Keystone sees challenges and rewards

By Jeff Smith

Black Hills Energy representatives with Town of Keystone town board trustees on Dec. 5 for a presentation of $2,450 for Christmas lights. This was a part of the Community Giving program which allows Black Hills Energy to support various areas of need in the community. Keystone was able to purchase 10 snowflake-shaped lights with the funds. From left to right, Bill Babcock, Sandra McLain, Rick Brandfas, Corey Virtue, Jamie Hill, Sam Boettcher, Jessica Oliveto and Dave Soderquist.

Keystone could have a bike rental business in place next summer. Presidential Hospitality has thought of ways to get people to stay in Keystone. The idea of a bike rental business was brought up at the Keystone Town Board on Dec. 6.

Beth Buckwalter with Presidential Hospitality said research shows that the average night’s stay in Keystone is only one night.

Buckwalter said they are looking at businesses that can add to the mix of businesses in Keystone. It’s only an idea right now but might be more later on.

“We came up with it because it is so beautiful to ride around here,” Buckwalter said.

“It’s a new kind of business. Hopefully we can get people to stay in Keystone longer.”

Buckwalter said it might be plausible to have bikes on the path of the walking tour in Keystone. The type of wheeled vehicle that they are thinking about are called Surreys.

“They are very showy and propelled by a bicycle,” Buckwalter said.

There might not be any point in bringing it to Keystone if the walking path couldn’t be used for bicycles however. Keystone might have type of ordinance about prohibiting wheeled vehicles on the sidewalk.

“First, we need to have someone research the ordinance, second, we need to see what we could probably do and have Cassandra look at other things that may need to be changed at the same time,” town board president Sandi McLain said.

McLain said they like to change multiple ordinances at a time because it gets to be expensive when it is advertised in the newspaper.

Buckwalter said Keystone is the central part of the Black Hills and people should be staying in Keystone and leaving from there.

Pennington County is also giving the Town of Keystone a chance to voice their opinions about a luxury campground that will be south of Keystone during a hearing for a conditional use permit. City clerk Cassandra Ott said it will be north of Jack Bradt’s property down Cemetery Road. They will be utilizing a U.S. Forest Service Road that has been closed. Construction of the resort will start in February or March.

The library board is looking for storage in the Keystone Community Center. They are thinking of having a cabinet in the hallway by the coat rack.

Robin Scott, library director in Keystone, said that there are two storage sheds at the Keystone Community Center but one is full of seasonal items. She said the coat rack might need to be taken out and they can have something to put daily things that are needed, like craft supplies.

She would like to have a locked cabinet or something the children can’t get into.

Trinity Rapp of Keystone said they would have to figure out what to do with the coat rack that is in the space now. Rapp was also thinking that there might have to be someone hired if the public works department can’t do it. Jerry Przybylski, public works superintendent, said that they could do the project but most of their projects are more for utilitarian purposes and it might not look nice.

Rapp said the library board has about $2,000 to use for furniture now. The town board decided to use the Keystone Community Center maintenance fund and look at having bid proposals for the project.

The library board is also wondering if the dimmer switch can be installed back into the gym. New LED lights were recently installed but the dimmer switch wasn’t installed. A company came in and found that a dimmer switch would have to be re-installed. Ott said it sounds like they would need another set of wires which weren’t put in with the new lights.

Finance Officer Vanessa Row gave the first reading of the Supplemental Appropriation Ordinance at the town board meeting. Row said the ordinance is for funds that are necessary due to shortfall. Funds are to be transferred out of the contingency fund to cover the general fund, museum funds and for bridge repairs.

$34,361 is being pulled from third cent fund savings. This amount plus $12,372 from the contingency fund went toward the bridge repairs.

$28,000 is also coming out of the water savings account for engineering and supplies. $58,900 will come out of the sewer saving account for engineering, maintenance and sewer testing. This is being transferred to the sewer fund.

The main shortfall for the sewer fund was for engineering.

The Town of Keystone was awarded a community development block grant for their sewer renovation so some expenses will be reimbursable later on.

Turkey bingo was held at the Keystone Community Center on Nov. 18. Ott said people dressed up for it and they charged people $5 for a card instead of charging people every round and then having to collect quarters.

“I think that worked out pretty well,” Ott said.

Close to $930 was raised for the Library fund which came from bingo, the potluck at the event and concessions at Victorian Christmas. The library uses the money for a variety of different items throughout the year.

Casey McNulty was in charge of the Parade of Lights Christmas parade. He was looking at having 14 entries in the parade at the meeting. McNulty said there has been more advertisement of the parade and there were entries this year than in past years.