Library construction project delayed

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by Katie Zerr

Councilwoman Amy Cerney explained Monday, March 19, that specific wording required by the federal government when grants are involved has delayed the start of construction at A.H. Brown Library.

According to Cerney, required language about the Community Development Block Grant was not included in the bid specs released to companies bidding on the project, meaning the bids will have to be let again.

According to Mobridge City Attorney Rick Cain, because there is a federal grant involved, there is more stringent wording that must be included on the bids. The bid packages will be written to include the required statements concerning non-discrimination and the hiring of minorities and the bids will be let again.

“This is a little setback,” said Cerney. “Just a small, half-step back.”

The North Central Council of Governments is rewriting the bids to include the required language. Then the city will advertise for bids for the required two-week period. The bids will be opened and the one that is chosen by the A.H. Brown Library Board with the recommendation of the architect must be approved by the city council.
Cerney said the delay would hopefully be two to four weeks.

Siren controversy
Mobridge Fire Chief Brad Milliken asked the council to consider once again approving the use of sirens to alert responders to an emergency. He said the signals were not used now because residents who heard the sirens would flood the dispatchers at the law enforcement centers with calls for the location of the fire. He said he would like the sirens to be used especially during the warmer months so firefighters and other volunteers could be notified if they had trouble with their pagers or did not hear that signal. He said by blowing the siren more responders would be notified they were needed.
Mobridge Police Chief Mike Nehls said he would rather not use the siren as signals because callers overwhelm the dispatchers who are trying to coordinate an emergency response.

He said there are two methods of notifying responders, a paging system and a “Code Red” system, which is a list of those to be notified that the dispatchers use if there is time. He said callers also find out the location of the fire in order to go there to watch. Onlookers cause problems with traffic and they can interfere with the firefighters and damage the hoses by driving a vehicle over them.

He said he is against using the siren again.

Mayor Kyle Jensen requested the issue to be tabled until more information about the pros and cons of using the sirens could be weighed before a decision was made.

Fuel truck
Ward I Councilman Tom O’Connell requested permission to research the purchase of a jet fuel truck that is available through the state surplus sale in Huron.

He said he looked at the 6,000-gallon truck while he was in Huron recently and spoke to officials at the office. The information they had given him about the vehicle was positive and he said the city should consider purchasing the truck, which is priced at $8,900.

“The last time we discussed bidding on a truck the one we looked at was $49,000 or $50,000,” he said. “The guys at the surplus yard said the vehicle runs well and everything works well on it. I think it is worth sending someone down there to take a closer look at it.”

Councilman Rick Godkin said since he had been on the council, the city had spent nearly as much in repairs on the fuel truck the city currently owns as the cost of the surplus truck.

O’Connell requested that Mobridge City Administrator Steve Gasser notify the surplus yard officials that the city was interested in the purchase of the truck and put a hold on it until someone could travel to Huron to take a closer look at it.
Mayor Kyle Jensen directed Gasser to notify the yard officials that the city was interested in the vehicle.

– Katie Zerr

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