The Milbank City Council conducted its regular meeting Monday, March 14, at the Milbank Visitor Center. The council approved the concrete bid from J & J Earthworks of Milbank for Phase 2 of the Fourth Street Project. J & J Earthworks won the contract by submitting the lowest bid. Ronglien Excavating, Big Stone City; States Border Construction, Graceville; B & B Contracting, Aberdeen; Quam Construction, Willmar; and H & W Construction, Sioux Falls also competed for the contract. J & J Earthworks’ bid came in the lowest at $417,170 and the highest bid submitted was $557,553.
City Administrator Jason Kettwig explained bids were received for both plastic and concrete storm sewers on Fourth Street from Highway 12 to Park Avenue. Concrete is currently in use and Kettwig said, ” I do not feel there is enough savings with plastic to warrant a change.” The project will replace the storm sewer on Fourth Street from Highway 12 to Park Avenue and will help divert storm runoff from the area near Hurley Park to two paths north toward Whetstone Creek. Part of the goal is to reduce flooding in the south Main Street area. This is the only major street project scheduled this year, but crews will also complete the Fourteenth Street extension.
Wine and malt beverage licenses were discussed during the finance department report. “With the possibility of new restaurants coming to town, we need to work on the variety and types of licenses available through the state and locally,” stated Kettwig. Only the state can issue liquor licenses, but the city regulates wine and malt beverage licensing. Milbank currently issues two of 10 possible license classifications. Mayor Pat Rafferty appointed Kettwig, council member Lane Lindquist, and city attorney Mark Reedstrom to a committee to review the city’s policies and options. Steve Wiener volunteered to sit on the committee. Rafferty suggested limiting new licenses to establishments earning 80% of sales from food.
The council approved the first reading of Ordinance 801 pertaining to the Midco franchise agreement. The contract is renewed annually. “Midcontinent and ITC pay a percentage of their revenue to the city and it’s time to renew that agreement,” said Kettwig.
Connie Larson, Executive Director of the Milbank Area Chamber of Commerce, outlined the Chamber’s summer events. She explained three of the five events events will require a beverage license. Larson also stated no non-local food trucks or vendors would attend these events.
Six items on the consent agenda were approved. They included: advertising for summer help, requesting street material bids for the upcoming season, setting a June 21 date for the city council election, declaring three computers as surplus, approving advertising for malt beverage licenses for the summer chamber events, and approval of Resolution 3-14-16A, a bridge re-inspection and SDDOT retainer contract.
James Johnson’s Ward 2 council seat will be up for election June 21. Johnson took over the position when it was vacated by Evan Grong last year. Johnson is now required to run for his seat.
Kelsey Buttke requested a permit to operate a daycare center in the former KC building on Highway 15. The permit was approved by the Planning and Zoning board with the condition she obtain the appropriate state license.
In other department reports, Mike Hanson noted the tennis court nets are up and ready to use and the Hurley Park ice rink has been closed for the season. Also, the fire department helped install 30 smoke alarms in area homes. The department worked in conjunction with the American Red Cross to safeguard households requesting assistance. A new city employee handbook was also approved.
The remainder of the meeting was held in executive session to discuss personnel issues. The next regular meeting of the council will be Monday, April 11, at 7 p.m. in the Milbank Visitor Center community room.