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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Thefts on the Rise in Dell Rapids

CarTheftDellRapidsThe Dell Rapids City Council heard a report of thefts on the rise in the community during their regular meeting on Monday, May 7th.  Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office had Deputy Mitchell give the report to the council.

Deputy Mitchell reported that within the last couple of weeks the department has taken several theft calls, with most of the calls being things taken out of people’s cars or front porches.  He noted they have taken a lot of vehicle break-in calls.

“I just wanted to let you guys know that’s been on the rise for some reason.  I don’t know if it’s the warm weather or just people coming up from other parts of the state.  It wouldn’t be a bad idea to remind people to keep their doors locked and to lock up their bicycles,” said Deputy Mitchell.

“Has it kind of been in one area or pretty much all over town?” asked Councilman Bill Smith.

Deputy Mitchell responded that the car break-ins have mostly been happening in the Garfield Ave and 7th St area.

“The report I took for bicycle was on the west side of town, west of Highway 77, so it’s been all over,” Deputy Mitchell also noted.

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Free Spring Rubble Site Days Nearing

DellRapidsTowerThe free rubble site days for this spring are nearing in Dell Rapids.  The Dell Rapids City Council approved May 3rd (Thursday), May 5th (Saturday), and May 12th (Saturday) as the three free days for the rubble site.

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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Council Approves Upcoming Events

DellRapidsTowerThe Dell Rapids City Council approved two upcoming events during their last regular meeting on Monday, April 16th.

The first outdoor permit event that was approved was for a “Worship Under the Stars” event for Wednesday, May 9th.  Some students from the Dell Rapids High School Impact group will be hosting a “clean-up” day at the City Park during the day.  In the evening the group, along with Dell Rapids Connections, will be hosting a worship event in the evening from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. with music.  The second event that was approved was the annual Memorial Day Parade and park service that will be held on Monday, May 28th.  Both of the events were approved with the fee waived.

In other business during the meeting, the council approved the transfer of the Retail On-Off Sale Malt Beverage license of Pizza Ranch from the previous owners to the new owners, Sirwick Inc.  The council also approved the next pay request for KHC Construction for the Waste-Water Treatment Facility SBR Project.  A preliminary plan request for Spruce Glen additions along with Resolution No. 2018-05 (Adopt Minnehaha County Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan) were also both approved.

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Big Sioux River Rip Rap Project Completed

The Big Sioux River rip rap project in Dell Rapids was recently completed by Dakota Clearing and Grading along with help from the city crew.  The project consisted of adding rip rap to the north and south banks of the Big Sioux River to spots both east and west of the Garfield Ave bridge.

“We got that in on probably the last window frame of time that we could have possibly got it in because as soon as they were done, the temperatures warmed up quite a bit and it would been too sloppy to be out there moving heavy equipment around.  Dakota Clearing and Grading did it in about three to three and a half days, and did a really great job,” said City Administrator Justin Weiland during the Dell Rapids City Council’s regular meeting on Monday, March 5th.

Weiland also noted that LG Everist needed to be recognized for the project as well for being the “good-neighbor company they are.”  LG Everist contributed all the material to assist the city with the project.



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Dell Rapids Bath House Renovations Discussed in Pierre

DellRapidsBathhouseDell Rapids Mayor Tom Earley, City Administrator Justin Weiland, Dell Rapids Finance Officer Claire Baartman, Dell Rapids City Council Member James Borchert, and retired architect and Dell Rapids native Mark Aspaas met with South Dakota State Historical Preservation Office (SHPO) officials along with Governor Dennis Daugaard and his wife Linda in Pierre recently to discuss possible renovations to the Dell Rapids bath house.  A report of the meeting was given to the Dell Rapids City Council during their regular meeting on Tuesday, February 20th.

Aspaas has put together some renderings of what a renovation could be as well as put together a potential cost estimate of about $275,000.  Those renderings along with potential uses for the building were discussed during the meeting in Pierre.

“The main purpose of the meeting was to get them (SHPO) to look at these renderings and tell us they had a comfort level of approving them because it’s on the historical registry.  We have to get their approval,” Weiland said to the council during the city council meeting.  “It was a positive meeting.  The governor and his wife responded very positively to the use that is being proposed at this time.” BathHouseRendering

There were a couple of proposed ideas for uses of a renovated bath house.  One idea is to develop a museum within the walls of the interior of the bath house that would provide information through narratives and photographs of the history of quartzite rock in Dell Rapids.  Printed wall panels could be used to portray the history of the quarries as well as the buildings in Dell Rapids that have been built with quartzite.

The other proposed use of the building would be as a public gathering space for family reunions, group gatherings, and other like events.  There could be tables and chairs inside of the building with power for crock pots.  The bath house could then be made available for reservation similar to the building in the northwest corner of the park that is used today.

“I think it’s an important thing to do.  Our community has more younger families moving into the community.  I suspect there is a significant part of the community that know there are quarries here, but haven’t got a clue as to what the role those quarries have played in the history of this community,” Mayor Earley mentioned during the council meeting.

Mayor Earley also noted Governor Daugaard has sent his fundraising process document to city administration.  He also said that fundraising efforts for this project could run similar to the library renovation and expansion project.

“We will be continuing to work on this and hopefully, at some point, we’ll get there.  I think the state historical people appreciate the fact of what we are trying to do in terms of preserving the old bath house,” said Mayor Earley.

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Planning and Zoning Board Gets New Member

DellRapidsTowerThe Dell Rapids Planning and Zoning Board will have a new member after the Dell Rapids City Council accepted the resignation of board member Paul Zweifel on Monday, February 8th during the council’s regular meeting.

Dell Rapids City Mayor Tom Earley brought an appointment to fill the open spot on the board to the council.  Mayor Earley’s appointment is former Dell Rapids Superintendent Tom Ludens.

“Tom certainly has experience with dealing with the public over his years of school superintendent.  I think he’ll bring another element of value to planning and zoning.  I think it’s important that we do what we can to make sure that it’s a vibrant board, and it has the resources to do the things they need to be doing,” said Mayor Earley.

Ludens commented, “I’ve enjoyed living here for almost 22 years, and I have nothing but positives about Dell Rapids.  Thanks for your appointment.”

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