The City Council met for a regular meeting on Mon., March 8. All members were present as well as employees Brian Zeeck, Doug Bumann and Brenda Klug. Rick Olson joined the meeting later. Banner Associates had two people present to update the board on progress.
Banner recommended that the new water tower be built 23 feet higher than the current water tower. This would cost $30,000 and would add an additional 10 psi to many homes. The extra pressure would be especially beneficial to homes at lower elevations. It poses a potential risk for homes with older plumbing.
Phase 1 of the water improvement project will last two years, with work this year beginning on Park Avenue North, going from the lift station to Highway 14. The project will be able to utilize a $300,000 matching grant previously awarded to the city. Spring Avenue North from 4th to 2nd Streets is also slated to be completed in 2021. If additional time exists, the project will move to north of the railroad tracks. Consideration is being made to ensure that both truck routes are not under construction at the same time. Phase 1 is $7.2 million, and work will make improvements to issues such as slope challenges and sunken manholes.
The Budget Committee reported that they reviewed the fire department's finances, and made recommendations that aligned them with other city entities.
Doug Bumann reported that a resident would like an old city well in his yard filled in. Zeeck presented a bid of $3595 to have SD Association of Rural Water Systems create a map of valves, wells, hydrants, flushing devices, pump stations, tanks and towers. No action was taken. He also reported that he and Doug Bumann built a railing in the loft of the fire department for insurance compliance.
Klug reported that she will get bids for flowers on Main Street again, and the council voted to get new Coco liners for the baskets on Main. She reported that she heard from Tanya Flegel with the Kingsbury Conservation District who reported that there is a reimbursement program for trees purchased from a reputable nursery. There is also a matching fund for labor.
Klug also presented a mailing where someone could get a home painted for free. After discussion, it was decided that she would ask for volunteers on Facebook so that a house could be painted in our community.
• McMasters Construction was awarded the gravel bid. The winning bid was $7.05 a ton for screened gravel, $8.05 a ton for crushed gravel and $0.30 to haul.
• Kathy Koch, Marla Bertsch and Jan Mobley were approved as city election workers at $9.50 an hour. Ward I candidates are Kristen Longville and Alex Post. Ward II candidates are Joe Schnell and Jeremy Woodcock. Ward III candidates are Brian Verhey and Jim Conrad. The election is April 13 at the community room.
• The council unanimously voted to raise the cost of building permits from $10 to $50. This additional cost will cover the expense of paying the zoning board members for reviewing the permits. Prior to this increase, the city lost money with each application.
• The council also agreed to close Main Street between the bank and the former AMPI building for the car show during Town and Country Days. The community room will also be made available for the car show staff.
• During council concerns, Verhey brought up the need for a new location for the BBQ contest on June 26, as the previous location is the future location for the Horizon Clinic and no longer available. Possible locations were discussed with power requirements being one of the main challenges.
• Schnell inquired about ways to improve parking at the new ambulance building.
• Longville discussed a possible mass letter seeking donations for the campground. She also outlined elements in the funding grant for improvements to the campground and poolhouse, as well as a possible sculpture walk and gathering spaces in empty lots. She expressed hope that groups such as former classes might sponsor parts of the project like camping pads and then would get their names on a plaque.
• Longville also suggested the cannon get painted as it is in need.
• Longville reported that she had been approached by someone who wondered about getting a plaque put up by the football field to commemorate the former Catholic Church. The council agreed that is not something the council would do, but perhaps a family who went to the church might be interested. Donna Bumann suggested that perhaps the sculpture walk idea could evolve into a historic tour of Lake Preston with plaques around town that described former businesses.
• Gary Buer reported a resident was having water issues. He also suggested barricades at the corner of Brad Nelson’s home to prevent damage by semis. Buer reported sightings of children in need of supervision. He was encouraged to call DSS to make an official report.
• Council member Bumann reported that she'd been contacted about trucks on Park Avenue South. She noted there seems to be a pattern as far as times of day and suggested perhaps patrols could focus on those times. Mayor Andy Wienk asked her to let him know about the times, and he would forward the information to law enforcement.
• John McMasters reported there is a significant pothole by the school.
• Mayor Wienk reported he had been contacted by 21st Century personnel who would like to see the 45-mph speed limit further outside town. Klug agreed to reach out to DOT officials to see where they were with this request, as it had been previously suggested.
• The council will meet Wed., March 17 for a special meeting for those who have submitted a letter contesting home valuations. The council will also vote on whether to increase the height of the water tower.