City continues work on airport improvement project

By Marj Frew

A nice showing of residents attended the November 13 meeting of the City Council. Along with the regular opening business, the council also approved a transfer of $20,000 from BBB funds to the Markota Fund for golf course water expenses. They also approved a transfer of $15,000 from the liquor fund to the sanitation fund to cover everyday expenses, as not enough funds come in for the fund.

Council members Walter York and Chuck Gotheridge were absent. Others in attendance were Officer Daniel Dove, Police Chief Brandon Petersen, Jay Yohner, Kevin Rascher, Gloria Claussen, Joyce Wilson, Kent Penney, Marj Frew, Tracee Livermont, Sarah Harris and Paul Noel.

Council member Angie Rascher submitted her resignation, due to her new job as county auditor. Kevin Rascher was appointed by Mayor Gary Rayhill, and approved by the council, to fill the vacancy, and was sworn in as Councilman for Ward II.

Kent Penney, Senior Aviation Planner for KLJ Engineering, spoke to the council in regards to the land acquisition for the airport. KLJ sent solicitation letters to four appraisal firms, as required by the FFA, for appraisal and review appraisal services for the fee acquisition of two parcels of property adjacent to the airport.

Two firms have replied, and those firms were accepted by the council for the required services. Simpson and Associates, of Rapid City, was awarded the appraisal contract and Shaykett Appraisal, of Rapid City, was awarded the review appraisal contract. 

The initial appraisal cost will be $21,500 and $10,000 for the review appraisal. Penney explained, “Your out-of-pocket costs, once the grant is executed, would be five percent, which would be about $1,500. I realize this is a very high number. It isn’t about the acre numbers, it’s about the research hours necessary.”

Chief Petersen reported the activity of the police department for the month of October. He reported 63 calls for service, 216 total events logged with Winner dispatch, with 15 arrests: 3 felonies and 12 misdemeanors. Petersen also visited with the council about the updates made to equipment on the vehicles.

Tracee Livermont visited with the council to ask for assistance with the demolition of the old MARC building at 204 Main. The county will be helping with the trucks and hauling the debris off the lot. Livermont asked for help with the equipment to tear down  the building. Street Manager Paul Noel said the timeline would probably be later in the winter. An excavator would need to be rented. The issue will be discussed next month after the responsibility for the expense is discussed with the county.

Noel informed the council that since Avenue D technically continues to the edge of the football field fence, even though it is not being used, the school needs permission to use that land within their new school building plan. The engineer for the school plan asked for a retention pond on the unused north section of Avenue D. The council approved the request.

Mayor Rayhill read the first reading of the Supplemental Budget for the fiscal year 2019, with approval by the council.

Liquor licenses for 2020 were approved for the American Legion, Susan’s H&H Bar, Bros Inc., Bennett County Golf Association, and for a wine license for YesWay was approved.

The council approved purchasing fireworks for the city’s Fourth of July celebration, in the amount of $3,000.

City Finance Officer Jean Kirk presented the health insurance plan for city employees. The plan has an increase for the first time in the past three years. The plan will have a minimal increase by 5.4 percent overall. The plan was approved by the council.

Kirk reported that appraisals for the property across from the park were received. The council agreed to advertise the property for sale through the regular channels.

Since the previously surplussed pickup received no bids, the council decided to advertise again.

Building permits were approved for Tyler  Nollett for a fence, and for Monty Fralick for storage units.

Kirk informed the council that Mary Poor Thunder is willing to have someone help her get rid of a house which is not inhabitable due to a previous fire. She is willing to allow the fire department to do a controlled burn, or pay for having the city help demolish the property.

The next regular City Council meeting will be Wednesday, December 11, at 5:30 p.m. in the Library Community Room.

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