Keystone talks bathrooms, highway construction

Esther Noe
During the July 20 Keystone Town Board meeting town finance officer Cassandra Ott said in 2024-25, part of Hwy. 385 will be reonstructed. Part of that process is widening the road and providing correctional space. This will take place between Sheridan Lake and the Lawrence/Pennington County line.
The timing of this project is a concern because summer construction will affect tourism. However, winter construction will lengthen the school bus route by half an hour. As a result, Ott said there has been a lot of discussion on the pros and cons of the construction options. 
One option recently proposed to the South Dakota Department of Transportation was to close the road in May when the roads are safer and the tourism is lower. One phase would be completed by early June and the road would be reopened for the summer. Then the road would be closed again in September to complete the construction. 
Anyone interested in participating in the focus group can go to us- There is a slideshow with more information available as well as a survey to fill out. The aforementioned option is not listed on the slideshow as of yet but it can be suggested as an option in the survey. 
Next, trustee Sandra McLain said it was discovered a few people had been left out of the 50th anniversary. So Ott ordered additional plaques and McLain and trustee Bill Babcock plan to personally deliver them. 
“It’s fun delivering those,” McLain said.
Along the same lines later in the meeting Reta Thovson shared her appreciation for everything the town board members did to make the 50th anniversary and the walk she organized to commemorate the flood a success. 
“It was very rewarding to be part of it, and I just wanted to thank everyone that was involved,” Thovson said.
For the sheriff office report, Pennington County Sheriff’s office Deputy Chris Plawman reminded everyone not to leave dogs in their vehicles due to the heat. Also, the Sturgis Rally is quickly approaching and with it the increase of motorcycles on the streets. As a result he asks that everyone be mindful of this to avoid accidents. Additional law enforcement will be available during this time as always. 
Next, Robin Pladson, director of the Keystone Chamber of Commerce, shared the chamber is working on its Bigfoot Walk/Run, which will take place in August. Their next event coming up will be the Victorian Christmas. Membership for 2023 that will kick off at the end of August and run to the beginning of September. 
In the meantime the chamber is looking for a new board of directors and has a couple of positions that will need to be filled. The chamber office will need to move out of the senior center by Dec. 31, but hopes to move out sooner if possible to avoid weather challenges. 
For the public works report, Jerry Przybylski asked that with the hot dry summer residents be mindful of their water use, especially regarding watering the lawn. There is some concern about the wells going dry since the gallons per minute are going down. 
“Just be mindful,” said Przybylski “Let’s work on the problem before it is a problem.”
To combat this city staff is checking to make sure people do not have leaks, and trustee Casey McNulty and Ott will be talking to people about the problem at hand. 
Public works has also been patching potholes and weed whacking. Although it started painting new lines on Swanzey Street, Przybylski reported they have not gotten very far due to the heat causing the paint to dry too fast. They refurbished the truck bed of their F-350 as well. 
“They did a really good job on that,” Przybylski said.
The first budget hearing was scheduled for Aug. 17 after the previously scheduled board meeting at  6 p.m. at the Keystone Community Center. A second budget hearing will take place Aug. 24 at 6 p.m.
Next, Ott received approval to sign the well fix project grant of $92,800 in American Rescue Plan Act funding. The proposal for the project of $242,055.60 was approved as well. 
On the restroom front it was reported that McLain and Babcock went downtown to Winter Street and spoke to businesses about their restroom situation and whether or not customers were welcome to use them. Once the survey was complete, they counted 11 businesses with restrooms available to the public. 
To help direct people to these locations, the board will be getting signs that simply say “Restrooms” for the businesses. Postage of these is not required, but they will be available. 
The Keystone Town Board meets again on Aug. 3 at 6 p.m. at the Keystone Community Center.

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