Water restrictions start May 19
Mobridge residents may have to change their watering habits for a while as at the Monday, May 5 meeting the Mobridge City Council approved restrictions on lawn watering during the water tower refurbishing project.
Water department manager Brad Milliken told the council water stored in the small tank near city hall while work is being completed on the tower near American Legion Field would not meet the needs of the community without restrictions.
“I would like to start after school is out. That is when they will start on the project,” he said. “There is only 100,000 gallons in storage (in the smaller tower tank).”
The restrictions would include no watering between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily. Residents whose addresses end in an even number may water on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays. Those in homes with addresses ending in odd numbers would be able to water on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays. At first the proposed restrictions were to follow the east and west sides of the street, but that was later changed to property address numbers.
These restrictions will begin Monday, May 19, and will be in place until the project is completed.
Milliken said he has discussed restrictions with the caretaker of Oahe Hills Golf Course and that all city-owned property will be watered according to the restriction. That includes parks, play parks and cemeteries.
Ward III Councilman Randy Carlson asked if the city would impose fines for those who disregarded the restrictions, but Milliken said he didn’t think that was needed and that people will abide by the restrictions.
Mayor Jamie Dietterle said the restrictions are temporary while in some cities in the state the restrictions are in place throughout the summer. He thinks people can abide by this because it is for a short time period.
Once the tower refurbishing project is finished, the restrictions will be lifted.
The council also approved the issuance of the bonds for the second low-interest loans for the water tower projects. This allows the bonding company to move forward with the paperwork to secure the loans for the project.
City Administrator Steve Gasser informed the council that the estimate to tear down the former Phansteil apartment building, owned by Rhett Albers, is about $80,000.
Gasser said ordinance officer, Brooks Johnson, has been working on getting something done with the property for a long time. He said time has run out and he thinks the council should take legal action against the owner. He said Albers said he knows there is a problem, but hasn’t done anything with it.
He said there was someone who would be interested in purchasing the property but there has been no action on that sale.
Carlson told the board the roof of the building is nearly gone and the floors and walls of the building are warping and deteriorating because of the precipitation in the past couple of years. Gasser said there was a possibility of asbestos being present in the building. The city could not tear the building down if there is asbestos in the building.
Ward III Councilman Gene Cox said if the council decides to take some action, he would like to see them spend $80,000 on a positive project rather than tearing down someone’s building. He questioned why the city would tear down a building that belonged to someone and asked if that person would maintain possession of the lot.
He said there is some funding on the state level for cleaning up contaminated properties if the ownership is in the right place.
He said he would work with Economic Development Director Michele Harrison on researching and securing any available funding if that is the direction the city is going.
Mobridge Police Chief Justin Jungwirth told the council the building looks like it is ready to collapse in some place and he is concerned that someone will enter the building and get hurt. It
“We have worked well with the county on cleaning up properties on a smaller scale, but this different,” he said. “Taking legal action would force him into action.”
It was the general consensus of the council that the building could not be saved and re-purposed. Ward I Councilman Tom O’Connell said the time has come to move forward with taking legal action against the owner.
“Our time has come to do what have to do,” he said.
The council approved moving forward with legal action to force Albers to do something with the building.
- Katie Zerr -