Infrastructure, Continued Department Loss Prompts Sewer & Water Increase
The Kadoka City Council conducted its monthly meeting on Dec. 13 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, Tia Stout, Eileen Stolley, Ryan Willert and Harry Weller.
Mayor Weller called the meeting to order. The Council reviewed the meeting agenda and meeting minutes for the regular November meeting and a special meeting on Nov. 17. At the special meeting, the Council conducted the first reading of an ordinance proposed to regulate the smoking or vaping of medical cannabis on public properties within the city limits. During the meeting, the Council also approved a motion to purchase equipment for the Kadoka Police Department (KPD). The equipment includes a rugged-style laptop computer, a computer dock for the KPD police car, a taser electroshock weapon and a police body camera.
LaTasha Buchholz, finance officer, provided the Council with invoices for November 2021 expenditures and financial reports, including departmental profit and loss summaries. The reports included account balances for regular checking, ATM and money market account balances as of Nov. 30. The Council approved the monthly expenses and financial reports.
Before proceeding to matters of new business, as established by the meeting agenda, the Council provides residents with the opportunity to present concerns, opinions or ask questions during citizen’s input. The agenda further notes that “items will be heard but no action will be taken.” The City encourages both individual property owners and local business owners to attend the Council meetings and participate in matters of local government. For individuals seeking Council action, the individual must contact the finance office and request placement on the upcoming meeting agenda in matters of new business. The City requires a minimum notice of 24 hours to be placed on the upcoming meeting agenda.
It the first matter of new business, the Council reviewed one bid submitted in response to an advertisement for the solid waste contract for 2022. West River Excavation, LLC, submitted a bid to haul solid waste from the Kadoka transfer station to the regional landfill east of Pierre. The Council approved the bid. In the next item of new business, the Council reviewed and approved an application for a malt beverage license for Badlands Distillery, LLC. In the final matter of new business, the City designated its official depository as BankWest, selected the Kadoka Press as its official newspaper and appointed Stephanie Trask as the official City attorney.
The Council proceeded to departmental reports, starting with code enforcement. Joel Johnson, Code Enforcement Specialists, LLC, sent a report updating the Council on properties in violation of ordinances in Title 7-Health and Sanitation.
Nathan Riggins, water and sewer superintendent, informed the Council that he is awaiting a response from the contractor to supply the start date of a sewer project. Willert commented on an upcoming maintenance project for the two city-owned water towers. He suggested completing work on the smaller, less costly of the two towers. Willert expressed hopes in the possibility of receiving federal funding for infrastructure to help with payment for the larger tower through grants and other resources. The discussion turned to the continued departmental deficit and the current sewer and water rates. The Council approved a motion to increase the water and sewer rates effective Jan. 1, 2022. Patrick Solon informed the Council that the City received approximately 30 loads of gravel. He informed the Council that the City plans to contract repairs to concrete culverts and repair a concrete bridge next spring
Grillo provided the report for solid waste report to the Council. He reported the sale of a piece of heavy-duty equipment located in the landfill lot. Discussion ensued regarding the current rates charged by the City for the disposal of solid waste and rubble. The solid waste contract for 2022 allows for a surcharge increase in their hauling fees when fuel costs exceed $3.00 per gallon to haul trash from the Kadoka transfer station to the Pierre landfill. The disposal costs for the consumer do not change. Grillo commented, “we should move our rates up.” The Council decided to continue the discussion at the next meeting.
Jackie Stillwell, Kadoka City Bar manager, informed the Council that plans for January include the Kadoka Volunteer Fire Department coyote calling contest scheduled with plans for live entertainment and a chili feed.
Stolley, public safety committee, informed the Council of electrical repairs recently completed on the KPD patrol car. Robert Book, KPD chief, reported activity for the month of November, providing a copy of his report to the Council. He noted, “this is a snapshot of November [calls] with 43 calls.” Calls range from reports of suspicious persons, trespass on private property with some disturbing calls that report drug related activity within our community. Book noted that some calls necessitate his assistance outside the city limits in a multiagency response, such as a wreck on the interstate, while other calls may be local in nature, such as a request to escort a funeral procession. He suggested implementing a monthly program hosted by the KPD—such as counterfeit training or home safety measures—to bolster the relationship between the KPD and the community.
Mayor Weller provided the Mayor’s report to the Council. He stated the public hearing will be on Dec. 21 at 6 p.m. with the year-end meeting scheduled for Dec. 30 at 5 p.m. The next monthly meeting will occur on Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. at the City Finance Office. Grillo commented that the plans for the City’s future infrastructure justify the rate increases in public works services, noting, “we are raising rates, this will explain why.” The Council invites and encourages the public to attend hearings and meetings.