Budget hearings set

Leslie Silverman

Budget hearing dates have been set, according to the most recent Keystone town board meeting.

The first hearing takes place Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. This meeting will focus on the general fund. A meeting to discuss other funds will take place at 10 a.m. on Aug. 19 after the regularly scheduled town board meeting. An Aug. 26 meeting will be held at 5 p.m. to discuss the entire budget.

The board spent significant time discussing a retaining wall that may exist in the town right of way (ROW). The street is in a subdivision in Keystone; however, the town did not accept the street in question as a city street because it wasn’t built to spec. A homeowners association was supposed to be created to maintain the sewer, water and streets in the subdivision, but that did not happen.

Judy Helmer, who got a contractor’s license for the landscaper who built the wall, stated the wall is preventing erosion of the road.

“I’ve talked to everybody who was involved in this pretty traumatic experience,” said Kwinn Neff, Keystone Town Board trustee. “My solution is this, that number one we all take a look at the grading permit. And one of the questions on there is: are you altering the drainage. In this case the answer would be yes. And so just getting a simple grading permit and letting your neighbors know and the town board know we would have avoided all of this.”

The city would then have had options of widening the road. Attorney Mitch Johnson explained that citi don't have title to ROW and that laws to ROW are very specific.

Further, he explained that even if it’s not dedicated ROW by maintaining the street the town has acquired it. With that acquisition the city is required by law to remove all obstructions from its ROW. It would cost $1,500 to $2,400 to survey whether the wall  is or is not on city property.

The board decided it needs to determined if the street has been maintained by the city for the last 20 years or if the street is a dedicated ROW. The board voted to survey the property with the rock wall if in fact this is the case.

The board passed resolution 2020-8-5 authorizing the execution of contractual documents with the state of South Dakota for the receipt of federal CARES Act funds to address the COVID-19 public health crisis. This allows the town to seek reimbursement for  “eligible expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19.” The town board president would be the person signing off on all reimbursements.

Discussion about cleaning up the creek along Old Hill City Road took place. Neff would like to see this addressed after the tourist season. Other projects he would like to see the town undertake include a potential sidewalk to K Bar S Lodge, the expansion of the state parking lot and assigning points of contact for the city staff.

An engineer update show the Roy Street Bridge project plans are almost complete. Engineer Ron Bengs will get South Dakota Department of Transportation pre-approval before applying for the bridge improvement grant in January 2021.

The town approved the Red Garter’s application to use the state parking lot during rally week. The town will still collect fees for parking during the rally.

The board approved a utility easement for Front Street. This is to move a fire hydrant further from the road but on the same side. The approval is pending collection of signatures from landowners.

The next Keystone Town Board meeting takes place Aug. 19 at 9 a.m.

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