New Keystone post office to be built

By Carol Walker

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The Keystone Board of Trustees met at a new time, 9 a.m. last Wednesday, instead of their traditional 5 p.m. meeting time and covered a wide range of topics from building a new post office to delinquent water accounts, from transient vendor licenses to an invoice sent without a contract. They also had the first reading of the 2019 budget.

The post office, currently on Winter Street in downtown Keystone, has been deemed unsafe, and within a year a new building will be constructed at 233 Swanzey St. near a structure housing several businesses, including Holy Terror Antiques. All trustees on the Keystone Board voted unanimously to approve a building permit for Shane Schriner who will tear down the dorm building currently at that location and build a new structure for the post office.

“There are some safety issues at the post office on Winter St. with the volume of traffic and pedestrians, limited parking, it is just not safe,” said Cassandra Ott, acting finance officer for Keystone.

Apparently the U.S. Postal Service does not like to buy buildings, so Schriner will build the structure and the USPS will rent from him.

The trustees discussed three delinquent water accounts, writing off two of them and choosing to further pursue the third. Candace Lorimor, city clerk, has made adjustments to water deposit paperwork, which should make it easier to track down people responsible for delinquent accounts.

“We used to ask just the name and address of the person when water accounts were set up, but now we will be asking a little more  name, address, social security number, another contact and references,” said Ott.

At issue regarding a business license was Wild West Soda of South Dakota, a small shop located on the boardwalk in downtown Keystone. In the past that small building housed a satellite-type establishment  owned by other businesses downtown. Now the soda shop is independent of the other businesses. Moving in late in the season, making for a short stay in Keystone, the trustees were charged with determining if it required a regular business license ($75) or a transient vendor license ($800). The vote was 3-2 to require a transient vendor license.

Ott reported on an invoice for $21,938.82, which was mailed from Dakota Pump to the town for work done on the sewer project. The work was completed, but the town did not have a contract with the company to do the work.

“The city is required to bid this kind of thing out…I think there was a communication issue. The main engineer for AE2S talked to Dakota Pump, but then he quit and so did the main person at Dakota Pump,” said Ott.

Mitch Johnson, city attorney, will research this further and get back to the board of trustees.

The trustees heard the first reading of the 2019 Budget Ordinance #72-19, and a motion was made to approve it. All voted in favor of the motion.

The trustees approved the hiring of John Cooper, new public works staff person, at  $12/hr. with a $40 monthly stipend for his phone.

A diplodia fungus has attacked ponderosa pine trees at the Keystone Cemetery, which will not cause the trees to die immediately, but eventually they will die and will need to be removed. With an eye toward the future, a suggestion was made to plant either elm hybrid trees or Kentucky coffee trees to allow for some growth before the pine trees must be removed.

In other business, the trustees approved a bid by Superior Siding for $1,463.09 for gutters on the Keystone Community Center (KCC) to be completed this fall and requests for building permits on Old Hill City Rd. and Madill St. They also approved invitations for the Trustee Reunion and Open House in Nov. to be printed on town letterhead and the deposit for the KCC rental for the Halley Thanksgiving event to be waived because the dinner is open to the community.

The next Keystone Town Board meeting is set for Wed., Sept. 19, at 9 a.m.

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