The Milbank City Council held its regular meeting on Monday, May 10, at the Milbank Visitor Center. Koch School During the public input segment of... Milbank City Council Discusses Cannabis Businesses, Koch School, and Baseball Field

The Milbank City Council held its regular meeting on Monday, May 10, at the Milbank Visitor Center.

Koch School During the public input segment of the meeting, Bobbie Bohlen, representing HME Properties of Brookings, discussed the company’s proposed senior living center project. The company has selected the Koch School property site and according to Bohlen plans to file a request for the Milbank City Council and the city’s planning and zoning department to form a tax increment financing district or TIF to provide a tax break for the developer.
Dave Gulck addressed the board and spoke in opposition to approving the tax increment district. “I feel this is pretty valuable property with it being so close to the park to be granted a TIF. Not to be taxed for up to 20 years is a long time. If it was turned into twinhomes or private property, I’m guessing the value lost would be from $500,000 to $750,000. Gulck said his estimate was based on the six residential lots he believes the property contains.
No action was taken by the council as HME has not submitted a formal request.  According to Bohlen, if the project moves forward, the construction plan would include demolishing the Koch School building at the end of July or the beginning of August. She cited an estimated completion date of 2023. 

Cannabis-related Businesses in Milbank A public hearing and special joint meeting of the city council and the planning and zoning commission was set for Monday, May 24, at 6 p.m. in the Milbank Visitor Center to address potential medical cannabis businesses opening in the City of Milbank. 
Mark Reedstrom City attorney outlined a plan for a temporary ordinance to give the board the power to deny applications for cannabis or cannibis-related businesses until after South Dakota defines its regulations in October. 
According to Reedstrom’s report on May 10, in response to the passage of Initiated Measure 26 last November, laws were passed to remove the criminal liability from cannabis-related activities. The laws become effective July 1, but the state has yet to declare specific laws to regulate businesses who operate in the industry.

American Legion Baseball Field
Mayor Raffety discussed the future of the American Legion Baseball field in Milbank. He reported that he and John Forman, administrator for the City of Milbank, met with Banner and Confluence to discuss the direction in which to take the plans for the new complex. He said he believes the people of Milbank prefer a field with character instead of a cookie-cutter design. Raffety defined character as reminiscent of the original field with its high wall out in right field, etc. Banner & Confluence will present drawings, cost estimates, and a menu of amenities to select from to meet needs, desires, and budgets. 
Raffety reported other companies have contacted Forman in recent weeks regarding work on the baseball complex. The mayor said he anticipates receiving drawings very soon from the new companies. 
Action was taken to approve a marketing proposal for the Milbank Ball Diamond Association (MBDA) from the Original Marketing Group for $3500. The council also approved updated bylaws for the Park and Recreation board. 

Action taken By The board 1. Approved payment for bills in the amount of $891,141.  2. Approved malt beverage renewal applications for 2021-2022 for Habanero’s LLC, DCDS LLC-Top Hat Lanes, Comes Investments Inc.-Pizza Hut, Luvern Hanson-Back Door Pub, 15 Hotel Group Inc.-Grand Stay, Swanedog Entertainment LLC-The Pump. (Councilman Hoeke abstained from the vote.) 3. Approved a farmland lease for Timothy Zubke, May 1, 2021 to October 31, 2022 – 40.55 acres/$164 per acre at the Milbank Airport.  4. Approved the purchase of an ionization system to purify the air for the Milbank Visitor Center for approximately  $5,000. 5. Approved hiring the 2021 seasonal recreation staff and hourly rate of pay effective May 11: Jacob Karges – $10; Kaden Krause – $10; Cole Swenson – $10; Justus Osborn – $10; Kacen Huber – $10; Eli Fischer – $10; Evan Erickson – $10; and Casside Seezs – $10.
6. Approved hiring of Unity staff: Jody Dilts, front desk – $10 and Laura Johnson, Lifeguard – $13.81.
7. Approved Election Workers: Peg Dohrer, Gloria Cooley, Mary Rethke, Diane Diann Dauwen (Alt), All at $12/hr.
8. Approved Unity Custodian – Dennis Lesnar 14.76/hour, effective May 26.9.  Approved the addition of three new members to the Milbank Fire department: Mike Waldner, Andy Gingerich, and Jordan Gertsema.
10. Approved the installation of an AWOS III Project from Brooke Edgar, Helms & Associates at the Milbank Airport. The advanced weather system provides up-to-date weather conditions to pilots. The cost of nearly $204,000 will be covered by the FFA using federal grants.
11. Second reading of Ordinance 834 –calls for the closing of the railroad
crossing at Eastman Street west of the former Milbank Clinic – to be blocked off to all traffic.  

The next regular meeting of the board is scheduled for Monday, June 14, at 7 p.m. at the Milbank Visitor Center.
The public hearing and special meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 24, at 6 p.m. at the Milbank Visitor Center.


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