Miller’s City Council met Tuesday, Feb. 19, with department head reports leading off the agenda.
Bill Lewellen, electric department, said most secondary electric services are retired, with only three blocks to complete. Come spring, the electric upgrade work will again get underway, and Lewellen said the project is under-budget.
The council accepted the resignation of lineman Garth Park, with commendation. Lewellen was given approval to advertise the position vacancy until it is filled.
Ron Hoftiezer, street department, said his department has been busy cutting trees and branches along streets, avenues and alleys. The department continues to keep machinery prepared in anticipation of more winter weather.
Hoftiezer said his department ground snow and built-up ice at corners in some areas that day.
Police chief Shannon Speck reported officers had attended a radar class, held in Miller and instructed by Officer Wayne Ames. Officers must be certified every two years. Ames will also instruct a Taser recertification class February 27. Taser recertification is required annually.
Speck said he received a Highway Safety grant toward the purchase of two Preliminary Breath Testers (PBTs). The grant will pay for half the cost, and the council approved his purchase of another instrument, for about $450.
Finance officer Laura Smith said the office is preparing for the City election, to be held April 9 if necessary. Petitions for mayor and council seats would be due by 5 p.m. February 22. Terms expiring are those held by Mayor Ron Blachford and council members Lorin Johnson, Jim Odegaard and Joe Zeller.
Smith said the worker compensation audit went well, and the City will be receiving a refund. Work on the annual report is underway.
The sales tax report for January showed an increase over the amount collected in January 2012.
Lynn Harrell met with the council to discuss property by the lagoon. It is leased by the City to Nelson’s, Inc. Harrell said Dave and Rich Nelson no longer interested in farming the land, and two years remain on the lease. Harrell said he and his brother would like to assume the remaining time on the lease, and to farm that land. The council will give a decision, once the City attorney examines the proposal.
A building permit request was approved for Matt Wagner to erect a Morton building on his property.
Clarification was given regarding the clothing allowance for the street department. The amount budgeted would be $175 per person per year for two employees ($350 total). That amount does not include summer employee clothing needs.
The council approved the contract with the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), a wholesale power provider to the City. The contract had been signed previously, but had not been reflected in the minutes.
Council members discussed a letter received from the Department of Transportation, which stated two concrete flower planters are encroaching the right-of-way on the west side of SD Highway 45 at the intersection of Broadway Avenue and Third Street North.
The letter by area engineer Wayne Cramer said federal regulations require that the planters be removed in order to receive federal funding for asphalt surface treatment. Cramer said the planters must be removed by June 1. Checking will be done to determine who owns the planters, and if they can be moved to a different location. Bottom line, though, said Council member Zeller, “They gotta go.”
The council moved to accept the Finance Office Committee’s recommendation regarding interviews for the finance officer position. A special meeting was scheduled for Friday, Feb. 22 to make a selection for the position. Present finance officer Laura Smith’s final day of employment will be March 29.
The next regular meeting will be Monday, March 4 at 7 p.m.