Miller’s City Council met May 20, and considered a wide variety of topics.
Deputy Police Chief Wayne Ames addressed the council as a resident to discuss the intersection of West Seventh Street and West First Avenue. He feels it is dangerous, and he fears it is a “matter of time” before a serious accident occurs. He considers it one of the most dangerous intersections in Miller, and suggested installing four-way stop signs.
Street Department head Ron Hoftiezer said the intersection had stop signs several years ago, but they were later taken out.
Mayor Ron Blachford suggested the Public Safety Committee meet with Ames and Police Chief Shannon Speck, and bring a recommendation to the June 3 council meeting.
Ames also told the council a Miller policeman, William Stender, died in a traffic accident in the line of duty 50 years ago, and he felt some sort of plaque be considered to commemorate the man’s sacrifice.
Mayor Blachford recognized Jim Bonebright and Terry Manning for certificates received by the DENR, commending them for providing safe drinking water, and operation and maintenance of the surface water discharge system.
Bonebright, Water-Sewer-Airport, reported the S.D. Department of Transportation would be in Miller to check on the upcoming airport runway project.
Bonebright reported the box that holds electrical equipment, located under the swimming pool slide, is corroded, and needs to be replaced. He will check costs for a box that will not rust.
He also said problems have arisen regarding people who want to buy properties and build houses where no sewer main is close by. He noted the City needs to put in water and sewer mains in those areas, so people can build, but how to cover the cost to do so is a concern.
Ron Hoftiezer said the street department has been busy mowing and spraying, as the weather has been warming up. Potholes around town are also being patched.
His crew has been hauling debris from Ree Creek, out of the waterline area from Crystal Park to the bridge on US Highway 14.
Police Chief Speck said training in handling domestic violence calls will be held June 5. The department is participating in the Department of Highway Safety’s seatbelt campaign May 19-June 1, and will have extra officers on duty to enforce traffic and seatbelt laws.
He noted Officer Chris Henrickson completed the DARE course for fifth grade students, the DARE graduation was held May 9.
Finance officer Sheila Coss noted the sales tax is up from last year at this time (.96 percent). Most City employee cell phones have been switched to personal plans. The water surcharge will show on the upcoming utility bill, and the goal is to have the electric surcharge on the July bill.
Coss discussed clothing allowance for City employees. She said uniforms worn on the job cannot be worn for general, every day use, and suggested addressing clothing allowance protocol before the next budget is prepared.
Discussion was held regarding wage increases for Finance Office employees. Council member Tony Rangel said a committee meeting had been held, and the committee recommended giving both deputy finance officer Rachel Heezen and clerk Cindy Hargens increases of $1.00 per hour. Action will be taken at the June 3 meeting.
Also approved was hiring James Thomson for the City’s electric lineman position. Starting wage will be $24.75 per hour, increasing to $25.75 per hour after probation.
The council approved Resolution #2013-8, which allows the annexation of Prairie Vista Third Addition, as requested by Michael and Rita Beaner.
The council also approved the first reading of Ordinance #642, an ordinance to amend the City zoning map. Travis Stevens requested change of zoning of 912 East 4th Street from a residential district to a residential/commercial district. Stevens plans to have a gun repair shop. The zoning change is conditional upon the property continuing to be used as a gunsmith shop.
Kortney Hastings, The Hondah, requested council approval to hold an outside music event July 6 following the fireworks display. Alcohol would be served. The council approved the event if it is held on Hondah property, in the parking area just east of The Hondah.
Also approved was advertisement for bids to remodel the bathrooms in City Hall to make them handicap accessible. The remodeling is a requirement by Rural Development, as per the loan agreement with the City of Miller. An SPN engineer will be present June 17 for the bid opening, and will offer his recommendations at the June 17 council meeting.
Building permits were approved for Roger Zens, to remove house, and Gary Davis, to construct lawn shed.
Council members discussed a pre-disaster mitigation plan meeting, scheduled for May 21. Mayor Blachford recommended City involvement in the meeting. The council also adopted the State Retention Manual to be used as the City’s records management policy. Sheila Coss explained the City already uses the manual for the procedure to dispose of municipal records, but the manual needed to be formally adopted.
Malt beverage license renewals were approved for Tucker’s SuperValu, ALCO Stores, Inc., Highway 14 Fuel Service LLC (G3), Milan, Inc. (Pump ‘n Pak), and Redneck Paradise, Inc.
A request from the Wheels and Meals Corporation was received, to provide $2,000 in financial support for the program. The amount had been budgeted, and the request was approved.
A meeting had been scheduled for noon on May 23 with On Hand Development Corporation regarding the housing demolition project. Council members discussed the use of City equipment for hauling away materials from designated, demolished houses. However, the City does not have the equipment to actually do the demolition.
The next meeting will be June 3 at 7 p.m. in City Hall.