental rates. The council approved a $10 rental increase if an event is requiring the basketball goals or soccer goals to be set up. The cost increase is to cover the cost of city employees coming to the Event Center and setting them up.
It was announced that the Restricted Use Site will open April 17, weather permitting. There will be free dumping for De Smet residents on Saturdays, May 1 and 8 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and Tuesdays, May 4 and 11 from 6 - 8 p.m. There will also be an electronic recycling held May 7 from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the new city shop.
The council addressed numerous small items.
• Approval was given to Wilde Air Service, LLC for an aerial spraying permit.
• The council approved giving up to $4,000 to the De Smet Chamber of Commerce for assistance in the Old Settler’s Day celebration.
• The PaceMaster Platinum ProClub Treadmill from the Event Center was terminated by the council and will be disposed of properly.
• The city will continue to advertise for two softball coaches and two more basket room workers (14 years of age or older) at the city swimming pool.
• The council approved two pay requests. The first was to Helms and Associates in the amount of $169.69 for work on the Turnarounds at the airport. The second request was in the amount of $16,951.08 for the water project to Winter Contracting, LLC.
• Finance Officer, Tracey Larson, requested to attend a conference in Pierre, June 8-11 for a finance officer school. The cost is $125. A city employee will be attending a virtual Water/Waste Expo April 28 - 29 for a total cost of $25. Council approved both.
• Council members were assigned to drive through their wards and observe for any nuisance properties or code violations. Council members will have until the June meeting to make their patrols. There was much discussion about nuisance properties and what can be done. There was discussion of increasing the $200 fine to $1,000, but no action was taken.