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City council grants easement to school

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Easements around the school topped the agenda at the meeting of the Gettysburg City Council on Dec. 6. Craig Smith addressed the council on behalf of the school regarding the easements requesting an additional 16 feet starting from the alley behind the elementary school and around the school property. School board representative Kay Schmidt said that there is an 88 foot public right of way rather than 66 foot on some of the streets and there are some places where the school has encroached on the city’s streets for many years, but they were at the meeting to make it legal.
Mayor Bill Wuttke explained that the discussion stemmed from the ditch around the school parking lot property which has a slope to it, so the street has been used for parallel parking  by people attending school events. “By doing it this way, it is going to be filled in, level, and it’s going to make it much easier for cleanup for both the school and the city,” said the mayor, “and it’s going to be a lot safer. The biggest thing is the safety for the kids. The street is going to be wider and there is going to be more room.”
The council agreed unanimously to grant a permanent easement to the school.
Police Chief Bill Wainman reported that the city put up the third speed board on Exene Street and it is hoped to slow down traffic going toward the school. He said it can be moved and during the summer it can be used to slow traffic around the pool. The speed boards are solar powered, and the signs on the ends of town have worked well in helping slow traffic. He also said that the state is going to put out truck route signs that will be more clearly mark the route.
There was discussion of the 911 and the unusually large number of hangup calls during the past month. Chief Wainman explained that they were calls made by mistake from adults who were testing cell phones. Apparently one type of phone will dial the emergency number if the “send” button is held too long, and others were accidental dialing. He also reported a quiet and incident-free firemen’s ball this year.
The airport validation was discussed with proposed improvements for 2014. There was a brief discussion that the apron expansion at the turnaround area on the south end could use a triangle added so the bigger jets that land at the airport don’t have their mains drop off the pavement. It was believed that apron expansion could be done with future work if needed.
The council voted to give bonuses of $500 each to full time employees and a $250 bonus to part time employees. A three percent wage increase will be given to employees at the start of the new year.
The minutes of the meeting were published in the Dec. 12 edition of the News. They are also available online at www.pottercountynews.com and at www.sdpublicnotices.com
-Molly McRoberts

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