New School Board Member to Join in July

DellRapidsHighSchoolThe Dell Rapids School Board will have a new member join in July.  The school board held an election on Tuesday, April 9th for two open positions.  Three cadidates, incumbent Matthew Weiland, Lee Bollock, and Denise Cavigielli, petitioned to fill the two open spots.

Weiland unofficially finished with 127 votes and will return the school board for another term.  Bollock will join the board after compiling 117 votes.  Cavigielli finished with 78 votes.

Bollock will take over for current member Jody Schumaker, whose term expires in July.


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Big Sioux River Expected to Rise Again in Dell Rapids

NWSBigSiouxFloodDells_4-10-19The City of Dell Rapids may not have seen the last of the flooding issues this spring.  The National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service website is predicting the river to rise above 15′ again by Thursday, April 18th and potentially reach a level of 15.5′ by Saturday, April 20th.

Weeks ago the prediction service had predicted the river to potentially be down to 12′ by Friday, April 5th, but the Big Sioux River only dropped to just under 13.5′ by that time.  The current prediction is indicating the river to stay close to the 14′ mark through Friday, but then drop to about 13′ by early next week.  This appears to be just a lull before the river again rises by mid-to-late next week.  Dell Rapids saw the Big Sioux River reach the high point of 15.98′ on Sunday, March 24th.  The current prediction shows the level to stay under that high point as of now.

Administration with the City of Dell Rapids has urged homeowners to monitor the National Weather Service forecast and again prepare for more rising waters through a message on Facebook.  You can monitor the National Weather Service’s water level predictions for the Big Sioux River by clicking this link.

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Dell Rapids Adds Built-in Snow Days to 2019-2020 Calendar

DellRapidsHighSchoolThe Dell Rapids School Board approved changes to the 2019-2020 calendar during their regular meeting on Monday, April 8th.  The changes to the calendar are to have built-in snow days to help alleviate adding more days to the end of the school year.

The school sent out a survey asking parents if they would be in favor of having built-in snow days in the school calendar, and if so, what days would be the best for built-in snow days.

“I have to be honest though, those who are against it are against it.  I get it.  People want to know what days they have off, staff and parents, but it was an overwhelming majority that did say please look at using built-in student contact days for making up snow days,” said Superintendent Dr. Summer Schultz.  She noted that 86% of those that submitted the survey were in favor for built-in snow days.

After a discussion about a plan, school board member Troy Randall made a motion to forgive the first snow day of the year, and then have February 17th, March 19th, and April 13th of 2020 be the built-in make-up days given there is at least one week’s notice prior to needing to use one of those days as a make-up day.

One of the biggest items discussed about the motion was if one week’s time was enough notice for parents when deciding to use one of the built-in snow days.

“We could get a lot of heat.  We could get a lot of complaints, and next year at this time we make it two weeks,” said Dr. Schultz.

“I guess we won’t know until we try it,” added school board member Jacque LeBrun in response to Dr. Schultz.

“There could be complaints about this, there could be complains if we have days at the end (of the school year).  Inevitably it’s not perfect for everybody,” said school board member Jeff Traill.

Jody Schumaker then seconded the motion, and it was passed unanimously.

Dr. Schultz mentioned during the meeting that this could be tried for the 2019-2020 school calendar and then revisited for the 2020-2021 to determine if it’s worth continuing.


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Boy Scouts Hold Pinewood Derby

Photo taken and used with permission by Thomas Hebert.

The Dell Rapids Boy Scouts Pack 53 held their annual Pinewood Derby race on Saturday, March 23rd, at the Dell Rapids Elementary School.  Den members spent the last few weeks creating their cars for the race.  Family members were also able to enter a race with the specially created cars, and the Girl Scouts were once again invited to build cars and race as part of the event on Saturday.

Photo taken and used with permission by Thomas Hebert.

The top three Boy Scout place winners will advance to race their cars at the Scout-O-Rama in Sioux Falls.

Place winners for the Boy Scouts were 1) Chase Hight, 2) Sean Miller, 3) Levi Anhalt, 4) Tyson Roth, 5) Dylan Aker, 6) Brayden Aker, 7) Behr Peckenpaugh, and 8) Emerson Peckenpaugh.  Place winners for the Girls Scouts were 1) Macy Roth, 2) Kaylin Hebert, and 3) Brooklyn Veldkamp.  The Open Class winners were 1) Oliver P., 2) Zach Heinemann, and 3)Matt Hollister.

The Dell Rapids Lions Club officiated the event.

Photo taken and used with permission by Thomas Hebert.

Photo taken and used with permission by Thomas Hebert.

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Peak Flood Waters Reached in Dell Rapids?

DellRapidsFlood2019The Big Sioux River in Dell Rapids may have seen the highest levels of flood waters.  According to the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service website, the peak of the flood waters of the Big Sioux River in Dell Rapids may have happened on Sunday, March 24th.  The river reached a recorded height of 15.98 feet on that day.

About 25 properties have been impacted by the flood waters by the river according to City Administrator Justin Weiland in a report he gave to KELO TV.  The community has come together over the last couple of weeks putting together sandbags, helping place those sandbags, and help property owners move possessions in hopes of minimizing the damage from the flood.

The question now is how long the flood waters will remain at the current level.  The National Weather Service’s prediction shows the river should remain at about 15.8 feet throughout the remainder of the week.  Flood waters should start to recede about Monday, April 1st with the water level dropping to just over 12 feet by Friday, April 5th.  Outlooks could change, though, with more snow that has yet to melt in northern South Dakota.  According to Jason Gearman of the Minnehaha County Emergency Management the weather forecast has really helped keep the levels below what was predicted for the flooding weeks ago.  With the flood waters predicted to stay in the “major flood” stage for another week, it will still take some time to survey all the damage caused by the flood.

You can monitor the National Weather Service’s water level predictions for the Big Sioux River by clicking this link.


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City of Dell Rapids Preparing for Flooding

DellRapidsFlooding2019_2The National Weather Service is predicting the Big Sioux River in Dell Rapids will reach near record flood levels by Monday, March 25th and stay near that level throughout much of next week, and citizens are proactively working to limit the damage as much as possible.  The NWS predicts the Big Sioux River will hit 16.3 feet, which is just shy of the 16.5 foot recorded record.  Flood stage is at 12.0 feet.  The current level of the river is at 13.66 feet.

The City of Dell Rapids has been in coordination with the Emergency Management staff at Minnehaha County.  A 24-hour sandbagging site is now open at the Dell Rapids City maintenance shop located at 24680 475th Ave.  Sandbags, shovel, and sand is available at the site and will be open 24 hours per day, seven days a week.  Residents are urged to be prepared to fill their own sandbags, however, there are efforts to get volunteers to help fill the bags.

If you would like to help volunteer to help fill sandbags, please visit the Dell Rapids Flood Relief and Preparation Facebook group to get more details on how to help,

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Summer Haven Registration Now Open

HavenLogoSummer Haven Registration is open! Forms can be picked up at Haven (613 State Ave) or at the Dell Rapids Elementary School. We have full-time and part-time enrollment available to meet the needs of all children. If you don’t need summer care, consider having your child join us each day for the Summer Rec program. Those enrollment forms are also available. Registration is due April 30th!

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Schools Make Plans for Make-up Days

SchoolMakeUpDaysWith the harshness of winter and school related closings hopefully behind us, both Dell Rapids and Dell Rapids St Mary schools have made changes to the 2018-2019 school calendar to make up for the snow days this year.

Dell Rapids St Mary has made the following updates to their calendar after discussions with staff and EAC.  The end of the 3rd quarter will now end on March 26th.  March 27th will now be a full day of school instead of an early dismissal.  April 18th will be an In-Session day.  May 21st and 22nd will be full days of school.  May 23rd will be the final day of school with an 11:30 a.m. dismissal, and May 24th will be a teacher work day.

The Dell Rapids School Board approved the following changes during their regular meeting to the Dell Rapids school calendar.  March 27th will be a regular full day of school instead of an early dismissal.  May 22nd, 23rd and 24th will be added to the end of the school year with Friday, May 24th currently planned as the final day of school.

Both schools have said that these plans could change if more days of snow days are added before the end of the year.

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City Council Election Canceled, School Board Election to be Held

DellRapidsTowerThe Dell Rapids City Council will not need an election on Tuesday, April 9th.  This announcement came during the council’s regular meeting held on Monday, March 4th.

All four of the open seats will be filled by the incumbent council members.  Each of the four wards had an open seat up for election, but the only petitions submitted to fill those seats were filed by the incumbent council members.  Gary Haak in Ward 1, Mark Crisp in Ward 2, Mike Geraets in Ward 3, and James Borchert in Ward 4 will all serve another three-year term on the Dell Rapids City Council.

The Dell Rapids School Board will still continue to have their election on April 9th as three petitions have been filed for two open spots.  Matthew Weiland, Denise Cavigielli, and Lee Bollock will be up for election.

Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, 2019.  All precincts will vote at the Lutheran Church located at 701 North Orleans Avenue in Dell Rapids.  

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Eastern Chapter of SD Engineering Society Announces Award Winners

Sioux Falls, South Dakota: The Eastern Chapter of the South Dakota Engineering Society presents awards annually to acknowledge the accomplishments of the engineering profession and recognize engineering achievements that capture the innovative and dynamic spirit of a profession dedicated to public service. The following awards were presented at the Annual Awards Banquet on February 23, 2019:

Microsoft Word - News Release - Award Winners_ldw comments

Photo submitted in press release

Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award

DGR Engineering – Dell Rapids Wastewater Treatment Facility Improvements Project

The City of Dell Rapids existing wastewater treatment facility lacked the capability to provide adequate treatment of the City’s wastewater. The City of Dell Rapids is a growing community that wanted to position themselves to welcome newcomers and not be constrained by a treatment system with limited treatment capacity.

The City understood that discharge limits are only going to become more stringent in the future, and they needed a treatment system that was easily expandable and adaptable to meet these future limits. The City selected a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) because it met these requirements and set Dell Rapids up for future growth and success.  The overall project construction cost was nearly $5.8 million.


Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award

RESPEC – Big Sioux River Flood Information System Project

The Big Sioux River Basin in eastern South Dakota has experienced repeated flooding in recent years. In 2014, a major flood in the lower basin revealed shortcomings in understanding and predicting flood-event behavior. In 2016, the State of South Dakota commissioned the development of the Big Sioux River Flood Information System.

The Flood Information System is a two-part web platform including access for the public and flood-response teams. The first part is a public site with access to stream conditions at over 50 locations throughout the Big Sioux River Basin and a library of over 8,000 inundation maps, representing flood scenarios for five different communities. The second part is a site reserved for state and community officials and includes access to real-time flood inundation forecasts. When flood events are predicted, the hydro-logic output is run through models and predicted inundation maps are loaded to the web platform.

The Flood Information System provides the public with an understanding of potential flood risks and gives flood-response teams accurate information for decision making during flood events.

Already in 2018, the system has proven its value during two separate events near North Sioux City. As significant amounts of rain fell over parts of the basin upstream, there was a lot of uncertainty in the severity of flooding that may occur. The Flood Information System predicted less-severe impacts than previous forecasting methods. Flood response managers had the confidence to hold off any drastic measures well in advance. The Flood Information System predictions held true, accurate to within 0.1 feet of observed flood stage.

The total project cost was $1.3 million.


Young Engineer of the Year Award – Krista May, PE

Krista May is a Project Engineer at Infrastructure Design Group, Inc. of Sioux Falls. Krista has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from South Dakota State University. Krista has played the lead engineering role for multiple large-scale complex projects in her 8 year career. Her lead role includes roadway design, traffic control, lighting and signals, traffic impact studies, drainage, erosion control, water main, pavement marking, signage, and sanitary sewer. Krista has been involved in nearly $130 million worth of civil engineering projects. Krista is involved in numerous professional and community organizations including: Alpha Omega Epsilon (AΩE) (President), MATHCOUNTS Competition (SE South Dakota Chairperson), SD Engineering Society (Eastern Branch President-Elect), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Young Professionals Network (YPN), and Sioux Empire United Way (Emerging Leaders Advisory Committee). Krista likes to read, attend theater productions, and attend her cousins’ sporting events.


Engineer of the Year Award – Lance Weatherly, PE, MBA

Lance Weatherly is a Principal Engineer for the City of Sioux Falls providing engineering support for the Public Works Stormwater division.  Lance is responsible for the planning and execution of the $44 million Stormwater Capital Improvements Program to improve neighborhoods and promote comprehensive growth.  Lance’s professional career has spanned 15 years in the private and public sectors in Eastern South Dakota.  Lance has Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Civil Engineering from South Dakota State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Dakota.  Lance obtained his professional engineer licensure in 2008 and is licensed in South Dakota.    Lance is active in the South Dakota Engineering Society, having served in different leadership roles and is the current president of the Eastern Chapter. Lance enjoys giving back to personally and professionally to the Sioux Falls community and mentoring the upcoming generation of professional engineers.  Lance enjoys spending time with his family and traveling to explore new cultures.

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