Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Meighen

City Council Approves State Water Plan; Development Of Site Ready Building Lots

The Kadoka City Council conducted its monthly meeting Nov. 8, physically at the city finance office and virtually via Zoom, a video teleconferencing application. Council members attending the meeting included Chris Grillo, Tim Huffman, Rusty Olney, Eileen Stolley, Tia Stout, Harry Weller and Ryan Willert.

Mayor Weller called the meeting to order, asking the Council to review the current meeting agenda and October meeting minutes. Huffman moved to amend the agenda to include discussion regarding the “Scholl” property and add Jamie Hermann, superintendent for the Kadoka Area School. The Council approved the modified agenda and meeting minutes. LaTasha Buchholz, city finance officer, provided October 2021 expenditures and financial reports, including departmental profit and loss summaries. The reports include account balances for regular checking, ATM and money market account balances as of Oct. 31. The Council approved the monthly financial reports.

Jesse Taylor addressed the Council during citizens’ input. Taylor, the pastor of Kadoka Presbyterian Church, noted he and his family have enjoyed living in the community for the last three years. He shared his previous experiences as a police officer and as a pastor stating, “I understand people voted to legalize marijuana, but you cannot legislate morality.” In his professional experience, marijuana promotes the use of other illicit drugs. “We are finding ourselves at a crossroads,” is the message from Taylor, who believes accommodating medical dispensaries will adversely affect future generations.” He concluded, “I don’t know the answer—but I know that it isn’t good for our community.”

In matters of new business, Weller presented proposals submitted in response to an advertised bid letting. CHS, Inc., Discount Fuel, Inc. and Kadoka Oil, LLC. submitted bids for #1 and #2 diesel, liquid propane and unleaded gasoline for on- and off-road vehicles and equipment in addition to heating fuel. The Council requires further information and delayed action until Nov. 17.

The Council reviewed plans to update the aging water and sewer system. In 1972, the state legislature established the State Water Plan through the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (SDDANR). Ben Maas, stormwater engineer with Schmucker, Paul, Nohr and Associates, Inc. (SPN&A) presented the Wastewater and Water Facility Plan for 2021-2023 to the Council. He reported numerous deficiencies with antiquated lines interspersed throughout the system. The Council moved to accept the Plan and file it with the SD-DANR

In matters of property development, Jeff McCormick, engineer with SPN&A, presented a plat of city-owned property on Chestnut and Maple Streets for development. McCormick offered suggestions to the Council on how to best provide utilities for the proposed lots, measuring 100 feet wide by 150 feet deep. The Council authorized SPN&A to draft plans for four lots to be located on Chestnut Street with plans to later develop more lots on Maple Street.

Jamie Hermann, superintendent for the Kadoka Area School (KAS), addressed the Council regarding the drainage ditch between Main Street and the gymnasium. Public safety, sufficient storm drainage and curb appeal are the subjects, in that order, that the Council and KAS hope to address. Herman informed the Council of plans for the KAS to build a new school on property located to the west of the gymnasium. He requested that engineers with SPN&A partake in discussion to “improve the ditch and drainage.” McCormick informed the Council that he plans to communicate with contractors hired to construct the new school.

The Council opened discussion of options available to the City and its residents regarding medical marijuana. Trask advised the Council to draft ordinances for public smoking and vaping of marijuana. The Council welcomes public discussion and plans the first reading of ordinances specific to its use on Nov. 17.

Joel Johnson, Code Enforcement Specialists, LLC, presented findings from his most recent inspection of Kadoka. He informed the Council that he planned to mail letters notifying residents of violations for junked automobiles, an unsafe commercial structure and five uninhabitable structures. Grillo noted, “I would want to know before we tear these down—is it legal? I gather there is a state process to take action.” Stephanie Trask, attorney for the City, noted the process ensures the City provided sufficient opportunity to correct violations.

Nathan Riggins, public works department superintendent, informed the Council that Maguire Iron, Inc., Sioux Falls, proposed cleaning and painting the two city-owned water towers, offering two payment options—a lump sum payment or payments over three years. The Council opted for the lump sum payment. Riggins informed the council only one contractor submitted a quotation to install manholes and sewer lines on Cedar Street. The Council approved the Cedar Street project.

In matters related to streets, Weller reported that a resident on Elm Street requested the City install a streetlight. The Council plans to obtain pricing from West Central Electric Coop, delaying action until the Nov. 17 meeting. Patrick Solon, public works department, informed the Council the streets department stockpiled gravel and received authorization from the Council to purchase an additional $30,000 worth of gravel to stockpile.

In matters relating to public safety, Robert Book, chief of the Kadoka Police Department, presented his report to the Council. Book noted that he brought deficiencies to the attention of the public safety committee last week. He told the Council, “the main thing, number one in my view is to get computers updated including the addition of a laptop for the patrol car.” Other departmental needs include updates to the patrol car for prisoner transport, a taser, a bulletproof vest and video camaras. Stolley noted, “it is unfortunate that nothing has been brought up to date and now everything is coming up at once.”

A special meeting is scheduled for Nov. 17 and the regular meeting is scheduled for Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Kadoka City Finance Office. The public is invited and encouraged to attend the meetings.

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
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