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Freezing temps and snow challenges dominate Eagle Butte city meeting

Damages caused by freezing temperatures and the snow removal status, policy and plan topped the City of Eagle Butte council meeting agenda on Thursday, Feb. 20 during its regular meeting. 

Snow piles mount as city workers coordinate plowing, grading and removal in the early morning hours and throughout the day.

Finance Officer Sheila Ganje provided a copy of the revised “Sanding/Snow Removal” policy to the council members and atendees of the meeting.

Two changes propsed to the policy included the addition of a requirement that chains be paced on the tires of operating equipment to avoid getting equipment stuck, and the addition of the Lakeside Golf Course to the priority list for snow removal.

The additions were not included in the policy provided by Ganje.

The council discussed the hours for snow removal and the progress made to that point by city maintenance employees.

The council agreed to leave the times that maintenance workers come in to begin snow removal the same on the policy — having one person come in at 4:00 a.m. to start and prepare equipment, and the others come in at 4:30 a.m.

Council members expressed concern about people parking on Main Street or leaving their cars parked over night or longer, making it difficult for maintenance workers to properly plow snow off the street in the predawn hours without burying the vehicles in snow.

In addition to snow removal, the city council members discussed sewage issues, including damaged manholes.

Freezing temps and age have resulted in a few manholes shattering.

Max Ganje, city maintenance, explained that the manholes are old and their size no longer manufactured.

To address the issue of one manhole, located by the Suds and Snacks, M. Ganje hopes to find a more obscure manhole of the same size and switch the damaged cover with the undamaged cover, and then use wedges to secure the one that is shattered.

The freezing temperatures make releasing the manhole covers from their icey locks difficult and time-consuming, M. Ganje said. There is also a chance that a neighboring small town may have extra covers in the size the city needs, and the M. Ganje said he could check that option as well.

Cold temps are also causing equipment issues for city maintenance workers.

One Skidster has been stored outside and cannot be started, reported M. Ganje.

After some discussion, council members advised maintenance workers to clear out some space in the garage and pull the Skidster in, change its battery, and after pluging it in, see if it works.

The city’s dump truck was taken to Mobridge three or four weeks ago, accordin to S. Ganje, and it has not been taken into the shop to be fixed beacuse it still has a plow on it, and now it will not start, S. Ganje reported.

One city employee was going to go up to Mobridge to get it started, but was unable to. Council members suggested sending someone else.

In other business, the council members discussed the number of water breaks, leaks, and repairs, and the willingness of Badger Meter to work with the city to ensure all equipment is working properly.

A discussion also ensued about the sales of alcohol on Sundays at Steakhouse Nine.

Several council members shared that there are people with concerns about the acohol sales on Sundays or in a family dining setting.

S. Ganje told council members that the Sunday sales did not violate any city or state laws, and that the tribe is responsible for ensuring its laws are followed.

S. Ganje also indicated that the Steakhouse Nine owner, Cheryl Dupris,  is looking to change her licensing to a liquor, retailer on-sale license, which would address concerns that council members and others may have about the resaurant’s operation.

As for the new operators’ agreement, S, Ganje reported to the council that most of the forms have been turned in.

Planning for the city Easter egg hunt has already been set in motion, and S. Ganje reported that the hunt will include 10,000 eggs, purchased at a discount from Hobby Lobby in Pierre.

The city has also stsarted planninf for the July 4 fireworks display and the contract for the purchase of the display from the supplier is up. Council approved the signing of another three-year contract with the company.