Joint meeting canceled

Leslie Silverman

The joint meeting between the Keystone Town Board and the Keystone Chamber of Commerce has been canceled.

The cancellation occurred during the most recent Keystone town board meeting.

“As things have been progressing, the water is muddy,” said town board president Rick Brandfas.

The board instead discussed a letter drafted to the Keystone Chamber of Commerce board.

“We need to communicate as a town board and not as individuals because we all have different opinions,” said trustee Kwinn Neff. “I think communicating them with letters is going to help clarify where we’re headed.”

Neff said the point of the letter was twofold.

“We don’t have a budget for marketing this year,” Neff said. “They have the budget. Going forward if they do not plan on continuing in 2021 we need to know that before budget hearings.”

Trustee Lynette Gohsman expressed her confusion.

“In October they told us they were dissolving in November, and then we were told that (chamber president Julie Smoragiewicz) was resigning at the end of November and that didn’t happen. I’m so confused,” Gohsman said. “They want us to follow through on the things we say we’re going to do but they’re not.”

Discussion about the city’s next step continued.

“The bottom line is we don’t have a budget for taking on a role in 2020,” Neff said. “This letter I hope will give clarity on the direction that the chamber is going.”

The board approved a motion to submit the letter to the chamber.

Black Hills Energy will be covering the costs to repair two water service lines which they broke while installing a new street light.

“Just so you’re aware, Black Hills Energy dug a hole, hit two service lines. They got it repaired that day,” said Cassandra Ott, town finance officer. “They did call us today and wondered why we hadn’t marked those lines. They called before they dug and we didn't mark the service lines. So they called to question why we didn't mark the service lines.” 

The service lines belong to individual homeowners, not the town. “It’s a  service line,” Ott added. “We didn't’ put it in.” 

Plans for the Roy Street bridge will not be done until the end of February or early March. “Something to think about is if we want those bridges done in the spring we might end up paying a premium because by then other bridges will have been bid out and contractors will be busy,” Ott said. “Apparently the state came out with different scour guidelines and that’s what’s causing the delay.”

The year 2019 saw two big “financial wins” for the town.

“In 2019 we finished our TIF (tax increment financing) and we also finished paying for our sewer plant,” Ott said. 

Neff is again requesting the end of the year financial statements from boards in town that receive money from the town of Keystone.

“(Ott) and I are working on a financial end of the year letter to our non profits,” Neff said. “Just outlining what we’d like by the end of January. It kind of outlines the financials, balance sheet, profit and loss, tax forms. We want to set a template for if  there’s new board members on those groups.”

He also anticipates another Pe Sla Youth Day will take place in 2020 

Resolution 1-2-2020 outlining the salaries of town employees was passed. The town also designated its official financial institution and newspaper.

The municipal election is scheduled for April 14 although discussion about holding elections in June took place with no ensuing action.

The city hall Christmas party is being held at Barlee’s on Jan. 24.

The next Keystone town board meeting takes place on Jan. 15 at 9 a.m.

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