The De Smet Common Council held a special meeting last Wednesday at City Hall. The purpose of the meeting was to review the updated planning and zoning ordinances and address the issues that residents in Drake’s Addition had with water and sewer utilities.
One issue that has been a high concern for residents in the past few council meetings is access to water and sewer in the city’s northwest side in Drake’s Addition. Many of the residents were quite vocal and wished to see the water and sewer services improved, and/or access made available to the residents in the addition. At Wednesday’s meeting there were no Drake’s Addition residents present.
The council did have a map available showing current water mains running through Drake’s Addition and sewer lines that flow along two sides of the addition. Each lot that has structures on it is currently within distance of tapping into the water mains. There are four blocks, six through nine, on the west side of the addition that do not have access to water, but they are undeveloped and have no need for water at present.
Access to sewer lines will require some work. Currently, there are sewer lines running along the south edge of Drake’s Addition on Front Street and along Highway 25 on Drake’s Addition’s east side. There are no sewer lines inside Drake’s Addition, just along its perimeter.
If the City of De Smet installed a new sewer line that was laid down Brewster Street from Highway 25 to Sherwood, it would provide the best alternative to satisfy the greatest number of residents in the addition. The cost is estimated to run around $60,000. There is a possibility that American Rescue Plan Funds that the city received could be used for the project. The project would need approval from the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR).
The city’s engineer, Shane Waterman with IMEG, is familiar with the area and has been working on plans for the addition for a while. The city asked him to go ahead with the engineer’s layout for the project. Because the project is under $100,000, the city would not need to put the project out for bid and could use a local or area contractor. If the plans get completed quickly, DANR approves the project and an available contractor is found, work might begin before the ground freezes; otherwise, it would be started in the spring.
The primary purpose of the special session was for the city council to sit down and amend the current planning and zoning ordinances. Luke Muller with First District Association of Local Governments had been tasked with updating and modernizing the ordinances that have not been revised in over ten years.
Muller presented his proposed changes to the council, and they reviewed them and asked questions, as needed. Some ordinances just needed to be reworded for clarity; other items needed to be updated to reflect current fees charged or to add in ordinance changes that have occurred over the past several years.
Going over the proposed changes to the ordinances helps make sure the city, its lawyer, mayor and council members were all on the same page. It also gave them a chance to address any additional changes that needed to be made.
The city council approved advertisement for an airport engineer. Helms & Associates is the current airport engineer, but state regulations require the city to advertise for the position of airport engineer every five years. With no other items on the agenda, the meeting was adjourned just before 7:30 p.m.
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