The De Smet Common Council met at the De Smet Event Center Wednesday, and while the list of agenda items was long, the council made short work of it. The council heard public comments, set pool rates for the summer and took care of many routine items.
Three City Aldermen had run unopposed this year. Without opposition, there was no need for a city election. The three candidates were Lowell “Butch” Hansen in Ward I. In Ward II, it was Pam Spader, and George Cavanaugh ran for Ward III. All three took their oath of office at Wednesday’s meeting.
The council also tackled some routine items. Hansen was appointed as council president, and Cavanaugh was selected as vice president by the council members.
They also voted to retain Tracey Larson as the city’s finance officer and Todd Wilkinson as the city’s attorney. The Kingsbury Journal remains the city’s official newspaper, and American Bank & Trust, along with Dakotaland, will remain the official banks for city business.
Since the council remained unchanged with the three reappointments, a motion was made for all council members to retain their same committees and appointments during the upcoming term. Motion approved.
A city ordinance allows a trailer to be parked on a public street for up to 24 hours. If a trailer is parked over the 24-hour time limit, a fine can be imposed. With some residents failing to comply with the rules on parking a trailer, the council approved stepping up each fine. The first offense will result in a $100 fine; the second offense will be $200, and the third offense will be $300. This ordinance will be voted on at the next city council meeting.
The council approved the new summer rates for the pool. A child's single day pass will be $2, and adults will be $5. A season pass for a single individual will be $50, while $100 will purchase a family season pass. Swimming lessons will be offered at $25. Contact the City Hall for more information on lessons.
In case you were wondering what other local towns charge for their pool, a child’s single day pass is $2 in Lake Preston; Clark charges $4 with 0-3 being free, and Howard charges $3. Lake Preston charges $2 for an adult daily pass, while Clark charges $6 and Howard $5. Swimming lessons in De Smet will be $25 compared to $40 in Clark.
Lake Preston charges $30 for a single season pass, and a family pass covering up to four people is $60. Each additional person will increase the family rate by $5. A single season pass in Clark will cost $60, and a family season pass is $150. A single individual in Howard will pay $60 for a season pass, while a two-person season pass is $85. A three-person season pass is $110, and a four-person season pass is $135.
The council moved into their variance board and addressed an application for Aruba, LLC. They will be building an addition onto their structure that will be 50’ by 132.’ On the north side of the new structure, a variance would be required for seven feet. There were no safety or visual obstructions, so the council approved the variance. The variance was also approved when the zoning board reconvened as the council.
The council approved the following building permits as well. Mike Martens was seeking a permit to construct a vinyl privacy fence; Aruba, LLC will construct an addition to the existing structure. Doug Stoddard is asking to build a fence, and HME Management from Brookings would like a renewal of their building permit for a duplex. All building permits were inspected and recommended for approval. The council approved them all.
Richard Stoddard, the former water and wastewater superintendent, had been with the City of De Smet for seven years before retiring. Mayor Gary Wolkow presented Stoddard with an inscribed clock, honoring him for his hard work and dedication while employed. The council passed a resolution thanking Stoddard for his years of service.
Shane Waterman with IMEG gave the council an update on the Brewster Street Sewer project. He reported that everything was greenlighted and should start at the end of June or the beginning of July.
Waterman also reported to the council that their application for the proposed water and wastewater infrastructure project with the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) for the Small Community Grant has been accepted, and the decision will be made on June 23 at the DANR hearing. The council was concerned that two-thirds of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money has already been dispersed in South Dakota.
A meeting was planned for May 25 to go over the water and wastewater projects with the city and its employees. On June 7, a meeting will be planned with the business owners on Calumet Avenue and the area involved with the Main Street project. Waterman and the city will be seeking input from the businesses.
The council approved IMEG to start a task of mapping the city’s utilities for Graphical Information System (GIS) use. Waterman said there might be a chance that $10,000 covers the whole cost of mapping the utilities, but he was not sure. The council approved spending $10,000, and if the job is not finished, they would budget the completion in next year’s budget.
• In public comments, resident Mark Siefkes voiced his displeasure with the city council and the recent water rate increases.
• The council approved blocking off parts of Calumet Ave. and 2nd Street for Old Settlers Day on June 11.
• The renewal of the 2022-2023 on/off sale of malt beverages and South Dakota farm wines were approved for Klinkel’s, Wheaties, General Store, Oxbow Restaurant, Cowboy Country Store, The Main Stop, Kingsbury Club House, Maynard’s, Fields Fish & Game and the Dollar General Store.
• A special liquor license was approved for Klinkel’s on May 28, 2022, from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. and June 4, 2022, from 4:30 p.m. to midnight. Both events are at the De Smet Event Center.
• The council approved June 7 as the next date for a regular meeting.
• De Smet Event Center Director Kristy Hubbard reported to the council that they have lost the employment of one of this summer’s lifeguards. She reported that baseball and softball are going strong. The pool is to be painted this week, then filled, and when the water temperature reaches the desired temperature, the pool will be opened.
• The council held a discussion on water and sewer hook-ups and whether to require the connections to be bored under the street. It was recommended to not require residents to bore. A proposal will be drafted and presented at the June 7 meeting.
• A two-year contract with the De Smet Schools was approved.
• Kingbrook Rural Water was approved to supply water to property owned by Tyler, Thomas and Loryn Gehm.
• An executive session was called and lasted 42 minutes.
• An application for a grant with the Department of Health for mosquito control was approved.
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