City-wide cleanup is July 15-16

Posted June 28, 2013 at 2:59 pm

The Miller City Council met June 17. Council members Mary Johnson and Kristin Hargens were absent.

City-wide cleanup days will be Monday and Tuesday, July 15-16. If necessary, the City will haul materials to the dump on those days for residents who have no other way to do so.

The agenda began with department head reports.

Bill Lewellen, electric department, reported the electric upgrade project is going according to, or even ahead of, schedule. Most should be completed by mid-August.

Ron Hoftiezer, street department, discussed City street projects being undertaken this summer, including patching potholes and preparing streets for the Fourth of July weekend.

Hoftiezer said water backed up after the heavy rain of May 26, and some flooding was due to grass and garbage. He has begun mosquito fogging.

Deputy police chief Wayne Ames reported officer Chris Henrickson attended a D.A.R.E. refresher course, and required training was held June 6 regarding family violence and sexual assault.

The Council approved purchasing a bulletproof vest for officer Jim Henson. Cost of the vest is approximately $870, but a grant should be available to cover half the cost.

Ames said since the first of the year, the police department has responded to and/or investigated 406 reports of non-criminal activity, and also had 59 case reports of criminal activity.

Finance officer Sheila Coss reported City sales tax through May is up by 2.88 percent over 2012.

The water surcharge was split out on the preceding month’s statement, and hopes are to have the electric surcharge split out on July’s bill for June usage.

Coss and Rachel Heezen, deputy officer, attended Human Resources School and Finance Officer School in Pierre (June 11-14). Coss also attended a Wellmark seminar in Pierre, and warned many changes regarding health insurance are on the horizon.

Jim Bonebright, water department, addressed numerous issues. The new pump panel has been installed at the pool, and the transportable lifeguard chair has also been purchased.

Several sewer problems have been taken care of by Olson Construction of Huron. However, Bonebright said there are many failing sewer problems throughout the town. “Every sewer line needs to be filmed and GPSed,” he said. “We need to be able to get grant money for repair, and sewer and water main work should be done at the same time.” The utility committee will meet to discuss how to proceed.

Bonebright said the east lift station needs new impellers and a new valve, and he received a quote of $6,298.60. He also said pumps are not working to capacity, and cost per pump is around $9,000.

He noted that some residents who live along Highway 14 have been having sewer problems. After sewer repair, the highway must again be brought to the condition required by the S.D. Department of Transportation, which is expensive. If the sewer problem is in the customer’s pipe, the customer is responsible for all costs.

A building permit was approved for Bernie Coss to move a garage.

No bids have been received locally to bring City Hall bathrooms up to required handicapped specifications. The council voted to advertise the project in Huron, Mitchell and Pierre.

Discussion was held about utility deposits and reactivation fees, and proposed increases in those fees. There is also a “lag time” between readings and when a customer receives a bill, so if the customer moves, a final bill is still due. Mayor Ron Blachford said the utilities committee needs to meet and see if there is a way to have the bill available as soon as a final reading is taken when a customer is moving.

Finance officer Coss reported a printer was not working correctly, and she had checked on a new, similar printer. One quote was for $5,810, and another for $3,700 from A &B Business Solutions, Sioux Falls. The council approved purchase of the $3,700 machine, and surplus of the old machine.

Council members were reminded of the Elected Officials Workshop, to be held in Pierre July 24.

Coss provided information on City records from 2002 that have been destroyed. She also said City personnel will be able to choose retirement options through South Dakota Retirement, to determine if they want amounts withheld either pre-tax or after-tax.

The next council meeting will be Monday, July 1 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.