Virtual Meetings - City Council Encouraging Citizen Attendance
Wed, 12/23/2020 - 9:09am admin
By Elizabeth “Liz” Meighen
On Dec. 14, the Kadoka City Council conducted its regularly scheduled, December monthly meeting at the Kadoka City Finance Office. Council members attending the meeting, either in-person or via Zoom, included Chris Grillo, Tim Huffman, Rusty Olney, Eileen Stolley, Tia Stout, Harry Weller and Ryan Willert. Since January, health officials worldwide have issued advisories in a global effort to reduce the number of infections with the novel Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). The Council hopes to offer residents the opportunity to attend meetings virtually during the pandemic. Zoom, a videoconferencing application allows people to attend virtually and participate in the meeting. Visit the City website at www.kadokasd.com to determine if the meeting will be conducted via Zoom and to obtain the meeting key and passcode for the application. Mayor Weller called the meeting to order and the Council approved the meeting agenda and minutes for two November meetings. In addition to the regular, monthly meeting, the Council met on Nov. 24 to address an urgent matter arising from a massive sewer project along state Highway 73. At the meeting, they reviewed the situation and the measures available to the City to remedy the issue.
LaTasha Buchholz, city finance officer, submitted invoices for review by the Council. She presented November 2020 financial reports, including departmental revenues, departmental expenses and bank account balances as of Nov. 30. The Council approved the invoices and financial statements for November 2020.
In October, Jackson County officials attended the monthly meeting and informed the Council of plans to construct a new shop for the Jackson County Highway Department (JCHD). The building site, located at the intersection of Maple Street and state Highway 248, sits adjacent to a 4.7-acre parcel owned by the City. JCHD Superintendent, Denny Lottman proposed trading the 4.7-acre parcel for the existing JCHD shop and lot. At this meeting, Lottman and Gerard Magelky, a member of the Board of the Jackson County Commissioners, presented a plat of the properties at the proposed site and again approached the Council about the exchange. The Council met on Dec. 16 at the JCHD shop to assess the property so the City can make an informed decision.
David Reiss, executive director for the Central South Dakota Enhancement District (CSDES), presented an agreement for services in conjunction with Planning and Zoning (P&Z) ordinances. He estimates meeting one or two times with the Council to develop a draft for public presentation. Reiss strongly urged the Council to have the city attorney review the working draft prior to public presentation, ensuring alignment with South Dakota Codified Law. He plans to conduct another meeting to provide the public with the opportunity to ask questions, seek answers and address areas of concern. He anticipates the process to be completed by the end of July, basically “five months plus procedure.” Another area addressed by Reiss included the current rates charged by the City for residential and commercial water and sewer services. The City charges less than surrounding municipalities and he pointed out that in order to secure funding through either grants or loans that it would be necessary to increase the rates. Reiss further advised the City to operate the public works department as a business enterprise. Companies seek profits and avoid deficits, which ultimately requires the City to infuse money into the department. He believes the City should, “minimize the overall debt load by raising rates and having adequate payments [from commercial and residential accounts] to pay back what was borrowed.”
Jeff McCormick, engineering associate with Schmucker, Paul, Nohr and Associates, updated the Council on the sewer line project to replace failing sewer lines along the corridor of state Highway 73. He informed the Council that the contractor finished installing the sewer lines, completed street repairs and planned to test the system the week of Dec. 21. McCormick stated that H & W Contracting, LLC (H&W), plans to return in the spring to pave the roadway with asphalt and plant grass seed. McCormick informed the Council that during the sewer project, H&W reported that, “where connecting on the existing line there is a lot of sediment in the existing line.” He recommended the City obtain a certified video of the new and preexisting lines then clean the old lines. McCormick suggested the City obtain certified video of the remainder of the existing sewer and water system in order to effectively plan for future projects. The Council moved to video and clean the existing sewer line that joins with the new lines and to explore the possibility of surveying all the water and sewer lines of the Kadoka public works system.
The last matters of new business related to property improvements. The Council reviewed a building permit submitted personally by Grillo, a Council member and a local building contractor. The Council moved to approve the permit with Grillo abstaining from the vote. In another property matter, the Council approved an application forwarded by the Jackson-Kadoka Economic Development Corporation. This is one of many projects attributed to the Joint Powers Agreement developed between them to create more housing opportunities in the community and to improve curb appeal. Stolley shared a note of encouragement with the Council as she reported visiting with a former resident. The resident lived elsewhere and recently returned, commented on how, “Kadoka is cleaning up their act.”