12/05/2022 A Voice From the Gallery

The  December 5, 2022, meeting of the Alcester City Council was called to order by Mayor Dan Haeder at 6:01 p.m. with Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilman Lukas Driesen, Councilman Kyle VandenHull, Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples and City Attorney Sam Nelson.  The council and gallery recited the Pledge of Allegiance. 

(00:01:43.87)  AGENDA ITEM #3 – APPROVE AGENDA.   Agenda approved as written.  Unanimous times three (3) Aye Votes.


           Minutes from the November 7th and November 21st, 2022 meeting were approve as written with no changes or additions. Unanimous times three (3) Aye Votes.

(00:03:11.40)  AGENDA ITEM #5 – PUBLIC INPUT

          (00:03:18.63)  GORDON RICHARD – Mr. Richard notified the council of an upcoming newspaper article regarding action of Union County Commissioners effectively stopping negotiations regarding the sale of the parcels of property described as the Union County Fairgrounds to FCS (Farmers Cooperative Society).

          (00:03:48.50)  MAYOR HAEDER announced a donation for the Alcester Food Pantry was delivered to his house.

          (00:05:04.00)  VICKIE LARSEN raised the subject of last meeting council action to declare 505 Ofstad as surplus property and no longer used for intended purpose.  The property is zoned residential and according to the projected used was going to be used to place a governor’s house on the property fulfilling the intended zoning purpose of residential.  I also noted the ball field and possible cemetery appeared to be zoned residential which seemed to be an oxymoron

          (00:07:36.87) FOPAT offered up a comment/response.


          No Sam but Mayor Haeder had pictures of 307 Iowa property which has been under discussion since prior to 2020.  As the council compared pictures of the property taken in 2020 and recent 2022 pictures and came to the conclusion because nothing significant had been done on the interior Haeder and FOPAT wanted to have Attorney Sam and Inspector Geoff co-write a letter.  Councilman Driesen offered up an opinion while the city has had an interest in the exterior he felt the city had no business sticking their collective noses into the interior of the residence.  FOPAT offered up an opinion but her bookkeepers opinion was not relevant to the question being discussed.  Councilwoman Peeples felt much as Councilman Driesen but did feel that the city should send a firm message to the owner.  (00:20:26.83)  Consensus is to focus on the exterior!

(00:20:34.70) AGENDA ITEM #7 –  POLICE DEPARTMENT  Updates and hired Colton Laubach as a part-time officer at the rate of $17.75 per hour (00:35:16.87).  Unanimous times three (3) Aye Votes.

(00:36:26.20)  AGENDA ITEM #8 – APPROVE FUND TRANSFER OF $13,325.88 (00:37:12.37)FROM PLEASANT HILL CEMETERY MAIN ACCOUNT TO GENERAL FUND FOR ANNUAL EXPENSES  (00:38:51.50)  Unanimous times three (3) Aye Votes.  

          APPROVE YEAR END FUND TRANSFERS – $75,000.00 from Water Fund, $75,000.00 from Sewer Fund, $25,000.00 from Second Penny sales Tax and $25,000.00 from Solid Waste Fund for a total transfer of $200,000.00 to the Golf Course Fund.   (00:43:35.90)  I asked for a copy of the document involved in the computation of the transfers.  What I got was a summary not the detailed computation.  So much for transparency.  I still want all the break downs   (00:47:02.33)  I commented on the transfer of Water Enterprise Funds and the transfer of Sewer Enterprise Funds to the Golf Course Fund was not in line with what I believed the purpose of the segregation of profits derived from these Enterprise Funds.  (00:47:45.13) FOPAT says, “…the auditor never told me…” H-m-m.  Then she says (00:47:53.87), “…we did it when Mike was here…”  Sorry FOPAT I don’t think so ’cause he explained this action to me back in the day.  Isn’t it fortunate for you he is not here to contradict your statement.  So Madame FOPAT all those raises in the Water Rates which ostensibly were to fund the Wastewater facility and infrastructure are now being “TRANSFERED” to the Great Alcester Albatross. 

          Let’s see, THE SOUTH DAKOTA CONSTITUTION , Article XI Revenue and Finance, §11Unauthorized use of public money as felony,  “Unauthorized use of public money as a felony.  The making of profit, directly or indirectly, out of state, county, city, town or school district money, or using the same of any purpose not authorized by law, shall be deemed a felony and shall be punished a provided by law… Article XIII Public Indebtedness, §4 Debt limitations for municipalities and political subdivisions and §5 Irrepealable tax to repay debt of municipality or political subdivision, Any city, county, town, school district or any other subdivision incurring indebtedness shall, at or before the time of so doing, provide for the collection of an annual tax sufficient to pay the interest and also the principal thereof when due, and all laws and ordinances providing for the payment of the interest or principal of any debt shall be irrepealable until such debt be paid.”

Since the Water and Sewer Enterprise Funds were established and provided the profit arising from the water and sewer fees was to be applied, “before the time of indebtedness were being collected to provide for the collection to pay the interest and principal of water and sewer facility…” upgrade indebtedness.    

(00:51:39.53) Unanimous times three (3) Aye Votes. 

(00:52;17.17)  AGENDA ITEM #9 –  SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS ORDINANCE  2022-08  Unanimous times three (3) Aye Votes.


          (00:53:44.63)  Letter from CBDG granting $770,000.00 for Wastewater Facility Upgrade.

          (00:54:52.03)  Pass/Fail results of Alcester wastewater effluent toxicity.  Alcesterpassed on general but Alcester failed on the toxicity portion of the test finding the marine organisms are failing to survive 24 hours after exposure.  (EPA Whole Effluent Toxicity Methods,

(https://www.epa.gov/cwa-mthods/whole-effluent-toxicity-methods)) (00:56:25.70) link

          (00:59:26.50)  Approve the Warrants  Unanimous time three (3) Aye Votes



(01:06:12.17)  AGENDA ITEM #13  – ADJOURN 7:06 P.M.

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                            605-934-2287     

Councilwoman Darla Reppe             605-934-2602

Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples           605-934-2096

Councilman Lukas Driesen               605-934-

Councilman Kyle VandenHull          605-934-

Patricia Jurrens                                  605-934-2517