Community center updates approved

Leslie Silverman

Updates to the Keystone Town Gym were approved at the most recent Keystone Town Board meeting.

The town approved a bid from Black Hills Flooring to install new carpet on the gym floor. The town will paint the walls of the gym a new color prior to the carpet installation.

The carpet was chosen over a possible switch to sound panels due to the durability of the surface to take dings from tossed balls. The $14,956 bid will be adjusted since the town is opting out of a carpet pad.

The board also approved a $4,884 bid by McNulty Enterprises to install new drinking water filling stations in the community center. These will replace the outdated water fountains.

Uncollected fees from the 2019 tax year were waived by the board.

“It’s a pretty small amount,” said finance officer Cassandra Ott. “We need to get it off our books.”

The fees included fines for residents’ building projects as well as repairs to a water hydrant from a car crash.

The public works department has been working on keeping cells in the sewer plant thawed out. Because of the cold weather, Public Works Superintendent Jerry Przybylski “wouldn’t be surprised if this week we fail our ammonia test.”

There is about six inches of ice in the cells.

The department has also been battling several water leaks.

“People should know where their valves are,” Przybylski said. “A lot of times in winter valves for mains get frozen and have mud in them. It’s always good to know where your valves are.”

Ott is working with various entities to keep water and sewer plant systems safe by blocking any potential remote hackers. The board approved the consolidation of two water accounts into one.

Trustee Kwinn Neff suggested making changes to transient vendor licenses due to a potential influx of food trucks this summer. Currently transient vendors must get a four-week license at a cost of $800.

“If people are interested in having food trucks all summer, I guess my position is that $800 for four weeks is pretty expensive,” he said.

Neff would like to hear from local restaurants as to how food trucks impact their business. An idea about collecting one $1,600 fee for the entire summer was brought up. No action was taken on this matter.

Neff also aired concerns about the number of vacation rentals popping up in town.

“I know we have some new residents who are getting booted out come summer time,” he said. “The way we’re heading is everything is becoming a vacation home. And we don’t have anything for full time residents. Without planning and zoning there’s not a whole lot we can do. But it’s something to think about.”

President Lynette Gohsman sees the problem as a “catch 22. We make sales tax off those rentals. So we’re getting income for the town.”

Trustee Sandi McLain brought up the need for affordable housing.

“It’s a lot of pressure in our community when you see that going on,” she said. “I do know there’s an extreme need for affordable housing.”

Concerns over an abundance of vacation rentals impacting the town’s ability to cover the costs associated to run the water and sewer plants were also addressed.

The town has a year-round sewer base rate for sewer use.

According to Ott it is “quite high for commercial” properties.

“The only thing we don’t do year round is water,” she added. “And that’s only if they turn it off.”

The board is supportive of the town roller skating program, which has not taken place yet this winter.

“From my point of view if you guys want to jump on board the town is fine with roller skating,” said Neff.

Both Trustee Casey McNulty and Gohsman echoed approval.

Assuming there are enough volunteers to run the program, the only concern was that there be a “dedicated person to entrust the money.”

Ott said, “I would like somebody to be in charge. There is a monetary piece to this.”

The town does not cover participants’ liability.

The Keystone Chamber of Commerce is updating its website and removing non-chamber members. The chamber is planning a spring fling vendor shop on April 17 with proceeds to benefit the library. The first annual restaurant fair takes place on May 9-13. This will be similar to restaurant week in surrounding communities. A car show in conjunction with Custer State Park is slated for May 21-23.

The Keystone Senior Center “ needs to get back to normal,” according to the board president Jon Veltman. Weekly food delivery at the church is still taking place. The center is also still working on negotiations with the chamber for rental space.

The library is working on changing its bylaws. The library will have an Easter egg hunt April 3 and donated hard-boiled eggs can be dropped off by April 1.

The board agreed to begin charging for parking at the state parking lot on May 1. The town will cease charging on Oct. 15.

The board will discuss relocating the city shop at its next board meeting. Moving the shop from its current location may open up a lot for museum parking or low-income housing.

Building permits were issued to Cody Shad to flatten out the west side of US Hwy. 16A and Lisa Shaffer to demolish the band house in town.

The town cleanup will begin April 19. A dumpster will be available until April 23. A board of equalization meeting will take place March 15.

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