BID board starts to work on specifics

By Jeff Smith

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Now that Hill City has the funding source for the Business Improvement Board (BID) projects in place there will be more work on nailing down the specifics of the plans.

The collection of an occupation tax from six local motels will start June 1.

At the May 3 meeting, the BID Board worked on plans for the asphalting of the alley behind the businesses on Main Street, the design and placement of Hill City welcome signage and discussed the idea of a pedestrian walkway.

Brett McMacken, city administrator, said that in addition to asphalt being good for pedestrian walkability they will need to discuss what long-term solutions would be in order to fix drainage issues.

“There is a drainage component to look at too because I don’t want to throw all that water to the restrooms and the senior center addition,” McMacken said.

He proposed Kale McNaboe, city engineer, to come up with cost estimate for the asphalt work on the alleyway.

McNaboe did work on plans for the sewer line in the same area about 15 years ago. McMacken said he can figure out where the water needs to go to drain properly.

The BID Board members present agreed that it would be best to use McNaboe’s expertise.

Hill City has outdated signs on the east side of town and south side.

The sign by the Visitor Information Center used to have churches in Hill City plus the different insignias of clubs and organizations in Hill City. A windstorm knocked that sign down. The Department of Transportation has said they can’t have the churches or organizations listed on the sign.

Some of Vic Alexander’s employees put up the sign that is there today which is just a basic sign that welcomes people to Hill City. The city doesn’t have any records that they own that sign.

“There is nothing else coming from Rapid that says ‘welcome to Hill City’,” said McMacken.

Discussions have taken place about a sign to be placed on a rock face close to the Visitor Information Center. Permission would be needed from the state and they will need to figure out how big it could be.

The DOT  said the sign that is by Railroad Avenue can’t be much more wider. McMacken said they don’t want obstacles for people to run into.

The language for a new sign needs to be simple and sweet.

The goal is to create signs that have consistent messaging with the Hill City Chamber of Commerce and represent Hill City well. McMacken had samples from other towns in South Dakota at the meeting.

Signs could also be placed somewhere along Old Hill City Road and Deerfield Road. BID Board member Doug Peters said he could see small versions of the new sign on those roads.

Rachel Taylor, BID Board member,  would like to see a sign by the Visitor Information Center.

Peters brought up the idea to hire a designer for a new sign.  BID Board member Buzz Grover agreed that the first step should be to get a designer to create a couple of different options.

Peters made a motion for the BID board to recommend to the city to hire a designer for the welcome signs. This includes figuring out how many and in the parameters of the state regulations.

The city will research the state parameters for signage and look at locations on city property to put signs.

The signs will be in locations that make sense and have a design from somebody who knows what they are doing. Peters suggested that they contact Berberich Design for the signs too.

The third item on the agenda was the walkway that the BID Board would like to see in between the Mangy Moose Saloon and Maverick Trading Post.

Both are owned by Nir Giist.

McMacken said Giist is willing to work with the city. At the core the questions he had were on drainage and the type of sidewalk they would want to build.

Giist wants to redo the roof structure at the Trading Post in order to have water drain at the back of the building.

“I think he wants to open up the ceiling to have a bigger more open area for the shop,” McMacken said.

The width of the building will need to be decreased. Giist would like the walkway to be covered too.

A document will have to be crafted in order to work out a permanent easement through the area so people can continuously go there throughout the year.

Peters thought that they could work something out where they would cover the cost of a covered walkway if there could be something done to the back of the building. Peters said he could see a door being placed in the side of the buildings in order to get more foot traffic into the buildings. 

McMacken said the owner would like doors on the walkway which could deter the BID Board from doing the project.

McMacken said the city is not bound to the idea. It is just another idea to have people cut through to the restrooms.

“I think this walkway is worth pursuing and going after but I really feel that we do have secondary options,” Peters said.

McMacken said he is going to invite Giist to a meeting.  No action was made on the pedestrian walkway and it was tabled for another meeting.

Peters said the positive is Giist wants to work with the city on the walkway.

“I think we should try to keep that attitude going,” Peters said.

The city doesn’t want to contribute to adding more retail space for Giist either.

McMacken said the meetings get them closer to being more focused. The BID Board is going to be meeting more often for awhile.

The next meeting is May 17 at 5:30 p.m. in the city hall conference area. At the next meeting they are to discuss the log cabin, the senior center addition and the new public restrooms.

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