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City council reviews grants, street projects, and future recording of meetings

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The Gettysburg City Council showed their approval for an off-sale liquor license, but their disapproval for recording meetings during their regular February meeting.
An off-sale package liquor license was approved for The Burg convenience store located on the east side of town. Donna Davis was there representing the business, and told the council she will be back at another time to discuss a drive up window for the business.
Representing the Northeast Council of Governments (NECOG) Ted Dickey attended the meeting to answer questions regarding Community Access Grants and other sources of funding available for community projects. Dickey has helped with grant writing for the city over the past 16 years, and covers six of the 12 counties in NECOG. Some of the grants awarded to the city over the years included assistance with a waste water relining project and funding for the Little Angels Park.
The city was not awarded a grant for a street project in the area by the school but can reapply for the year 2015. Dickey said there 18 applications requesting $2.7 million, and there was roughly $1.4 million available, and only the top seven projects were funded.
Dickey and the council briefly discussed a five year plan in the works that is looking at community infrastructure, and funding may be available for a proposed sewer project.
There was talk about renovation of the city auditorium and grants that may be available to help, especially to emphasize it as a multiuse facility that is used for a number of youth and community activities.
It was commented that the funds from the Triple B tax might be available to use for the auditorium project.
Council briefly discussed that the city of Hoven is putting up a clinic and new city hall with USDA funds, but no details were provided.
There was also talk about how changes to the highway could dictate the best way for the city best to take care of water coming off the highway for storm drains.
Cost estimates will be updated for pending projects in order to reapply for grants.
The council reviewed the Gettysburg Whitlock Bay Economic Development report. Council member Fran Van Bockel said she has not been able to attend the meetings since her work requires her to be out of town those nights. She did ask about the Development Corporation being granted $21,700 over four years for a grant to change the position of director from part time to full time. It was not known if the Development Corporation was planning to move forward with that.
Council members Kenny Goebel and Bryan Hause will represent the city by attending the meetings. Members of the council reported that they were contacted by people who tried to get blueprints for a housing project advertised for duplexes and nothing was available to bid.
A letter will be sent from Mayor Bill Wuttke to the development board regarding what information the council would like available to review from the Development Corporation.
Chief Bill Wainman gave his report to the board for review, and said there were no complaints from the public last month.
City maintenance supervisor Russ Anderson asked that the paper trailer be surplused. The floor is rotting out and there is no longer a need for the paper recycling service, since the Boy Scouts no longer collect the paper and the recycling business in Miller no longer had a need for it. For safety reasons it was determined to surplus the trailer.
Jensen Rock and Sand contacted the city and said they would asphalt the streets for the price contracted last year at $118 per ton.
The council was shown a series of  maps and papers outlining the start of a five year plan, for which the committee members of Hause, Nagel, Goebel, Wuttke, and Anderson were commended.
The parking and road project at the airport was discussed and approved by the council.
There was discussion over the ambulance vehicles, and it was asked if there would be consideration to use a gas engine instead of a diesel. The Maas Foundation made a donation of $50,000 toward the purchase of a new ambulance which prompted the discussion.
The expansion tank on the boiler of the firehall needs to be replaced, so it was approved to do that.
Mayor Wuttke announced that the council and city staff were invited to attend the Government Day luncheon at the American Legion Annex with the government class from the high school.
Two applications were submitted  for the Ward III position appointment. A third had withdrawn the application. The board voted to go into executive session to discuss the appointment.
The board came out of executive session after nearly 40 minutes, at which time council member Nagel moved to accept Mick Bliese’s application for city alderman to fill the Ward III vacancy, with a second by Hause. With no discussion, the motion carried. Bliese will fill the term until the election in April.
Hause then said he would also like to make a motion that in the future, dealing with the city tape recorder and the recording of minutes during the meeting, any outside recorders will not be controlled by a city employee in the future. If people want to come with a tape recorder they can bring it themselves or have somebody else bring it but a city employee should not be the ones turning it on and off. Nagel gave a second to the motion.
City finance officer Shar Eliason records the meetings, and she, along with council member Van Bockel, have assisted the news by recording meetings for public record to report the discussions at the meetings.
With Van Bockel casting  the only nay vote, the motion passed. Van Bockel questioned the vote, telling council, “I don’t think we can really vote on that because it wasn’t on the agenda.”
Both Hause and Nagel said, “It’s personnel.”
In round table discussion, there was a request for a speed limit sign coming into town from the south on the airport road. It was believed that signs were already in place, and the request needs to be directed to the county on that road.
The meeting was adjourned, and the next meeting is scheduled for March 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the City Finance Office located in downtown Gettysburg.
Minutes from the meeting are published on page 17 of the News and are also available online at www.pottercountynews.com and www.sdpublicnotices.com
-Molly McRoberts

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