Council seeks funds for sewer project
Seeking funding for the Second Avenue storm sewer project, the Mobridge City Council, Tuesday, Feb. 21, authorized Mayor Kyle Jensen to sign the application for a low interest loan.
Ted Dickey, from Northeast Council of Governments, presented funding options for a two-phase project that would extend the new storm sewer system from the railroad crossing on south Main Street to one block north of Grand Crossing on Second Avenue West. The extension would keep water from pooling between First and Second Avenue West and on West Grand Crossing at Second Avenue.
The cost of the project will be $764,000 with the funding coming from a low interest (3.75 percent) loan through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Dickey explained that the loan payments would be $51,000 annually. He said the payments would need to come from storm sewer assessments or from the waste water revenue. Since the storm sewer assessments generated would only cover half of the annul payment, those fees would need to be doubled to pay for the loan payments.
Jensen told Dickey the city had taken steps to have the necessary funds available to cover loan payments for storm sewer projects by enacting a storm sewer assessment last year. The funding for loan payments could be available without raising any other fees, he told the council.
The council agreed to seek funding for the project in order to get it secured before the South Dakota Department of Transportation completes the Highway 12, Grand Crossing and Highway 1804 project scheduled for 2012-2013.
The second phase of the project will continue the new line from the Second Avenue West site to Eighth Avenue on Fourth Avenue West.
Mobridge Police Chief Mike Nehls asked the council to approve an agreement between the Mobridge E911 Center and the Potter County Sheriff’s Department for after hours and weekend phone answering services. The new agreement is for $13,974, due on March 1, forthe year that began on January 1, 2012.
Jensen questioned Nehls on the cost of the agreement, asking why it was half of what it was last year.
“Potter County did not want to pay the current fee because other counties that we provide services to don’t pay the same fee,” Nehls told the council. “I don’t blame them for thinking it was not a fair agreement.”
He said the E911 dispatchers handle traffic stop information and document request services to counties on nights and weekends when the other offices are closed. He said some sheriff’s offices have after-hours numbers, but the dispatchers are still providing information requested by those county officers after hours.
Jensen asked Nehls why other counties are getting the same services as Potter County without paying for them.
“When I became chief here, I was told that was the agreement,” he told the council. “I don’t think it is our obligation to answer their phones after hours.”
He said the E911 Board provided funding for the equipment in the center and funding for salaries of four dispatchers. There are currently seven dispatchers at the center. A new law that takes effect in 2013 will require two dispatchers to be on duty 24 hours a day in all centers. That means 10 dispatchers will be needed in Mobridge.
“The City of Mobridge will have to take a serious look at this when those changes are made,” said Jensen. “We need to know if it is cost effective to keep the center open here.”
Nehls said the E911 board gave the center an additional $40,000 last year and have provided updates for the equipment as needed.
“I would strive to keep the center open here,” he told the council.
Jensen appointed Ward II Councilman Tony Yellow Boy and Ward III Councilman Gene Cox to work with Nehls to gather information on the benefits versus the cost of the E911 Center to be reviewed by the council. Mobridge City Attorney Rick Cain will also work with Nehls to gather information on the original E911 agreement with the member counties and in securing funding for after-hours services from those counties.