Some Projects Nearing Completion in Dell Rapids

DellRapidsTowerA few of the projects that have been happening in Dell Rapids this summer and fall are nearing completion.

The Garfield Avenue Improvement project had its final pay request during the Dell Rapids City Council’s regular meeting on Monday, October 15th.  The contractor has just recently finished some grading and reseeding work, and the punch list items being completed.  The council approved the final pay request on this project.

The water tower repainting project is also nearing completion.  The painting of the tower has been completed inside and outside.  The “Dell Rapids” lettering has also been completed on the tower.  Testing on the paint, cleaning up the site, and then getting the tower refilled are the final steps to close out this project.

Another project that is also about complete is the Sioux River Red Rock Trail Scenic Overlook Extension project.  All of the concrete has been installed, and the back-filling and grading has been completed.  The seeding has not been completed at this time.  The plan is to dormant seed the areas in early November.  Some punch list items are also needing to be completed before the project is completely done.

The Rickeman Comfort Station project is also continuing to move forward.  The excavation and concrete work has been completed.  It was reported during the council meeting that the roofing materials are ready to be installed.  After the roof is done, the plumbing, HVAC, and electrical to be done on the building.  The expectation by the contractor is that the building will be finished by the end of November.

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New Truck Route Now in Place

Dell Rapids has an updated truck route ordinance which includes a secondary truck route.  Dell Rapids City Ordinance 856 had a second reading and adoption passed during the regular council meeting on Tuesday, September 4th, but the ordinance did not go into effect until October 1st.

The new primary truck route is as follows:

  1. State Highway 115 from the west boundary of the city turning southeast to the south boundary of the city.
  2. Quartzite Street from State Highway 115 on the west to Garfield Avenue on the east.
  3. Garfield Avenue between Quartzite Street and Seventh Street.
  4. Seventh Street from Garfield Avenue on the west to the east boundary of the city.
  5. County Highway 129 from the north boundary of the city angling southeast to where the highway intersects State Highway 115 (Fourth Street) and continuing south on State Highway 115 to the south boundary of the city.
  6. Zero Street from State Highway 115 on the east to Quarry Road on the west.
  7. The entire portions of Quarry Road and Quartzite Street.

The new secondary truck route is as follows:

  1. Third Street from State Highway 115 on the west to Orleans Avenue on the east.
  2. Orleans Avenue between Third Street and Fourth Street.
  3. Fourth Street between Orleans Avenue and Garfield Avenue.

TRUCK ROUTE (2)

Signs for the new truck routes that will be placed by the city and the South Dakota Department of Transportation should be completely installed within the next couple of weeks according to comments made by City Administrator Justin Weiland during the last city council meeting.

A question was also raised as to when the new railroad gates would be installed on South Dakota Highway 115 on the south end of town.  It was reported that those gates would be installed after the sidewalks were completely finished to avoid potentially having to come back and move them during sidewalk placements.

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Dell Rapids Free Rubble Site Days Announced for Fall Season

DellRapidsTowerThe Dell Rapids City Council approved three “Free Rubble Site Days” this fall during their regular meeting on Monday, September 17th.  The three days will be October 27th (Saturday), November 1st (Thursday), and November 3rd (Saturday).  The council also approved having one of the two Saturdays also be a technology drop day.  City Administrator Justin Weiland is still working SEAM of Sioux Falls to get a date finalized.

As a reminder the Rubble Site is licensed by the State of South Dakota and is restricted to trees, branches, untreated wood, construction and demolition debris, sheet rock, plaster, concrete, carpet, furniture, mattresses, grass, yard and garden waste and leaves, and large household appliances. Fees are enforced by volume and type of material.  Dell Rapids residents only.

Unaccepted items include household waste, cardboard, plastic (of any kind), small electric appliances (TVs, stereo equipment, microwaves), toys, and bikes with tires, shingles, asbestos, tires, hazardous materials, fiberglass.

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Progress Made on Comfort Station

CampgroundComfortStation2018Construction is finally under way on the new comfort station at Rickeman Field.

“We have that comfort station finally under way, three years and three attempts later.  We’ve got the walls up.  They look good,” mentioned City Administrator Justin Weiland during the Dell Rapids City Council meeting on Monday, September 17th.

The original plan had an October 15th deadline for the completion of the facility, but the contractor has expressed concern about meeting that deadline.  City administration has acknowledged that concern and has expressed a willingness to work with them on the deadline.

The campground updates are still planned to be completed this year.  The city has been in contact with Prunty Construction for the installation of water and sewer lines.  The city has been told that will start to happen within the next couple of weeks.  After the water and sewer lines are installed, the electrical work will take place.

During the construction time, alternative parking on Zero Street and over at Volunteer Park will have to be utilized during games held at Rickeman Field.

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Highway 115 South of Dell Rapids Now Open

Hwy115_Sept2018A portion of the final phase of the Highway 115 project has completed.  The north bridge from 3rd St southward out of Dell Rapids was opened by the South Dakota Department of Transportation in the late afternoon hours of Wednesday, September 5th.  The north bridge has been closed to traffic since December 4th, 2017 to start the final phase of this major highway construction project.

“It will eliminate the detour, which is be a big relief to the community.  It’s been a slog,” said City Administrator Justin Weiland during the Dell Rapids City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 4th.

Construction still continues on Highway 115 from the four-way stop by T&Cs and Dells Auto westward out toward the interstate as projects all across the state are falling behind schedule.

“T&R is doing the Tea-Ellis road, and they’re talking about not even tearing up sections that are supposed to get done this year, and calling it quits and finishing where they’re at right now because they’re not going to get to it.  Hopefully they shift some of that man power over here.  Everybody’s way, way behind all across the state right now.  We might be stuck with this late into the winter season,” Weiland mentioned during the council meeting. Hwy115_Sept2018_2

The first phase of the project, the replacement of the south bridge on Highway 115 and highway replacement to 248th St., began in April of 2016.  That section was completed in a little over a year with the bridge and new road opening May of 2017.

The second phase of the $18.8 million Highway 115 project was the replacement of the Interstate 29 interchange at exit 98.  That portion of the project was re-opened to traffic on November 29th, 2017.

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Dell Rapids Library Releases Final Summer Numbers

LibraryDedication-2Brittany Moeller, the Dell Rapids Carnegie Library Director, presented the Dell Rapids City Council with the final summer reading program numbers for 2018 during the council’s regular meeting on Monday, August 6th.  The summer reading program officially ended the last week in July this year.

“The total sign up for babies through adults for the summer reading program was 654 people.  That’s an increase of more than 220 people from last year, so that’s amazing!  Our numbers just skyrocketed.  We had double the amount of adults and teens sign up, and those are our two hardest groups to get signed up for the summer reading program.  So to have those numbers double was pretty exciting to see,” said Moeller.  In 2017 the library had a total of 426 people register for the program.

There were a total of six different programs for babies through adults.  The library had just under 2,000 people attend just the program, which is nearly double from last year’s number.  That number doesn’t include people who came into the library just to use the computer or check out books.  There were a total of 934 participants that attended five different programs in 2017.

So far in 2018, the library has issued 71 new library cards for a total of 206 new people to the library.  In 2017 the library issued 92 library cards for a total of 212 new people.

“We’ve had a record-breaking summer, and it’s been super exciting and a lot of fun,” Moeller added.

Moeller also said that they would like to keep this trend going, keep seeing people come into the library to participate in the programs, and do all the fun activities.

After the report of the new numbers, Dell Rapids Councilman Gary Haak asked Moeller what she would like to see in the future for the library in terms of programming and reaching out into the community.

“We would like to definitely expand the programs that we do.  Libraries aren’t the same as they were 20 years ago.  The library that my older siblings were used to where they came in and they checked out all these research books to write their papers and that kind of stuff, they still kind of do that, but a lot of that is online.  So now the library’s role is changing.  What we provide now is a place for community members to gather, to be together, to learn new things, to have new experiences whether it’s story time for their kids or offering photography classes or different ways we can involve community members.  We would love to do more things like that, really expand not only the programming that we have at the library, but what else we can do outside of the library in the community, doing more with the schools, and partnering more with the daycares and centers like that.  That’s kind of our main goal,” Moeller responded.

“When we look back at spending the money to add on to this, it shows that we did it right.  Probably didn’t build it big enough now, I don’t know.  If it’s growing like this, it’s good to see,” Haak commented.

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Dell Rapids Citizens Asked to Remove Sump Pumps from Sewer Lines

SumpPumpThe Dell Rapids City Council is asking the residents of Dell Rapids to remove sump pumps from pumping into the sewer lines.  The issue was raised during the council’s regular meeting on Monday, July 2nd.

City Administrator Justin Weiland told the council that the city has seen a dramatic increase in the pumping rates to the new Waste Water Treatment Facility over the last few weeks after the heavy rains.  Normal daily pumping from the main lift station is usually around 220,000 gallons daily in the summer months.  That number spiked to nearly 700,000 gallons following the five-inch rain towards the end of June.

“The reason that we are getting those high flows is because of infiltration.  We know we have infiltration into the system.  When you got a big rain like that, you know everything’s coming in at once.  That’s coming in because you have cracked sewer lines.  You still have some man holes that have holes in the top of them.  It’s just typical ways for I and I (intake and infiltration).  Now when that rain goes away and that initial influx comes in, but you keep getting infiltration, that you can always identify as being sump pumps,” said Weiland.

The city was able to get away with sump pumps being pumped into the sewer because of the lagoons, and the city had the capacity to deal with that.  However the city is now paying for energy costs associated with treating all of the infiltration from sump pumps at the treatment facility.

The city put a note on the latest water bills that were just sent to the residents asking for sump pumps to stop pumping directly into the sewer system.  Administration will also be working on ways of finding and correcting sump pump violations

“When we’re now paying to treat all that, we got to try to eliminate as much of that as possible at this point,” Weiland noted.

According to city ordinance, depositing sump pumps into the sewer system is illegal.

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Waste Water Treatment Plant in Dell Rapids Nearing Completion

DellRapidsTowerThe new waste-water treatment facility plant in Dell Rapids in nearing final completion.  The Dell Rapids City Council approved the release of 50% of the retainer to KCH Construction they kept on the project during their regular meeting on Monday, June 4th.  The release of half of those retainer funds brings the project one step closer to final completion.  The $5.5 million project started in late 2015.

KCH Construction has been operating the plant over the last few weeks and has been discharging into lagoon four.

“From all we can tell with some of the minimal amount of sampling we’ve had the ability to do up to this point, it’s starting to treat, but it’s not fully there.  Everything in the plant is operating accordingly,” said City Administrator Justin Weiland during the council meeting.

Tweaks and updates are still being made to try to get the microbes working a little better.  A few other items also remain on the project, but they are minimal punch list items and clean-up around the site according to Weiland.

The Dell Rapids City Council is scheduled to tour the new facility prior to their next meeting on June 18th.

The city has also hired a new operator of the facility in Ryan Fods.  Fods will also serve as a part-time public works employee along with operating the new waste-water treatment facility.

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Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office Gives County Report to Dell Rapids Council

MCSOLogoMinnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead along with Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Mike Walker gave a report of what the office is seeing throughout the county.  The presentation was given during the Dell Rapids City Council’s regular meeting on Monday, May 21st.

Sheriff Milstead noted that the drug cases in Dell Rapids stayed nearly the same from 2016 to 2017.  Dell Rapids had 29 cases in 2016 and 30 in 2017.  However, Sheriff Milstead said the meth arrests and overdose deaths in the county have doubled.  There were 11 overdose deaths in Minnehaha County in 2016 and 21 in 2017.

“We didn’t use to see meth overdoses, but here’s what’s happening.  Our percentage of purity and strength of our meth coming into our community is nearly 100%,” said Milstead.  He also noted that the meth epidemic is something the sheriff’s office struggles to handle.  Milstead said that over half of the violent crimes and burglaries in the county are related to meth use.

Meth isn’t the only the drug being seen in the county.  Milstead noted that seven of the overdose deaths in 2017 was related to heroin.

“I don’t think I’ve ever said the word heroin in Dell Rapids.  I never thought that I would, but heroin is in our communities now,” Milstead added.

Despite the shocking statistics given by Sheriff Milstead, he praised the council and the community of Dell Rapids.

“I have great respect for what you do and the challenges you face.  It’s really nice, actually, to come up and listen to a setback issue being a major thing that you’re handling, and you’re not dealing with a crisis that we’re seeing in other communities.  I think there’s a reason why people live in Dell Rapids. They want to keep it like Dell Rapids and will fight to keep it that way,” Milstead commented.

Officer Walker provided a few comments as well.  He noted that while he doesn’t know everything that goes on in the school, he does hear a lot.  Walker said he that he does hear a lot of the trends and said that it goes up and down every year.

“This year has been a really, really good year at Dell Rapids I think.  I’m not here to tell you that no kids are using marijuana or drinking and stuff, but I just did not hear the trend that I have in the last three or four years,” Walker said.

Walker also noted that while he didn’t hear some of the same trends in the school when it came to marijuana or drinking, he did mention that vaping is now becoming more of an issue.

Sheriff Milstead and Officer Walker also touched on other drug related items, apps and technology that the office is using or hopes to use, and social media.

The entire nearly hour-long report can be viewed in the video.

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New Dell Rapids City Council Called to Order

2018DRCityCouncil_1The new Dell Rapids City Council was called to order on Monday, May 7th with one new councilman taking position.  Chad Ronshaugen was the only candidate that filed a petition for the open seat in Ward 3 left by Mike Sterud.  Councilmen Bill Schmidt, Barry Berg, and Bob Mier ran unopposed as incumbents in their wards and will join Ronshaugen for another term on the Dell Rapids City Council.

Prior the the new council being called to order, the old council had to adjourn.  Prior to that happening, Dell Rapids Mayor Tom Earley shared some comments about Sterud. 2018DRCityCouncil_3

“It is my honor to be able to recognize Mike Sterud for his service to the community.  Mike, it’s been a pleasure having you on here,”  Mayor Earley said.

After the new councilmen were sworn to office, the council elected new officers and committee members.  Councilman Mark Crisp was elected the President.  Councilman Mike Geraets was elected as Vice President.

2018DRCityCouncil_2Committee appointments are as follows:

  • Finance and Public Works Committee:  Crisp, Schmidt, Haak
  • Policy and Procedure Committee:  Borchert, Ronshaugen, Berg
  • Surplus Property Appraisal Committee:  Entire Council
  • Minnehaha County Economic Development Association:  Geraets
  • Dell Rapids Economic Development Corporation:   Geraets
  • Library Board Liaison:  Mier
  • Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce Board Liaison:  Ronshaugen
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