city council

Water project comes in under budget

Brewster Street sewer line still a go

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The De Smet Common Council held a regular meeting Nov. 10 at the Event Center. The meeting lasted almost two and a half hours, with just one executive session.

During the public comments, the council heard from many residents. The first speaker was Mark Siefkes (similar name alert) admonishing the city council for not cutting the city budget by twenty-five percent. He voiced his opinion that the city will be facing tough times financially and needs to cut their budget.

Residents from Drake's Addition were present and listened to Shane Waterman, an engineer with IMEG, give an update on the progress of the Brewster Street sewer line project. Again, Waterman and the city said the project may be done this fall but could easily carry over to the spring. It all depends on the weather and availability of contractors.

Waterman also gave an update on the water looping project on the city’s east side. Total cost for the project came in at $312,183; however, there was a change order decreasing the total cost by $20,235. The decrease was due to a reduced amount of material used than originally estimated.

Waterman reported that the foreman for the project was not an experienced foreman, and his inexperience caused IMEG to spend more in labor in monitoring the project. Also, he accrued some labor costs for having personnel show up at the project and nobody from the contracting company was present. These incidents occurred several times.

Waterman also submitted a bill to the city for $5,850 covering the extra labor costs his engineering firm had to cover.

If you take the extra labor costs from the change order and deduct the proposed bill, the city still came in $14,385 better than expected.

The city council could not approve the bill, since Waterman just submitted it at the meeting; it would need to be on the agenda in order for the council to address it.

Waterman also told the city council that IMEG had finished collecting the data along Main Street, and now all that was left was to compile the data into various plans and meet with the vested partners and the businesses along Main Street to gather their input.

The Laura Wilder Field Airport took up some time by the council. The Airport Turnarounds Project had a change order decreasing the contractor price by $3,161. The council also approved new bid protest procedures. The city will submit an Airport Grant Pre-Application for designing a AWOS III-P system and snow removal equipment and attachments. An AWOS-III-P system is weather monitoring instrumentation that will deliver real-time and location weather data to any aircrafts.

The City of De Smet had three building permit requests, and all were approved. The De Smet School District had filed for a permit to expand their bus barn. Newer school busses are longer, and the addition would be wider and able to accommodate the longer buses. Resident Jack Mann requested to put in a concrete driveway, sidewalk and a parking area. Seth Wallen had requested to remove an old sidewalk and replace it with a concrete pad.

The city council renewed the 2022 alcoholic beverage licenses and renewed the operating agreements for Maynard’s, The Main Stop, Klinkel’s III, Kingsbury Country Club, Wheaties, Oxbow Restaurant, Dollar General Store #17701 and Grumpy’s.

First District Association was at the council meeting and introduced some of the staff that would be working with the city on different projects, such as technical projects, grant applications, loans, funding, American Rescue Plan, COVID stimulus money with an emphasis on infrastructure and any sewer and water infrastructure projects.

Becky Albrecht requested permission to host parent-coached elementary basketball at the Event Center, and the council approved its use.

The Director for the De Smet Event Center, Kristy Hubbard, told the city council there are three individuals interested in coaching soccer in the spring. It would be for youth up to 12 years old, co-ed and city sponsored. The council gave their approval.

The city council went into executive session for personnel. The sessions lasted just over thirty minutes.

At the last city council meeting, the council had their first reading of Ordinance Number 1-3C, adjusting city elected officials’ pay and pay dates. The ordinance was approved on the second reading.

The council discussed the cost of a cannabis dispensary license of $50,000 set earlier in the year. There was not much discussion, and the council took no action, leaving the licensing fee at $50,000.

The city had a lengthy list of surplus property they would like to get rid of. There is a small (less than 12”) handicap ramp that would be suitable to cover a small gap in a sidewalk, five voting booths, four wood chairs with leather cushions, four rounded-back wood chairs, a manual typewriter, approximately forty traffic cones (well used), wood stove, computer with monitor, keyboard, speaker and hard drive and a Hydro-Therm Boiler model #VGA-200-CON. The council approved putting the items in surplus. Once the property is assessed, it will be open for bidding.

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