City council fills BID Director position

The Gregory City Council members, excluding Seymour Studenberg, met for their regular meeting on Tuesday, September 5 to discuss building permits, the 2018 budget, land leases, Grandview marketing plan, the hiring of a new BID director and an extension request for the airport project.

Reports from department

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Head librarian Diane Althoff, said the library is at the normal slow down after the busy summer but still had 649 visitors for the month of August. She informed the council that she received the last installment of the eBook credit. The library had $1,500 requested and the last $500 has been received. She said that this will be the last month that she will be ordering on the state library eBook, her committee term will be done at the end of the year.

She added that she and two of the trustees will be attending a conference. This is a way for the trustee to keep their accreditation.

She has also been spending time at the school library, informing them of the activities going on and just keeping in touch with students.

She has twenty people signed up for the Alice Training Institute program, but could always take more. The program will be held October 11 from 6:30 - 8-30 p.m. The program is training to deal with public violent attack situations.

Public Works Superintendent Mark Fortuna informed the council that the big oak trees in the park are getting bad. A large branch fell over the walking trail near the bathrooms at the park. He said they went down and looked at the trees, took a boom truck and cut down dead branches over top of the playground equipment and the tree down by the memorial because it was half dead. He said he had talked to Al Cerny about getting a tree specialist to come in or the State Forestry to come down and take a look at the trees. He continued to say that some of the trees are completely hollow.

Fortuna said they are also waiting for Burke to get the chip seal ready and the hot mix plant to start up.

In need of new equipment

Police Chief Lafe Gildemaster reported to the council that the state has gotten back to him about the speed signs. There are a number of rules and regulations that has to be followed, to where they are placed, what the signs actually do when they are up, what they are mounted on, etc. They send out the rules and regulations and then the city will have to make a proposal and send it back to the state for approval and then the signs can be put it up.

He reported that there were some traffic stops, dog and cat complaints and one person went to jail on a warrant.

Next he gave the council members a quote on three new doors for city hall, the one on the top of the staircase, the evidence room and the one to the police office. The quote was for $872 for three oak doors. It has been many years since the doors have been replaced. After more discussion, the council made a decision to buy four doors, evidence room, police office and finance officer’s door and assistant finance officer’s door. The council will revisit replacing the rest at a later time.

He also said now that he’s been here for a little while and has been going through the equipment and having worked with the equipment, he gave the council bids on two new radar guns for $4,100 off state bid. What he showed the council is what all state agencies are going to. He said they do last and they do work.

A third request to the council was to purchase personal portable radios, as of now, none of the police cars have them. He explained to the council that these radios would be located at shoulder level and with a push of a button would send for assistance if the police officer was having problems with someone they had stopped. Right now, the officer would have to get back to the police car to their cell phone or car radio to call for assistance. He said that he found some old ones but the buttons were gone, antennas were bent and are not usable. The cost of three portable radios is $1,800. He added that the police cars are already equipped to add the radios so there will not be any additional cost to install. He asked the council if it was a possibility to purchase yet this year or if they had to wait and put in the budget next year.

Council woman Shana Flakus said that it is a safety issue for the police force and that most of the time they are out there patrolling by themselves.

The council agreed and approved the purchase of all new equipment requested and four doors at city hall at approximately $280 per door.

Committee reports

Gulya Husman has a request to think about placing bathrooms by the new Park Performance Center in the north end of the park.

Shana Flakus also reported that a community member had contacted her about doing some renovation to the Senior Center. In further inspection, the city does not own that building.

Building permits

Sam Flakus, committee member of the Planning/Zoning, met with the council on three building permits. Melissa Bartling would like to put a fence around her house and Charles Pense presented a plan for a building addition. Neither need a variance and asked for approval of the council of these two permits.

Don Fiebelkorn’s placement of a shed was tabled last meeting to gather more information. Flakus asked that they table this one again. He had spoken with Fiebelkorn and was told that the previous owner purchased six feet of the property to the east. Flakus will do some checking with the county and Gunvordahl and see if the purchase of the six feet is documented.

The council approved the first two permits and tabled the third.

Sewer line

At the last meeting, Bryan Nelson was asked to get a quote for the sewer line work in front of Gregory Lanes. The original work to the sewer was done approximately 17 years ago and the company is now out of business. Mayor Scott Anshutz said that there are more problems arising from the 17 year old project and would like to do a cost share.

The quote was $1,544.89 to complete the work. After a discussion by the council members, they agreed to split the cost of the project and the city would wave excavation fees and the city crew would help with replacing asphalt. The total cost to Nelson would be $1,050.

Blazer appraised

Tim Drey offered to purchase the Blazer for $2,700 which is 90% of the appraised price. The council approved the purchase since there were no other bids were received. Council approved.

Budget and leases

Flakus asked what the $5,000 for public nuisance was spent on. It is there to help with tearing down old houses, etc. The council approved the first reading of the 2018 budget ordinance.

The two city properties have been advertised for five year sealed bids to lease the airport and lagoon land and around the airport land.

Grandview marketing plan

The BID group was approached by Darla Jordan of Keller Williams Reality about marketing Grandview. Other agencies in the area were contacted but not interested.

Jordan will do the advertising and has already done some drone work and will charge $1,000 for every residential or commercial lot sold. If a realty brings a buyer to the table, they will receive $450 on residential, north of First Street and commercial, south of First Street, would receive three percent. They can also choose whatever title company they want to use.

Anshutz said he likes the proposal and says that the city is not out anything. The BID group will review in one year. She has a house in Dallas and will have an office in Dallas in a few weeks. The council approved the proposal by the BID group.

BID director position

The BID group has been discussing over the last few months that they need a director that can put in more hours. Cerny has filled the position with no salary.

BID president Doug Pochop and Vice President Dr. JD Fogel made the request that maybe Holly Glover take the position as BID director. It would be a one year probation period with a salary of $400. It would be a Chamber/BID Director.

Flakus had a proposal to go to an economic development group for the Chamber and BID as one group.

Laura Petersen spoke on behalf of the BID group and said that BID, at this time, would like to stay separate.

Flakus said with echoing comments from council woman Valerie Johnson that the two entities are working toward the same goal for the City of Gregory.

Mayor Anshutz said that the Chamber is more working with the businesses in town and the BID is to advertise to get the businesses into town.

The mayor continued to say that he didn’t know if the two boards could blend. Flakus said it has been done and works well, maybe it is too soon to join the two entities.

Flakus said that as a council member we are out in the public and getting feed back from our wards and people we talk to and they want to know what the difference is, who’s doing what and who are they working for.

The mayor said that the Chamber gets paid out of bed and booze sales tax and BID gets paid by the city.

Flakus said she knew that. No disrespect to either organization, but looking to the future, funding two different entities and how does this all coexist, so efforts aren’t being duplicated toward the same goal.

Council woman Husman said that when the Chamber met with the council that they were not event planners. They don’t want to do that. They don’t want to hold this event or that event and bring in that money, they want to advertise, they want to be the economic development person. They want to promote so maybe it is time.

Johnson said maybe with the same person in both positions it may help join the two entities down the road.

Jung added that she feels that if someone is not paid to do a job, then there is not much recourse in telling that person what to do or what needs to be done.

Petersen said that she thinks if she gets paid that the council would see alot more come out of the BID such as grant writing. No one does anything for free anymore. Grant writing takes alot of time.

The council approved the hiring of Holly Glover at the rate of $400 per month with six months probation. At that time, the council will review her performance and salary. The review will be April 1, 2018.

Glover already showed interest in attending the South Dakota Housing and Urban Development meeting. The cost is $225, and will be split between BID and city for the three day meetings, plus mileage and room.

Peterson stated that the BID group is trying to set a date for a housing study meeting. More information will be forthcoming.

Extension request

Public Works Superintendent Fortuna said that VanDerPol Dragline, Inc. had called requesting an extension to get the apron completed at the airport. With rain, etc. the company missed the deadline of September 1 and asked to move to September 15. Fortuna said he was hoping it would be done before that time. If not done by September 15, the company would have to come back to the table. The council approved extension.

The next regular meeting for the city council members will be held on Monday, September 18 at 7:30 p.m.

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