Next Phase of Dell Rapids Waste Water Rate Increase is Coming

DellRapidsTowerThe next phase of increasing the waste water rates for residents of Dell Rapids took a step closer to being implemented.  During the Dell Rapids City Council regular meeting on Monday, December 5th, the council approved the first reading of two new ordinances.

Ordinance 842 will be adding a waste water surcharge of $8.60 to residents’ bills.  However, Ordinance 843 will be a decrease in the base amount of waste water.  Currently the base amount is $18.34.  The ordinance will be lowering that base amount to $16.00, which will offset some of the $8.60 surcharge.  The per 1,000 gallon rate of $5.06 will remain the same.

City Administrator Justin Weiland said, “The city, at the beginning of 2016, increased our rates knowing that we would be looking at this increase for this waste water treatment facility.  So we wanted the impact of the customers to be rolled in and not have to be a large increase, we could taper it in over the course of a few years.”

Councilman Mark Crisp added, “This is something that we’ve known was coming for a year and a half now.”

Weiland also pointed out during the discussion that the city received grants in a total amount of $3,372,000, which is about 55% of the total cost of $5.5 million for the new waste water treatment facility.  Weiland said that without those grant dollars the residents would have had an increase of almost double what the new surcharge increase will be.

If both ordinances pass the second reading at the next city council meeting, the new rates are slated to begin with the February 2017 cycle and billed in March.

The waste water facility project is being done by the city to come into compliance with ammonia discharge.

Dell Rapids Chamber Holds Christmas at the Dells Celebration

2016paradeoflightsThe Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce held their annual “Christmas at the Dells” celebration on Saturday, December 3rd, and Sunday, December 4th, in Dell Rapids.  This year’s theme was “Tales of Christmas”.

Some of the events held during the weekend included half-priced bowling, a free movie showing sponsored by Schwebach Realty, soup supper, Christmas Tree sleighridelighting, Christmas Tea, pictures with Santa Claus, Parade of Lights, Tour of Holiday Homes, Festival of Christmas, Festival of Christmas Auction, sleigh rides, live nativity, a holiday sign workshop, a gingerbread house contest, and many other fun events.

2016gingerbreadhouseThe winners for the gingerbread contest

  • 1st place:  Kailena Campbell
  • 2nd place:  Cate Trail
  • Family Winner:  Kruger Family
  • Classroom Winner:  St Mary 3rd Grade

The Chamber of Commerce still has fun events happening throughout the rest of the Christmas season.  It’s not too late to get punch cards for a chance to win $400 in gift cards to local Dell Rapids businesses.  The Chamber of Commerce Business Christmas Tree contest is still ongoing.  Judging will take place on December 22nd with the winning business receiving a free lunch from a local business.  There is also still time to participate in the Home Lighting contest.  Judging will take place on December 21st for a chance to win $50 gift card prize.  More information about these remaining events can be found on the Chamber’s website at

Quarrier Basketball Teams Hold “Friday Frenzy” Event

fridayfrenzy2016_1The Dell Rapids girls and boys basketball teams joined together to host the first “Friday Frenzy” fundraising event at the Dell Rapids Middle School to kickoff the 2016-2017 basketball season.  Spectators were encouraged to bring two items that could be donated to the Dell Rapids Food Pantry.  The Quarriers were able to collect over 15 boxes of donated items to give to the Storehouse.

The evening’s events included an introduction of all the high school players for both the girls and boys teams, a “hype” video for the year, short scrimmages, a skills competition, a three-point shooting contest, and a dunk contest.  The senior team of Averi Pankonen and Austin Ellingson won the skills fridayfrenzy2016_2competition.  Carson Rentz was the boys’ and overall three-point champion, hitting more than 20 three-pointers in each round.  Emma Paul was the girls’ three-point champion.  Sheldon Siemonsma won the dunk contest in a great battle against Mason Schmidt.  Siemonsma’s won the contest with a dunk over three teammates.


Dell Rapids School Holds Pep Rally for Fine Arts Students

NewDRLogoDell Rapids school held a pep rally for the fine arts students to the school day on Wednesday, November 30th.  The event, which was held in the middle school commons area, featured performances by the high school choir and the jazz bad, recognition of fine arts students, and a special announcement.

Mr. Michalscheck recognized a few students for their accomplishments.  Clara Kelm and Kerrigan Kindopp were recognized for being chosen to partake in the South Dakota Elementary Honors Choir to be held in February.  Elly Petrik was selected to be a part of the South Dakota High School Honors Choir.  Petrik, Veronica Fritz, Justice Haggin, Sydney Stofferahn, Micah Gleason, James Lueders, Timothy Jaycox, and Thomas Petrik were recognized for participating in the South Dakota All-State Choir this past fall.

Mrs. Kludt recognized three students, Paige Schueller, Elyssa Petrik, and Chloe Solberg, for their graphic design contributions to the school (HS / MS / Haven).

Mrs. Gleason shared submissions from the creating writing students at the rally.  Gleason also announced a new publication that will be added to the Echo newspaper and Quarrier yearbook.  That is a new literary magazine.  Students can submit original writings, short stories, essays, and even artistic photography to be considered for publication in the new magazine.

More information about the pep rally and the new magazine will be released by the students in the Echo newspaper.


City Receives Grant for Campground Updates

dellrapidscampgroundThe City of Dell Rapids has received a $75,000 grant from the Land Water Conservation Fund through the State Game Fish and Parks Department.  That grant will be dedicated towards the construction of a comfort station/shower house that will be near Rickeman Field.

“We went through the process of bidding that, and that came in a little bit higher I think than we had budgeted for this year.  This goes a long way towards getting that building built though,” said City Administrator Justin Weiland during the Dell Rapids City Council regular meeting on Monday, November 21st.

Part of the grant funds will be used to expanding the campground in the former tractor pull area.  The city has put both of these projects in the budget for 2017.  Administration will start working on the planning phase of the projects to get the projects going in the spring of 2017 as soon as federal approval for the funding is received.


Dell Rapids City Council Undergoing Changes Again

DellRapidsTowerThe Dell Rapids City Council will once again undergo a change. During the regular meeting on Monday, November 21st, it was announce that council member Mary Klockman is resigning her Ward 4 council seat as of the meeting.

This change is the third change to the council since the last election on April 12th, 2016. Earley was appointed Mayor of Dell Rapids on September 6th filling the vacancy left by Scott Fiegen. When Earley moved to the mayor position that left an opening in Ward 2. The council approved Barry Berg to fill the open seat for Ward 2 also during the September 6th meeting.

The council had two options to fill the open spot in Ward 4. The council could appoint someone to that open seat. That individual would serve until the next municipal election in April of 2017. The council could also leave the seat open until the April 2017 election.

Councilman Mark Crisp said, “I think it should be filled. We should visit with people in Ward 4 and see if we can find somebody with some interest. It’s kind of a short period, but still, I think the position should be filled if we can.”

The council did not make a decision on the open position during their meeting. This will allow time to find potential replacements and bring those names to Mayor Earley.   Earley’s mayor appointment, Berg’s Ward 2 appointment, and the appointment to fill the open seat for Ward 4 will all be up for vote at the next election on April 11th, 2017.

Dell Rapids Students Shine in Events

NewDRLogoSeveral Dell Rapids students have performed well in their events over the past few days.

Olivia Clark qualified for the state oral interp competition in poetry with her performance at the region contest on Tuesday, November 15th.  Averi Pankonen qualified as an alternate in the oratory category.  The duet team of Tim Jaycox and Ella Lueders also qualified as an alternate.  Morgan Nemmers, Abby Stauffenecker, and Sage Shellum also had strong performances at the region competition.

The Dell Rapids quiz bowl team competed at Sioux Falls Roosevelt on Monday, November 14th.  The team of Joey Abbott, Micah Gleason, Justin Dorn, and Stephanie Dennis placed 13th out of 46 teams in the competition.  The other two Dell Rapids teams each earned two wins in the six-round competition.

Recently Cheyenne Adams placed first in the District FFA Ag Broadcasting event.  She will now advance to the state event which will be held in Pierre on December 4th and 5th.  Trevor Pulscher also competed in the Ag Broadcasting event and placed sixth.

El Tapatio Open for Business

eltapatioopenEl Tapatio is open for business!  The new Mexican restaurant opened for business on Sunday, November 13th, in downtown Dell Rapids.  El Tapatio is operating out of the lower level of the Grand Opera House at 425 E 4th St.

El Tapatio is open from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.  Their phone number is 605-428-4401 for to-go orders.  They also have a Facebook page,  Early reviews throughout Facebook include beautiful interior design, very kind employees, and delicious food.

Dell Rapids Students Honor Veterans


Students from Dell Rapids and Dell Rapids St Mary honored veterans all morning long on Veteran’s Day, Friday, November 11th.  Dell Rapids High School held a Veteran’s Day Breakfast for all veterans and their families at 7:30 a.m.  The breakfast was followed by a program in the high school gym.

The Dell Rapids Elementary School held a program starting at 9:30 a.m.  Students in grades Kindergarten through fourth grade performed songs and readings for the veterans and audience.

The programs concluded with a Veteran’s Day Assembly held at Dell Rapids St Mary High School at 10:30 a.m.


First Electronic Recycling Day a Success

electronicsrecyclingDell Rapids residents were able to bring electronics for recycling to the city rubble site in coordination with the free rubble site day on Saturday, October 29th.  Some of the items that were able to be brought were televisions, computers, monitors, printers, VCR/DVD/CD players, camcorders, and telephones.

City Administrator Justin Weiland gave a report of what was brought to the rubble site to the Dell Rapids City Council during the regular meeting on Monday, November 7th.  The rubble site received 63 televisions, eight microwaves, 18 DVD/VCR players, nine printers, six stereos, 33 CRTs TVs or monitors, six phones, and 23 miscellaneous items.

“It was good.  The organization that we worked with out of Sioux Falls was really helpful.  They actually sent a guy out there and had him out there all day helping direct traffic and help take the items.  All it took from the city’s point was to drive down and pick up the boxes and took two trips to take the items back,” said Weiland.

The city worked with the Household Hazardous Waste Facility out of Sioux Falls to make this possible.  Weiland mentioned that he hasn’t followed up with them yet since the event, but will ask if this is something that could be done again in Dell Rapids in the future.