City officials plan big projects in 2014
September 04. 2013 1:14PM
Two large-scale projects will be part of next year’s Dell Rapids city budget. A $2.6 million project will replace the Garfield Avenue bridge, and a $1.7 million project will add sewer to properties that don’t already have it, plus service a potential new development park.
Although the Garfield Avenue bridge project is $2.6 million, the city’s portion will be just $615,000, according to city administrator Justin Weiland. Eighty percent of the project will be funded with state and federal grants.
And although the city is budgeting $1.7 million for the sewer project, it’s likely it will cost less, Weiland said. The city has applied for a South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources grant to help pay for the project.
“So we do not know what our funding package will look like, and we won’t know until (the beginning of next year),” he said.
The proposed project calls for extended sewer main and force main and lift station on Garfield Avenue south to Centennial Place. The intent is to connect properties that don’t already have sewer service inside the city limits, as well as service 80 acres of land that the Dell Rapids Economic Development Corporation has the option to purchase, Weiland said.
The sewer project will allow the development group to go forward with the purchase of the land from a private owner, and create a development park, Weiland said.
The project probably will require an increase in sewer rates, but the City Council won’t decide how much until they learn how much grant funding the city will get. Weiland said the project could get scaled back at that time to keep rate increases “palatable.”
The two projects are the main reason the $8.27 million general fund budget for next year is a jump from this year’s $6.46 million general fund budget, Weiland said.
The city also is considering a smaller project, construction of a new street department shop. But that would pay for itself through the sale of some city-owned property, Weiland said. If the property doesn’t sell, then the shop wouldn’t be built, he said.
Next year’s budget helps the development group in another way, with a $60,000 allocation.
“The city has been getting more involved (in the group’s work),” Weiland said. In 2012, the city loaned the group some money. This year, the city will give the group an amount determined by how much the city takes in from the third penny sales tax. It will be less than next year’s budgeted $60,000, Weiland predicted.
The development group is just one civic group to which the city allocates money. Most groups will get the same amount next year as they did this year, with the exception of Dell Rapids Community Haven, which will get $300 more, and Dell Rapids Fire and Rescue, which will get a 5 percent increase.
The City Council held a first reading on the $8.27 million budget on Monday (Sept. 3) and plans to adopt the budget at the Sept. 16 meeting.