Busy common council hears multitude of issues

By Gray Hughes

Deegan Drive in Hill City seen Thursday, May 30. [PN Photo/GRAY HUGHES]

Road paving, sound permit and a public pool were all discussed at the Tuesday, May 28 Hill City Common Council meeting.

Sound permit revisited

At the May 13 Hill City Common Council meeting, a sound permit for the Mangy Moose Saloon was presented. After fielding concerns from some in attendance regarding inappropriate music, the council decided to not award the permit until they heard from Tana Nichols, the owner of the Mangy Moose Saloon.

Nichols was present at the May 28 meeting to field concerns on the matter.

“We mostly play music during the (Sturgis Rally),” she said. “I also have single acts throughout the summer. They are done by 5 p.m.”

While Nichols admitted that one of her old acts was “raunchy,” she no longer books them.

Alderwoman Kathy Skorzewski said the permit is for any music that comes from the building and the concern isn’t for the volume of the music, rather it’s for the content of the music.

Nichols said she will talk with the performers to ensure the music is not inappropriate.

“I will talk with them,” she said. “I’ll talk to them before each performance.”

Alderman Jim Peterson said he is pro-business and doesn’t want to hinder Nichol’s business, but, Peterson said, “a lot of people are watching.”

It was understood that, if there are any issues, the permit could be revoked.

When it came time to vote, the motion to grant the permit was put forth by Skorzewski and seconded by alderman John Johnson. The permit was approved 3-0.

Will Hill City get a pool?

During report items, Cody Groven and Luke Rupert, two Hill City Middle School students, presented on the idea of Hill City getting a public pool.

After the two conducted a poll of 46 people, it was found that 98 percent of people polled were in support and 2 percent opposed.

“A Hill City public pool would be great for Hill City,” Groven said.

The two had three places in mind for the pool—by the soccer field, across from the school land a lot near Tracy Park.

The two consulted with the town of Chamberlain, which had just recently installed a pool.

The pool would be Olympic-sized at 22 feet by 164 feet and 12 feet deep in the deep end. The pool would be “zero entry,” meaning that pool-goers would just need to wade into the pool without taking steps.

By Groven’s and Rupert’s estimates, the pool could be operated by six employees at a time — three lifeguards, two people to man the concession stands and one manager. They estimated it would cost $30,000 to pay the employees for a summer.

Groven and Rupert said many people are pulled away from Hill City and go to Rapid City and Custer because they have public pools, which also allows for activities such as swim team and swim lessons.

The two estimated the pool would cost between $1 million and $1.5 million, which, they said, could be raised through fundraisers and taxes.

Hill City Mayor Julie Wickware-Klein and Skorzewski, who will be taking over as mayor, thanked the two for their presentation. Skorzewski said she will put it on the priority list.

To pave or not to pave?

Many residents of Deegan Drive and Lacy’s Court in Hill City came to the meeting to voice their displeasure with the lack of paving on the road.

Ed Sundby of Deegan Drive said he came to the council a year ago and asked them to do something about it.

“What do we have so far?” he asked. “Nothing.”

The residents of Deegan Drive and Lacy’s Court were concerned with the quality of the road, erosion, the road making their cars dirty and gravel winding up in driveways.

City administrator Brett McMacken said he discussed the issue with Kale McNaboe, city engineer for Hill City.

Skorzewski told Sundby that she thought there was a group of concerned residents who were going to work on the matter and was to be headed by Peterson.

“I never got a call (about it),” Peterson said.

Leroy Barker of Lacy’s Court said McMacken was supposed to be working on the matter.

That never happened, Barker said.

“Citizens on the street are frustrated and want paving,” Barker added.

Sundby said he didn’t think the group was to be organized by the citizens.

In the meantime, Sundby said he went to J&J Asphalt to get a quote for the road, which was just over $75,000, which, he said, is likely to go up.

“And then I go to McMacken, and I get excuses,” Sundby said.

McMacken said that they are not excuses and there is a process by which the city must adhere, which includes engineer assessment and going out to bid if the project is estimated to be over $50,000.

When the city looks at a road, there are a lot of questions, McMacken said, including if this is a priority.

“I can name the laundry list of things we talked about at our meeting,” McMacken said.

Sundby said the city could pave the road from Major Lake Drive up to Lacy’s Court and then do Lacy’s Court as a separate item to ensure they do not go over the $50,000 limit.

McMacken said he was not sure if they were allowed to do that.

Skorzewski said streets in general need to be prioritized during the budget session, and, if they come back during the budget sessions to be held on July 11, 18 and 25 at 6 p.m., they could discuss the project further.

Ultimately no action was taken on the roads, but Wickware-Klein said they could come during budget time.