Highway 115 Project Set to Start in Dell Rapids

The South Dakota Department of Transportation says the Highway 115 project is set to continue in Dell Rapids as soon as the weather cooperates.  That message came from Travis Dressen, Sioux Falls Area Engineer for the SDDOT, during a community forum meeting held at River Community Church on Monday, March 26th.  T&R Contracting will be the company that will be doing the work on the project.

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“I think that interstate route will be one of the better routes to take from a convenience standpoint,” said Dressen.  This comment was made as Dressen was explaining that the SDDOT has plans of doing shoulder work from the Colton road into Sioux Falls on Highway 115 southward.  That work cannot start until mid June in hopes that the concrete overlay of the Highway 115 project is complete or nearly complete.

The concrete overlay portion of the project will run from 472nd Ave, which is where the interchange project stopped, eastward to about 473rd Ave.  Once T&R Contracting starts the overlay portion of the project, they have 21 calendar days to finish the work.  During that time there will be 24/7 operation with a flaggers and a pilot car.  The contractor is hoping to begin the overlay portion towards the beginning of May, or sooner, if the weather cooperates.

The next section of construction will be the grading section which will start at 473rd Ave eastward towards the four-way stop.  The section of roadway will be completely removed.  There will be storm sewers installed in some spots as well as roadway lighting and new concrete pavement.  As the road gets closer to the city, it will be a three-lane road with two driving lanes and a center turning lane.

The project will also include replacing the current structure over Rocky Run Creek.  While replacing this structure, there will be a traffic-diversion road placed to the north of Highway 115 that will cause a new temporary intersection to be placed just north of the four-way stop.  As of now that intersection will be a one-way stop, but Dressen said that if during the construction they feel a three-way stop is needed, the SDDOT would consider doing that.  The diversion road construction can begin on April 30th.

The City of Dell Rapids will also be doing some coordinating with T&R Contracting during this project.  The city will be doing water main work which will result in a temporary closure of Third Street at Highway 115.  During that time the truck route will be temporarily moved to Fourth Street.  The SDDOT will communicate the timing of this closure through press releases when the time comes to shut down the intersection.

The city also secured a grant to have a shared-use path installed with this project.  The path will be installed on the west side of the road of Highway 115 that runs south of Dell Rapids and will tie into the existing path that was installed in 2016.  As the highway turns west at the four-way stop, the path will be on the north side of the road.

Dressen also commented on the state of the bridge work that is currently being done on Highway 115 over the Big Sioux River at the meeting.  He said the footings of the bridge is complete as well as the pier walls.  He said that most of the work in the water has been completed.  The contractors expect to be setting bridge girders sometime around mid April with a deck pour anticipated around the June time frame.

The substantial completion date for this project is November of 2018.

The Highway 115 project is a continuation of the of the project from the 2017 I-29 interchange project.  In 2016 Highway 115 was completed along with the south bridge from the Colton road to River Road.  The Garfield Ave bridge reconstruction project was completed in 2015 in Dell Rapids.

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Road Construction Continues in Dell Rapids

DellRapidsTowerRoads continue to be updated in and around Dell Rapids this spring and summer.

10th street was just recently closed for completion.  Removals and grading work is now beginning for 10th Street.  Curb and guttering will take place in the next few weeks, and the asphalting of the street will follow.  The sidewalk install and grading of the yard behind the curb will be the last steps.  Substantial completion date for the 10th Street project has been set for June 10th.

City Administration was informed by the South Dakota Department of Transportation that the Hwy 115 bridge will be opened by May 1st.  That is also the same day that Interstate 29 overpass is scheduled to be closed for that project.  During the last regular meeting, the Dell Rapids City Council approved city administration to arrange a meeting with LG Everist, the I-29 project contractor, and the SD DOT to discuss a temporary truck route south through on Garfield Ave to Quartzite St.

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Growth in Dell Rapids Strong in 2016

2016buildingpermitsThe city of Dell Rapids eclipsed the $11 million mark in improvements again through building permits in 2016.  The city had $11,816,021.31 worth of improvements in 2015, which was a record year.  This year, Dell Rapids had a total of $11,023,410.08 worth of improvements.  The city received a total of 261 building permit requests during the year that included 12 new buildings and 11 new homes.

The numbers were presented to the Dell Rapids City Council during their regular meeting on Tuesday, January 3rd.  City Administrator Justin Weiland commented, “It was a positive year in building permits.  Totals were really strong again and in line with the previous year.”

Dell Rapids has seen steady growth in construction over the last few years.  In 2014 the city had $6.5 million worth of improvements with the big project being the new Ace Hardware building.  In 2013 the city had $9.4 million in improvements on projects such as the new County Fair store, Casey’s, and Family Dollar.

Not only were building permits strong, the city also exceeded the $1 million mark in sales tax revenue through the month of November in 2016.  Currently the sales tax revenue total is $1,060,266.89.  This total is about a 6.13% increase over the total during the same time last year.  Weiland mentioned to the council that the final numbers for sales tax revenue for the month of December should be available in the next couple of weeks.

 

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Sales Tax Revenue Strong in Dell Rapids

DellRapidsTowerDespite reports of decrease in sales tax revenue in Sioux Falls and a current lower-than-predicted sales tax revenue for the state of South Dakota in 2016, sales tax revenue is trending strong in Dell Rapids for 2016.  Through the end of October, the city of Dell Rapids has seen a 5.7% growth in sales tax revenue over the same period in 2015.

“We’ll break that $1 million mark again for sure, unless the bottom falls out in Nov and Dec, which I don’t anticipate happening…The new Shopko Hometown is a totally new introduction into our market that will bring our numbers up.  As long as people are still supporting local here, we should be okay,” said City Administrator Justin Weiland.

Dell Rapids Mayor Tom Earley also made mention of El Tapatio opening as being great for the community and sales tax revenues.

Sales tax revenues are just over $950,000 through the end of October.  November numbers should be available sometime in December, and December numbers available in early 2017.

 

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Dell Rapids Will Have New Mayor

DellRapidsTowerThe city of Dell Rapids will have a new mayor as Mayor Scott Fiegen submitted his resignation during the regular Dell Rapids City Council meeting held on Monday, August 15th.  The resignation was accepted by the council and was effective immediately.  Until a new mayor is found, Dell Rapids City Council President Mark Crisp will assume all the duties and responsibilities of the mayor. Fiegen’s resignation comes due to him moving outside of the city of Dell Rapids.

City Administrator Justin Weiland presented three options to the council on how to move forward with the open mayor seat.

Weiland said, “The first option is the board president could just continue in the role as acting mayor until the next municipal election in April (2017).  That means the board president would assume both the duties of the mayor and president until the next election.”

“The second option we put together is the council could appoint a sitting city council member to fill the role.  It should be stated that this council member would have to relinquish their existing seat to take over the full mayor’s roles and responsibilities.  That appointment is only good until the next election in April.  That would create an open seat in the that ward where the council would have to look at appointing a new council member to fill that open seat.”

“The third option is to appoint another resident of Dell Rapids.  That appointment to mayor would only last until the next election in April.”

There was potential for a fourth option.  The city could have taken petitions for mayoral candidates and held an election with that elected person holding the position until April.  However state statute says the city would have to have an ordinance adopted that governs how the special election would be held prior to the vacancy occurring, and the city of Dell Rapids does not have such an ordinance in place.

City council member Tom Earley said, “I firmly believe that the city needs to have somebody in position of mayor to operate until April. I think we have capable people on this board who are well versed and well aware of what’s taking place in the city right now with various projects and some potential things down the road. This council has operated with a vacant seat in the past many times. I would think that hopefully at the first meeting in Sept that we are able to agree on who we want to appoint as mayor of the city of Dell Rapids. I think it’s a position that somebody needs to be in to give it the proper attention full time.”

City council member Mary Klockman motioned to table a decision until the September 6th meeting (in hopes a full council will be present), seconded by council member Mike Sterud.  The motion carried.  Council members Mike Geraets and Gary Haak were absent from the meeting.

Fiegen had been serving as Dell Rapids Mayor since 2009. 

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Project Updates Discussed at Council Meeting

DellRapidsTowerDuring the regular Dell Rapids City Council meeting held on Monday, June 6th, City Administator Justin Weiland provided the council with updates on various projects that are ongoing or upcoming for the city of Dell Rapids.

Progress is being made on the Quartzite Street project.  The sewer had been installed and the water should be completed soon.  Grading of the project after the water installation with the final grade and curb and gutter to follow.

The plans for the 10th Street project have been submitted to the department of transportation and DENR for approval.  Once the plans are accepted, DGR will move forward with advertising the project for bids.  This project is still on schedule for bidding in late June or early July.

The planned tiling and grading project for the drainage area south of 10th street along the east side of Highway 115 has made progress.  DGR Engineers have performed a topographic survey and are currently finalizing the tiling and grading plan.  The project will require that new permanent easements be signed by the property owners in that area that are affected by the project, and those signatures will need to be collected prior to starting the construction portion of the project.

City administration is also nearly finished finalizing quotes and plans to construct a new men/women comfort station with showers at Rickemen Field park.  The city did budget $70,000 to complete this project in 2016.  Currently the project is coming in on budget at this point in the planning as reported by Weiland.  The work on the sewer extension and structure of the facility is tentatively planned to take place in July and August.

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City Water Customers Receive Notice

DellRapidsTowerThe city of Dell Rapids sent a letter to water customers after receiving a violation notice from the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).  The violation came after a positive test for coliform bacteria in January.  The city is normally required to submit four drinking water samples per month to be analyzed for coliform bacteria and chlorine residual levels.  However, the month following a positive same, it is necessary for five samples to be submitted to the state, and the city only submitted four samples in February.  Due to only sending four samples in February, the city was required to send the letter informing the customers of the mistake in testing.

This mistake was brought to the Dell Rapids City Council’s attention during their regular meeting on Monday, March 21st.  During the meeting it was noted that the city’s Public Works Department has set measures in place to make sure this oversight doesn’t happen again.  The letter sent to customers also noted that the four samples that were submitted in the month of February were negative for coliform bacteria and were within limits for chlorine residuals.  The letter also said that all indication is that there is no harmful bacteria in the city water system.

For additional information, customers can contact Justin Weiland at City Hall at 605-428-3595.

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Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office Makes Request to Dell Rapids City Council

Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Deputy and School Resource Officer Mike Walker made several requests to the Dell Rapids City Council on Monday, February 1st, during the council’s regular meeting.  The requests made were to make the school zones safer in town.

Deputy Walker presented the council with four requests.  The first request was for stop signs to be placed on State Ave at the intersection of 9th St.

“I feel like at 9th and State Ave, that’s the front door of St Mary High School, and there’s no traffic control there.  Kids are walking across that intersection without anyone stopping.  Also you have a lot of young drivers there who don’t know the right-of-way law that we know.  I see a lot of confusion at that intersection, and with it being in front of the school, I would sure like to see something changed there to make it more safe.”

MCSORequestToCouncilAnother concern for Deputy Walker was placing No U-Turn signs on 13th St. from Garfield Ave to the football field, and along Garfield Ave from 13th St to 15th St along with having the city’s U-Turn ordinance clarified.

Walker said, “13th between Garfield all the way to the football field, I’d like to see that street and Garfield from 13th to 15th have no U Turns.  In the mornings people are making U Turns on those streets.  Kids are seeing parking spots on the other side, and they just whip right around.  Even parents dropping off their kids are making U Turns right in front of the school during school traffic.  I’d like to make it a no U-Turn law in that area.”

Current city ordinance about U Turns says:
Sec. 20-180. Limitations on turning around.
The driver of any vehicle shall not turn such vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction upon any one-way street, or upon any bridge or viaduct, or on any street in a business or commercial area, or at any intersection controlled by traffic-control signals, and shall not upon any other street so turn a vehicle except at an intersection and unless such movement can be made in safety and without interfering with other traffic.

Deputy Walker also asked the council about placing a “No Parking from Here to Corner” sign on 13th and Harrison and also to have yellow paint put on the curb in front of the fire hydrant on Garfield Ave near Dell Rapids High School.

No action was taken by the council for the placing of the stop sign and the U-Turn ordinance because such changes can only be made when they are official agenda items.

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Big Year for Dell Rapids in 2015

DellRapidsTowerThe city of Dell Rapids received a total of 485 building permit requests in 2015 resulting in $11,816,021.31 worth of improvements throughout the city.  Nineteen of the requests were for new homes or buildings including the new Dairy Queen building and Hometown Shopko.

In 2014 the city saw $6.5 million worth of improvements including 15 new structures, one of which was for the new Ace Hardware building.  Dell Rapids had $9.4 million of improvements in 2013 on projects such as the new County Fair store, Casey’s, and Family Dollar.

In addition to the $11 million in improvements during 2015, the city of Dell Rapids should exceed $1 million in sales tax revenue for the year.  The December numbers are not finalized yet, but the city had collected over $998,000 in sales tax through the month of November.  This was an 8.17% increase over the same 11-month period in 2014.

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Midwest Fresh Logistics Holds Ground-Breaking Ceremonies

Midwest Fresh Logistics held a ground-breaking ceremony in Dell Rapids at the Council Chambers on Wednesday, November 11th.  Midwest Fresh Logistics President Ben Bricko, Dell Rapids Mayor Scott Fiegen, Dell Rapids Economic Development Corporation President Doug Hainje, Minnehaha County Commissioner Cindy Heiberger, and South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard spoke during the ceremony.

Midwest Fresh Logistics has already begun dirt work on their 20,000 square-foot facility that will cost around $2.5 million.  Bricko mentioned they hope to begin foundation work within the next week or two.  Plans are to have the facility operational somewhere between the end of March to the middle of April in 2016.

Bricko said, “The vision of the company is to improve the delivery of fresh produce to the upper Midwest region.  The primary  MidwestFreshLogisticsFiegenPark_4function of the employees of the facility is going to be to unload the trucks, re-sort the product according to the region that it’s going to end up at, and put it back on the truck for final delivery. The majority of the jobs initially will be material handling, supervisors for material handling, and of course an operations manager for the facility.  Initial thought is eight to 10 employees.”

MidwestFreshLogisticsFiegenPark_3Heiberger mentioned, “How wonderful for you to pick Minnehaha County to put your company in and join us in a great team.  We have wonderful people here in Minnehaha County.  We are happy to have you as part of our county, obviously, because our county runs on property taxes.  Any new economic growth in the county is a plus for all the residents of Minnehaha County.”

Not only was the ground-breaking ceremony to celebrate Midwest Fresh Logistics, but the ceremony also celebrated the establishment of the new industrial Fiegen Development Park within the city limits of Dell Rapids.

“This will be officially our first industrial park within the city limits of Dell Rapids.  I greatly appreciate everybody’s efforts,” noted MidwestFreshLogisticsFiegenPark_1Fiegen.

Heiberger also said, “Congratulations to Dell Rapids for putting together the Fiegen Development out there. It’s wonderful that you guys got a park going on in your own town.  Thank you for what you’ve done.”

The city of Dell Rapids will be constructing a $1.3 million road from highway 115 to the new development park.  The Governor’s Office of Economic Development and South Dakota Department of Transportation will provide grant assistance.

MidwestFreshLogisticsFiegenPark_5Governer Daugaard said, “It’s really a double-celebration. We’re here of course to celebrate Ben and his company, Midwest Fresh Logistics, and his decision to come to Dell Rapids.  That’s a great thing for the property tax-base for the city.  It’s a great thing for those who are looking for jobs closer to home that might be commuting to Sioux Falls now or elsewhere and find good jobs right here in the community.  That’s a good thing to celebrate in itself. But what’s great about it is it comes at a time when it provides an opportunity to open up a development park in the city.”

Every speaker thanked the Fiegen family for the land that is being used for the development park.   MidwestFreshLogisticsFiegenPark_2

“I would like to thank the Fiegen family.  The development corporation was able to purchase some land from them.  Without that this project would never have taken place,” said Hainje.

MidwestFreshLogisticsFiegenPark_6

From L to R: City Administrator Justin Weiland, Midwest Fresh Logistics President Ben Bricko, Minnehaha County Commissioner Cindy Heiberger, Dell Rapids Economic Development Corporation President Doug Hainje, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, Dell Rapids Mayor Scott Fiegen

 

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