Museum Drive bridge needs to be repaired

By Jeff Smith

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The bridge on Museum Drive could need some pretty sizable repairs in the future. Brett McMacken, city administrator and Kale McNaboe, city engineer, recently walked the bridge to figure out what could be done for repairs.

At the last city council meeting, Lee Christensen, who lives below the Museum Drive bridge, had concerns about the different items on the hill being pushed out.

The stability and hillside of the bridge isn’t that much of a concern. McMacken said McNaboe isn’t worried about the road structure at all. But it doesn’t mean they don’t need  to keep an eye on it. When they walked it they looked at the bridge abutments and looked at repairs. Not a lot of repairs have been done to the bridge in the past. Looking to the future the city will have to do something with it to see if it is feasible to repair it.

About six years ago there were some repairs done to lessen the damge of runoff from a nearby subdivision.

“We put in some storm drains and tried to do some water aversion and what not because it was undercutting some bridge abutments,” McMacken said.

Due to that happening there was some erosion. Museum Drive recently underwent repairs because of erosion and there was a fairly sizable hole in the bridge. It was patched up and able to be used again. McMacken said the patches done are more reactive than proactive.

The city wants to keep it as dry as possible so water doesn’t seep into the soil and cracks in the road. One of the planned items needed there is a surface drain to contain the water.

The big fix will be concreting underneath the bridge to raise it about 20 ft. The estimated cost of the repairs is $25,000.

In the future the road will be a level surface and a transition will happen more appropriately in the future.

McNaboe has sent some more changes to the state for the Main Street sidewalk project. McMacken said he is still working on discussions about easements with property owners.

The city is looking at hiring a company to look at job descriptions for city employees and comparing their salaries to those in Rapid City and surrounding areas.

In the budget process there was a discussion of wage adjustments for city employees and what that will look like.

The idea of a salary study came up. Carla Sheldon, city finance officer, reached out to a company in Sioux Falls that does human resources work and salary studies. They will charge $1,500 to do the salary study. The company will conduct interviews with city employees. There are 11 full-time employees. Weston Group will be seeing that what they do matches up with their job description.

Another thing that McMacken thinks will work out is recommendations for other human resources items.

The city has also agreed to keep their agreement with AT&T unchanged. The company is coming up on a renewal of their agreement which happens every five years.  The monthly payment given to the city is $1,137 for space for their  cellular equipment in the city. The other agreements were for a longer term lease at $700 per month or a one-time fee of $95,500 for a 50-year lease agreement.   

“They’re kind of stuck with us. We’re surrounded by Forest Service land. They don’t have to purchase the land but just upgrade the cellular equipment,” McMacken said.

“I don’t see where it benefits us to go out further in time and get less money for it.”

At city hall itself there is a need for a new server. The server they have is coming up on being 10 years old and is coming up to its useful life cycle.

“We are filling up hard drives and I know we can slap another hard drive in there and keep it going forward but I think it’s time we look at replacing it,” McMacken said.

“Something is going to fail on it sooner than later.”

McMacken has been discussing a replacement server with a company and their cost would be $12,000.

He would think that is too high and just wants something solid. The cost he would be looking for would be up to $2,000.

“We’re fine for now but it’s something that needs to be addressed whether it’s through network drives or whether we just get a different server and do our own install,” McMacken said.

The public works department in Hill City also has their mind on winter. There have been some complications in getting a new truck for plowing. The dealer they talked with said the door is closed for 2018 orders.

Then they talked to them about finding a truck with the specifications they requested somewhere else.

The city has been working with the dealer to figure out when 2019 orders can go through or what they can get on a lot somewhere else.

Dan Pladson, public works director, tracked on a truck on the east side of the state that is not exactly what was approved and is more expensive than what they wanted.

The truck is about $2,500 more than what was approved in the budget. They were looking for one at $45,955.

In the next two weeks they will hear when they can put in an order.

“If we get a 2019 and it’s less than $48,000 with the same equipment that we want we should just do that and we can make it through April of next year,” McMacken said.

The city council wants to find out what they can go without for different pieces on a truck.

There is not a problem with the city’s current trucks but they want to update one of them that has not worked out as well.

As long as the city pays for the truck in 2018 they won’t have to do anything for the budget next year.

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