Council addresses community concerns
The Gettysburg City Council addressed a number of issues from the new high school to the city pool to the local newspaper during the hour long meeting on June 2.
Scott Sikkink from HKG Architects met with the council and talked about discussion during the last meeting on the possibility of sharing costs for some paving. He shared a plan with the council showing the streets where the school is asking for help. The city has already agreed to lay culverts along Exene Street.
There was discussion about the parking lot on the east side of the new school being included in some of the civil drawings last fall, but it was never included in the final bid. School board member Brian Robbennolt explained that it started with fixing the drainage concerns, and then it grew into the additional parking along with the drainage.
He said there has always been a drainage issue on the east side of where the school is being built, and when it rained the water did not make it through the culvert located there — it ran across the parking lot. It became a real issue when the new school building was constructed. It was something that needed to be corrected, and he said that City Maintenance Supervisor Russ Anderson has worked hard at that and has also been attending the school construction meetings.
Robbennolt told the council that the board had discussed if it’s a budgetary issue for the city, the school’s preference is the parking on the east side of the high school and delay the widening of King Avenue. He apologized for not having numbers available for the cost estimates, saying they came in too late to be prepared for the council meeting.
Council member Dawn Nagel asked Anderson if there was a total amount of what the city has paid out already regarding the school. Anderson did not have that number available.
Norm Kostboth, president of the Gettysburg Whitlock Bay Development Corporation, along with other members of the group, updated the council saying they are in the final process of hiring a director and hope to have someone selected in the next few weeks for the part-time position. They told the council how much they appreciate the stipend given to them by the city and that they welcome council members to attend their meetings.
There was a lengthy discussion over paying pool staff before the pool was officially open, and having the payment made without going through the council first. Council was told that the managers went to Bismarck to get candy and discussed pool policy during the trip. It as agreed that the issue was not that they were paid, but how it was done.
In the maintenance department report, Anderson said they are going to start grinding streets in preparation for the August asphalt work. He also said the filters at the pool are working well, the water quality looks good, and the kids seem to like the new frog slide. There was talk about a fungus on the evergreen trees in town that will jump from tree to tree, and even with required spraying could take a few years for trees to come back from the damage.
The ditch along Garfield east of the hospital property needs mowing. That is a county road, and Council member Pat Everson said he will contact county highway superintendent Steve Smith to see if they can mow it. Everson said the county took care of patching the road after discussion last month.
In roundtable, Nagel said she had been asked by multiple people why they pay to have the city print the minutes in the paper when their editor takes a full page to write the minutes in the paper. She said they think it’s a waste of the city’s money.
Mayor Bill Wuttke said he agreed, adding, “It’s an easy story for them.”
Hause explained that it’s state law that the minutes must be published, although he said not necessarily in that paper*, but that it is the city’s official paper.
Nagel told those asking that the city is mandated to publish the minutes.
Everson talked about streets that have been paved during the past few years that have gone bad, and asked if there is a plan for them. Anderson said that there are some soft spots and they are on the list to be repaired. Hause said that there is underground water saturating the ground in some parts of town and wondered if it doesn’t deal with some of the water shrinkage or loss. It was talked about how to go about finding old taps.
In other council news,
• City attorney Michael Larson reviewed curb stops, and recommended the city pay for the repair.
• A temporary malt beverage permit for the fire department was approved for the car show.
• The bike rodeo was rescheduled to Saturday, June 14 due to rain. The event will discuss the rules of the road, with the focus to keep kids safe.
• Larry Madsen will check trees for elm disease as in past years.
• July 12 was set for airport day with the SD Pilots Association
The minutes of the meeting are published on page 13 of the News. They are also available online at www.pottercountynews.com and at www.sdpublicnotices.com