Council passes garbage pick up rate increase

By Katie Zerr

It took three votes and three options, on Monday, Feb. 6, before the Mobridge City Council decided to raise the cost of garbage collection.

At the Jan. 16 meeting, the council accepted a bid from Heartland Waste Management on a new three-year contract that reflected an increase in the service rates. The bid was for $10.50 per household as opposed to the previous $9.15 per household for 1,550 households in the city.

On Monday, a rate increase of $1.35 per household was proposed. The amount was established in order to meet the requirements of the 2012 budget. The increase would cover the cost of the contract and leave a cushion for any increases in fuel costs or tipping fees that could occur during the three-year contract.

Finance Officer Heather Beck told the group that if there were no increase to the pick up rates the city would lose $24,000 that is already accounted for in this year’s budget. If the rate were increased by $1 per month, the city would lose $6,500 dollars in the general fund.

Ward II Councilman Tony Yellow Boy asked why this proposed increase was not brought up when the council accepted the bid from Heartland Waste at the January meeting. He said if there was an increase in tipping fees at the Walworth County Landfill, it would be the responsibility of the hauler to absorb that increase.

He made a motion to increase the pick up fee by $.85 per month. The vote ended in the three to three tie, with Yellow Boy, and Ward III Councilmen Gene Cox and Rick Godkin voting in favor of that increase and Ward I Councilmen Tom O’Connell and Jamie Dietterle and Ward II Councilwoman Amy Cerney voting against that increase.

After consulting with Mobridge City Attorney Rick Cain on whether he could vote to break the tie, Mayor Kyle Jensen voted against the $.85 increase.

“If we don’t keep up with inflation and increases, we are just putting ourselves behind the eight ball again,” Jensen told the council.

The next resolution set to a vote was an increase of $1.35 per household. That resolution failed with Cox, Yellow Boy, Godkin and Cerney voting against it.

The third option of $1 per household increase with an option to review in six months passed with all voting in favor except Yellow Boy, who opposed the option.


Water Tower project

Ted Dickey of the North East Council of Governments met with the council to review funding options for building a new 600,000-gallon water tower and repair and maintenance of the existing 500,000-gallon city water tower.

The project is needed to provide adequate water service to the residents of Mobridge, he told the board.

The proposed financing for the project included applying for funding of $515,000 from South Dakota Office of Tourism and State Development for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), $1.212 million from the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources for a Drinking Water Facility Funding grant, and $485,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency for a State and Tribal Assistance Grant.

This funding proposal would cover the $1.682 million cost of the project.

If no grant funding were found, the city would use project surcharge revenue bonds. The note will be for up to 2.25 percent at a term no greater than 30 years.

If the proposed project financing were borrowed at the full amount, rate and term, the water rates would need to increase an additional $3.65 to$33.65 per household per month for 5,000 gallons of water to meet state standards of revenue generated through water sales. The total raise in rates would be determined after the funding package has been put in place. That could range anywhere from $1 on the base rate up to $3.50 depending on the need for generated funds.

The city would have to generate another $55,594 in revenue annually to meet the state standards to borrow the $1.212 million loan.


Runway protective zones

Sam Muntean of Helms and Associates of Aberdeen, explained at a public hearing that the Federal Aviation Administration requires cities to own areas around runways at airports to establish protection zones.

He presented the draft environmental assessment at a public hearing Monday, explaining the procedure

The proposed Runway Protection Zones (RPZ) are areas at the end of runways where plane crashes occur most frequently. There are approximately 15 acres of land on the north and south ends of the two runways at Mobridge Regional Airport that are considered RPZs. The city is required to attempt purchasing this land to have complete control over the further development on that land.

If landowners agree to sell, one occupied structure and one garage would need to be moved from the RPZ on the southeast end of the paved runway.

According to Muntean, the South Dakota Office of Aeronautics will help in getting appraisals of the land and in negotiating the purchase.

If landowners refuse to sell the acreage needed for the RPZ, the federal and state funding for the airport could be in jeopardy he said. That would be up to the FFA.

Copies of the assessment, which explains the plan are available to the public to view at the Federal Aviation Administration Office, 2301 University Drive, Bismarck, N.D.; the South Dakota Department of Transportation, Office of Air, Rail and Transit, Becker-Hanson Building, 700 Broadway, in Pierre; at city hall, Mobridge Airport and A.H. Brown Library in Mobridge.

Those wishing to submit comments on the assessment need to do so before 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 13.

Those comments can be sent to:

Samuel A. Muntean, P.E., Helms and Associates, PO Box 111, Aberdeen, S.D., 57402; or to Patricia Pressler, Environmental Protection Specialist, Bismarck Airport District Office, 2301 University Drive, Bismarck, N.D., 58504.

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