Miller’s City Council met January 22.
Mayor Ron Blachford commended City department heads for their diligent work in preparing and paring their budgets for the coming year. “I think we’re going to be okay,” he stated.
Department head reports were given.
In Bill Lewellen’s absence, his written electric department report was attached to the agenda. He will attend a superintendent’s conference March 5-6 at Watertown. The department is beginning to get easements for the electrical upgrade this coming summer.
Jim Bonebright, water department, reported he had taken the generator donated by the hospital to the city to Sioux Falls, and has asked for an estimate for repairs. The new leased tractor ordered for the airport should arrive soon.
Bonebright said he, the mayor, and finance officer Laura Smith met with the City’s lawyer regarding some ordinance changes and about how to best deal with rental properties’ utility bills.
Ron Hoftiezer, street department, reported about ongoing winter street maintenance, and he answered a question posed by a council member, stating that snowplows go about 15 miles an hour when plowing snow. He also reported that the concrete planer on the Bobcat worked well to grind rough ice spots from “dips” on city streets.
Police chief Shannon Speck reported a radar certification class would be held the next day, January 23, at the Miller fire hall, with Miller police officer Wayne Ames as instructor.
The council approved Speck’s request to purchase a bulletproof vest for Ames, who is now off probation. Speck said the vest costs about $800, but he anticipated a grant would pay for half the cost.
Police activity for 2012 included 148 case reports; 596 information reports; 66 accident responses; and 2,647 building checks.
Finance officer Laura Smith said City terms expiring are Ward 1, Lorin Johnson; Ward 2, Joe Zeller; Ward 3, Jim Odegaard; and office of mayor. All are two-year terms. Deadline to file a petition is Friday, Feb. 22.
Should there be need for a City election, it will be April 9, and will be held jointly with the school district election, which would save money on election workers and supplies.
Thirty-nine building permits were issued during 2012, with total building costs of $5,699,150. The school’s elementary building accounted for $4,997,000 of that amount.
Smith discussed the city sales tax for 2012. Total was $713,957.34; however, she said an additional $41,715.81 was not reflected for the year, as it wasn’t deposited until after December 31, 2012.
The council approved employee evaluation forms. Evaluations will be held once a year.
The council discussed and approved annual clothing allowances. For the finance office, $350 per year per employee. Street department, $350 per year for permanent employees, and replacement coveralls when needed. Summer employees will receive five shirts the first year, replacing when needed. Water/sewer department, $300 per employee per year, and winter gear as needed. Swimming pool employees will also receive swim gear, replaced as needed. Electric department, $650 (flame retardant) per employee per year, plus winter gear as needed.
Police department allowance request was $350 per year per officer, plus replace bulletproof vest every five years ($800), and duty belt every five years ($500).
Smith presented a list of accounting and other records to be destroyed, according to state guidelines. Records are from the 1990s, and need to be removed to make room for recent records. Approval was given to destroy the listed records.
Council members approved signing an agreement between the South Dakota Department of Transportation and the City of Miller. The agreement dealt with pavement at the airport (2011), but the City had never received the federal share of the payment, which totals $12,093.16. Mayor Blachford signed the agreement, authorizing the payment.
The next council meeting will be Monday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m.