Friday, May 24, 2019

Eagle Butte
Partly sunny
Partly sunny

Water runoff & police protection main concerns for Dupree City Council

The Dupree City meeting started promptly at 7:00 p.m., and moved quickly to address concerns of Dupree citizens Virginia and Ken Hertel, who asked the city to about the water run-off that flows down their street and across their driveway when the rains come.

Ken Hertel explained that the overfolw of water begins near Eaton’s lot, and “after  all that’s filled in, it goes across our driveway.”

Virginia Hertel said they cleaned out the culverts this summer, but it did not stop the way the water flows, so she and Ken suggested there be a greater slant added to re-route the water flow.

Mayor Jim Veit said that city workers could take the approaches out and slant the road and re-route the ditches.

Veit said that the city workers will try to get the job done in the next week, weather permitting, but promised to have it done before the ground freezes.

Another concern expressed by the council at the meeting was about the increase in theft in Dupree.

Councilwoman Unalee Howe described a situation in which someone pulled up to a Dupree resident’s home and appeared to be trying to hitch a trailer to take a side-by-side when a neighbor saw what was happening and chased off the would-be thief.

Mayor Veit asked Financial Officer Maurice Lemke about the amount of revenue made from the 5 percent liquor tax on distributors.

Lemke explained the tax has not been changed since 2004 or 2005, and over the last three years, the amount earned from that tax has oncreased from $11,493 in 2015, to $18,322 in 2016, to 17,665 in 2017.

The increase in revenue from the tax may be the result of the closure of the City of Eagle Butte’s Package Liquor store several years ago.

Veit also asked for the amount of money the city contributes to the Zeibach County sheriff’s office , which was 27,992 for 2017.

Veit suggested the council consider rainsing the 5 percent tax so that the city is more likely to earn approximately $30,000 from the tax so that it covers the amount needed for the  county sherriff’s office’s police services.

Veit suggested that income also be used to help cover garbage and trash pick-up expenses, which is in part caused by the increased number of people buyng and drinking alcohol in Dupree since the Eagle Butte store closed.

Council members in general expressed a hope that the City of Eagle Butte’s liquor license be approved in the near future, as they would prefer to have fewer people coming to Dupree to purchase alcohol.

Council members attribute some of the increased crime to drug and alcohol abuse, and a lack of law enforcement presence or court action that either deters crime or catches and prosecutes those who commit crimes.

Council members said that the insufficient number of tribal and no-tribal officers, jurisdiction issues and an ncrease in drug and alcohols use are all factors contributing the vehicle thefts and break-ins.

In other news, the recent Hoffman insurance claim submitted for a $4,000 pay-out, but the city’s insurance company countered with a shared liability settlement of $2,000. There has yet to be a response to the counter.

The issue concerned a water shut-off , which was documented in October 2017 by the city as having been shut off, showing a reasonable effort on the part of the city to turn the tap off after the harvest. In January, there was a leak, and the land/home owners claim the city should pay the expense.

This sitiation prompted a discussion of the kind of documentation the current city employees are making, and Veit said that while the city workers do not detail their logs as well as the former city maintenance supervisor, they still make sure to document water  turn-offs to ensure the city is not negligent in its efforts to provide water services to the community.

When some bills reach $300 or more, it can be an indication that there is a leak in a pipe on the homeowner’s property.

Turning the water off helps homeowners and the city become more conscious of a potential issue that may not the result of negligence  or overuse on anyone’s part.

So while some water turn-offs are a result of not paying for a bill, other water turn-offs are applied to certain taps after the harvest or because of an unusual increase in the amount of the water bill.

Another action taken by the council was to approve a motion to offer a liquor license for the Dupre Volunteer Fire Department’s Firemans’ Ball on October 27.

Councilwoman Arlene Martin commented on the success of a second letter to the Cynex on Highway 212, which resulted in the removal of the tires, which were considered a fire and health hazard.

Martin said that the next issue will be to address the number of dogs running through the neighborhoods without tags.

The City of Dupree adopted the same animal control regulations as the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, which requires dog to be leashed or within fenced areas, and to have a dog tag.

The City will call the Animal Control office in Eagle Butte, but they may be full and have nowhere to house any more dogs.

Some homeowners may take animal control into their own hands, which could result in dogs being shot if they stray onto someone else’s property.

The City hopes dog owners will take it upon themselves to chain or fence in their pets to avoid having animal control pick them up or a neighbor picking them off.

The meeting adjourned at 7:43 p.m. The next meeting will be on November 5.