City of Dell Rapids Receives Grant from GF&P for Trail Updates

RecreationTrailDell Rapids has received a grant from the Game, Fish, and Parks department to be able to expand the recreational trail.  This announcement came from City Administrator Justin Weiland at the Dell Rapids City Council meeting on Monday, August 7th.

The city applied for $249,000 with the Game, Fish, and Parks Recreational Trail Grant.  The grant application included two extensions to the current trail.  One extension would run south to the overlook on Dells Drive, and the other extension would run west to the dam area.

Game, Fish, and Parks representatives said the full grant request was for nearly 100% of the grant’s available funds for the entire year.  Dell Rapids was instead awarded a $55,000 grant to be able to do the south extension project.  The estimated cost of that project is between $68,000 – $70,000.  The city will be responsible for the remaining funds needed to complete the cost.  Weiland mentioned that the city will work with the Sioux River Red Rock Trail Committee to assist with the funding for the remainder of the costs for the project and will budget for this to occur in 2018. Overlook

“I think it will get more people there to experience that, and potentially put the city in a position to make some improvements down there, or at least get it cleaned up and looking sharper,” said Weiland of the south extension.  The extension of the trail would start at Dells Drive and run to the overlook area of the Big Sioux River.

Weiland also said that since Game, Fish, and Parks couldn’t help fund the dam extension, the city sent a letter of intent to the Department of Transportation for the Transportation Alternatives Grant.  Recreational trails were added to that grant this past year.  Weiland said that the Department of Transportation will be meeting with city officials to look at the area and hear plans to potentially get that funded through this grant in the future.

Friday Service to Start for Dell Rapids Transit

DellRapidsTowerFriday service will be starting soon for the Dell Rapids Transit.  The Dell Rapids City Council voted to add Friday service during their regular meeting on Monday, July 17th.

City Administrator Justin Weiland shared with the council that adding Friday service would cost the city an additional $5,800 annually.  Weiland also mentioned that the extra cost could potentially be lowered based on a grant package the city might receive from the 5311 grant that the city submitted, but he cautioned the council to plan for the city to pay for the full additional costs.   The additional cost for the city for 2017 would only be half of the total $5,800 by adding Friday at the start of school.

Councilman James Borchert motioned to approve adding Friday to the Dell Rapids City Transit service, and Councilman Mike Geraets seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.

Bathhouse in Dell Rapids Could See Updates

DellRapidsBathhouseCould the Gina Smith Campbell Bathhouse at City Park in Dell Rapids see preserving and restoring updates?  It could according to Dell Rapids Mayor Tom Earley.

Mayor Earley gave an update to the Dell Rapids City Council during their regular meeting on Monday, July 3rd, about a meeting he had with South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard and Linda Daugaard.  The Daugaards and Mayor Earley met earlier in the day on July 3rd.  It was indicated to Mayor Earley that the Duagaards have some interest in providing support to preserve and/or partially restore the bathhouse.  Some of the ideas that were reported to the council were to put together a working group to assess the building and provide some basic options that could make the facility usable again.  To help on costs of a project like this, the hope is that some of the people in the working group might be able to donate materials and do in-kind-service work on the building.  Funding for some of this type of work could come money provided by the city, monetary or work-in-kind donations from interested community members, and potentially a matching donation by Governor Daugaard.  The facility should also be eligible for grant dollars given out by the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission’s Outside of Deadwood Grant Program.   Application deadlines for those grant dollars are January 2nd, 2018, and June 2nd, 2018.

The Gina Smith Campbell Bathhouse was dedicated on July 4th, 1934 after being built by the Dell Rapids Park Board and the Dell Rapids City Council in coordination with the Civil Works Administration.  The bathhouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 10th, 1986.

The ideas of projects to restore and preserve the bathhouse are in the very early stages of talks.  However, there does seem to be interest in making the bathhouse usable again.

Dell Rapids Could See Additional Street Lights

DellRapidsStreetLightThe Dell Rapids City Council received a report from City Administrator Justin Weiland that the city of Dell Rapids could see additional street lights added around town.  This report came during the council’s regular meeting on Monday, June 19th.

Weiland along with Public Works Director Larry Schildhauer met with representatives from Xcel Energy to plan for the installation of the additional street lights in a few places around town.  The new 10th street project area is one area that will receive new street lights.  Quartzite Street and Garfield Avenue in the new industrial park will also receive lights.  Weiland also mentioned that a few additional lights will be put on Zero Street near Garfield Avenue and Orleans Avenue near Rickeman Field.  There are also plans to install additional lights on Highway 77 north of the four-way stop to help with darkness in these areas.

Councilman Gary Haak asked, “The electrical company pays for that, right?”

“We have some initial costs based on what infrastructure is there.  We then pay a lease fee per light,” said Weiland.

City Administration hopes to have the lights installed yet in 2017.

Campground Expansion Continues to Move Forward

CampgroundExpansionUpdateThe Dell Rapids City Council heard that the campground expansion and comfort station plans are moving forward and still plan to be completed in 2017 during their last regular meeting on Monday, June 5th.

City Administrator Just Weiland reported to the council that the city has received clearance from the Corp of Engineers that the area for the campground expansion (just south of Rickeman Field in the old tractor pull area) will be removed from their wetland maps.  The next step is for DGR to proceed with issuing a FEMA No-Rise Certificate for the area.  Once the city receives that analysis, they will know how to proceed with elevations for utility placements and then installation can begin.

Weiland also reported that structural plans for the new comfort station.  Administration is still waiting for the final electrical, plumbing, and mechanical plans for the new building.  Once those plans are received, the city will be able to put the project out for bid.

“We should be able to go out to bid in the next week or two,” said Weiland.

Administration is still targeting to have the campground expansion and comfort station projects completed by the fall of 2017.

10th Street Project Now Complete

10thStreetCompleteDuring the Dell Rapids City Council’s last regular meeting on Monday, June 5th, the council received the news that the 10th street project was substantially complete.  The street was opened to traffic starting on Friday, June 2nd.  The final walk-thru of the project took place on Tuesday, June 6th.

Dell Rapids Mayor Tom Earley said, “I think right now would be very appropriate on my part to recognize the fact that 10th street wouldn’t maybe be there if it hadn’t been for Mr. Geraets and Mr. Crisp.  We appreciate the initiative they took and the work you guys did to get it going.  It’s a very visible project in town…  They’ve done a nice job up there and it looks nice.”

The entire project included utility work, drainage, sidewalk, curb and gutter, driveway approach updates, and a new asphalt road between Orchard Hills and Iowa Ave.

With the completion of the project, the council approved a pay request from T&R Contracting on the project.

New Temporary Truck Route Approved

TruckRouteChangesThe Dell Rapids City Council approved a new truck route agreement with the South Dakota Department of Transportation at their last regular meeting on Monday, May 15th.  The new truck route will be put in place temporarily during the construction happening at Exit 98 (Dell Rapids interchange) of Interstate 29.

The temporary truck route will run on Garfield Ave from 4th St to Quartzite St.  Trucks will then be able to gain access to Hwy 115 from Quartzite St.

As part of the agreement, dust control will also be maintained on Garfield Ave from Centennial Place to Quartzite St.  Garfield Ave will be replaced to its current condition after the the truck use is completed.

The motion was made by Alderman Mike Geraets to accept the agreement and seconded by Alderman Gary Haak.  The motion passed.

Council Considers Changes to City Bus Rides

DellRapidsTowerThe Dell Rapids City Council heard a request to have the city bus operated on Fridays during their last regular meeting on Monday, May 15th.  Currently the city bus does not run on Fridays.

“The transit wanted the council to know they have been asked about it on several occasions, and they would like to approach the city about looking at Friday,” said City Administrator Justin Weiland.

Weiland added that he’d like to have conversations to make sure costs could be covered before the council made a decision on adding another day of service.  The council decided to have the Policy and Procedures Committee look at adding an extra day of operation as well as providing a different option of a bus pass instead of a punch card.

The council also held a discussion on how to increase ridership and possibly incorporate transportation for kids to the pool in some way that’s linked with purchases of pool passes.

“I would sure like to see ridership increase.  I think it’s a service that’s good for the community.  It’s good for safety.  You’ve got the children on the bus instead of crossing streets,” said Alderman Mike Geraets.

After some discussion about how to get children to the pool on a pilot program and after a withdrawn motion by Alderman James Borchert, Alderman Mark Crisp made a motion that if a pool pass is purchased, children can ride the city bus for free that live within city limits to and from swimming lessons as a pilot program.  The motion was seconded by Geraets.  The motion passed.

New Dell Rapids City Council Takes Office

During the last regular Dell Rapids City Council meeting held on Monday, May 1st, the new city council took office.  Mayor Earley, Alderman Bill Schmidt, Alderman Barry Berg, and Alderman Bob Mier each took an Oath of Office for their new terms with the city.

Alderman Mark Crisp was voted the President of the council.  Alderman Mike Geraets was voted the Vice President.  Mayor Earley recommended Crisp, Schmidt, and Alderman Gary Haak be appointed to the Finance and Utilities Committee.  Alderman James Borchert, Alderman Mike Sterud, and Berg were appointed to the Policy and Procedures Committee.  Geraets was appointed to the Minnehaha County Economic Development Association and Dell Rapids Economic Development Corporation.  Mier was appointed as the Dell Rapids Library Board Liason.  Sterud was appointed as the Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce Board Liason.

All the appointments made by Mayor Earley were approved by the council.

Prior to the new council taking office, the previous council approved malt beverage license renewals for Dell Rapids Pizza Ranch, T&C, T&C’s Other Place, and Shopko.


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.