Commission reviews plans to open city departments

PHOTO BY BENJAMIN CHASE/PLAINSMAN Huron City Commissioners Bryan Smith, left, and Mark Robish listen to discussions about plans to open city departments at Monday night’s meeting.

HURON — Huron city commissioners opened Monday evening’s meeting with a busy agenda, and 45 minutes in had mowed through a large part of it.

However, the ensuing discussion with department heads regarding opening various city departments and city-owned businesses lasted much later into the evening.

The opening of the main offices in City Hall will be multiple weeks off as the plexiglass to protect staff has not arrived and is it expected to be multiple weeks before it arrives. At that point, when workers do return to the offices, temperature checks of employees who enter the building will be required.

The Huron Event Center reported that the remainder of its May calendar and the entirety of June is emptied of large events, there are, however, bigger events still on the schedule in July and August.

The commission discussed the safety and size of groups for weddings and the possibility for dances at those weddings and agreed that, at this point, it is just too far off to make a definite recommendation on that, so the events will have to be willing to be flexible.

The Parks and Recreation department will meet in the next week to review more in-depth opening schedules, but commissioners did agree with staff from Splash Central that the waterpark remaining closed beyond July 1 should indicate being closed for the summer. Potential improvement projects for the park were discussed if the entire waterpark was closed for the summer as it would be an advantageous time to do such projects.

The library reported that ensuring that books and other media within the library remain safe is going to be very difficult as the facility is a “touch-oriented” location, with people often browsing and touching multiple books in a single visit. Plexiglass is also being installed for protection of library staff.

Before the rest of the meeting got underway, Mayor Paul Aylward expressed the city’s sympathy as well as his own personal sympathy to the family of former city street supervisor Phil McCaskell, who passed away Sunday. Commissioner Mark Robish stated that he met with the street crew Monday morning, and that it was a difficult meeting.

The meeting began with the commission convened as the Board of Adjustment to rule on three public hearings. They approved the following in those hearings:
• A variance request by Guy and Nancy Hofer to construct addition to garage.
• A variance request by Lance Tschetter to allow secondary living space.
• A variance by Darvin and Charlene Polsean to construct a garage.

Once adjourned from the adjustment board, the commission reviewed the recommendation from the city engineering department and chose not to accept any bids for the Broadland Creek parking lot overlay project as the cost of asphalt has gone up significantly, causing bids to climb significantly out of the amount budgeted.

The engineering department recommended doing a chip seal on the current lot, which will likely get at least five more years out of the current status of the lot.

Commissioners also read into record a proclamation on Poppy Days being May 22 and May 23 in the city of Huron as declared by Mayor Aylward.

Commissioners also:

• Set June 1 as public hearing to consider the transfer of the 2019-2020 retail on-off sale malt beverage and South Dakota farm wine license from La Patrona, Carmela Castaneda and Marta Elieth Enriquez to La Patrona, Marta Elieth Enriquez and to renew the license for 2020-2021
• Approved permit for parade for high school graduates on May 24, pending approval by the South Dakota Department of Transportation
• Updated job description for the Water Sewer Industrial Pretreatment Coordinator
• Approved hiring a year-round part-time technician at Solid Waste
• Appointed Bob Simpson as interim Street Superintendent and approved listing the position
• Approved awarding bid for manhole spray lining to Redina Construction for $131,045
• Approved the purchase of a new Peterbilt recycling truck through Sourcewell for $282,545. This will be supplemented by a 50% match grant, so the cost to the city will be $141,272.50
• Approved a first payment of $300,132.86 to TLC Olson Construction, LLC for water main replacement project
• Approved plat by Carolyn McMasters to separate farmland from buildings
• Approved first reading for updated personnel regulations ordinance
• Authorized Parks and Recreation director to apply for a West Nile virus prevention grant through the South Dakota Department of Health
• Approved the request from the Police Chief to waive requirement to utilize holiday and vacation accrual hours within a six-month time period

The city recognized outgoing Human Resource Director Pat Schmidt for her years of service to the city in her last city commission meeting as an active staff member.

City commission will not meet Monday, May 25, due to Memorial Day. The next scheduled meeting is June 1 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall. Residents are encouraged to utilize the YouTube channel to view the meeting live or any time after the meeting has occurred.

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