03-20-2023 A Voice From the Gallery

The  March 20 2023, meeting of the Alcester City Council was called to order by Mayor pro tem Lukas Driesen at 6:00 p.m. with Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilman Kyle VandenHul and Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples .  Attorney  Austin Felts was in attendance with Alcester City Attorney absent.  The council and gallery recited the Pledge of Allegiance. 

(00:00:36.93)  AGENDA ITEM #3 – APPROVE AGENDA –  Approval of the Alcester City Council March 20, 2023, meeting was amended with the deletion of Agenda Item #5 Community Center Update.  Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples moved to approve with the deletion, Second to the motion came from Councilwoman Darla Reppe.  Vote X3Ayes.

(00:01:21.03  AGENDA ITEM #4 BOARD OF EQUALIZATION MEETING- Folks it is here where our legal advisor appears to have failed to advise Mayor Driesen on procedures and form. 


  • The Mayor opens the meeting of Board of Equalization stating time and date.
  • Take notes of this meeting
  • Identify and Introduce applicant requesting change in assessment.
  • Identify the property location and description for which the change in assessment is requested.
  • Verify the proper forms and dates of application are within the time frame set for request for review and change.
  • Listen to the reason for appeal, the supporting arguments and input for change in the assessed valuation.
  • Discussion between Board of Equalization and applicant.
  • Board of Equalization with no further business before it, the Board votes to accept or deny and recommend their decisions to the City Council.  Upon this vote, the Mayor declares the Board of Equalization adjourned, stating the time of adjournment.
  • Mayor reconvenes the meeting as the City Council where the City Council votes to accept the decision of the Board of Equalization or deny the decision of the Board of Equalization.
  • If the municipal Board of Equalization has made any changes in the assessment, the City Council then documents the details of the change decision to the County for review and acceptance.

          While Mayor Driesen did state the time 6:01 p.m. as the time to begin, he   did not announce the meeting had changed from Council meeting to the meeting of the Board of Equalization.  Mayor Driesen did identify the applicant, the description of the property, and the assessed value of that property and verified the petition was indeed filed in a proper and timely manner.  In last night’s meeting Mr. Doyle Fickbohm addressed the City of Alcester in its guise as local Board of Equalization.  Mr. Fickbohm   presented his argument for reduction of assessment and the Board/Council considered his presentation and request for reduction in valuation.  After discussion the Board eventually agreed to reduce his property valuation to $62,510.00.  (00:21:49.10)   At 6:23 p.m. Mayor Driesen declares the local Board of Equalization adjourned. (00:23:15.33)  However Mayor Driesen needs to declare and reconvene the City Council, voice the recommendation of the Board of Equalization findings, take a vote to present those findings to the county level of the Board of Equalization.  This was not done, the legal     advisor failed to advise the follow through on procedure.  While some would argue this is repetitive action, but failure to follow procedure could result in revocation of action because there was confusion which entity was making the decision or declaration.


(00:23:30.23)  AGENDA ITEM #6 – PUBLIC INPUT –

          (00:23:39.10) VICKIE LARSEN – reiteration of my position on the proposed city platting and zoning action relating to FSC Zoning and the ever growing silence on the (#66CIV22-000048) FCS Lawsuit against the city.   As well as the name of Officer on duty when I made a 911 call regarding to   reckless driving so I could contact him and give him information on what I witnessed.

          (00:31:22.70) COUNCILWOMAN DARLA REPPE – Reported on questions asked of her:  a woman asked Councilwoman Reppe, “…how do we know if there is any follow up on complaints to the city…?” Burkes, Burke’s taxes and South Dakota Senator Jim Bolin.  Councilwoman Reppe  reported she had contacted Attorney Austin Felts and Senator Bolin and after some research of the facts and details of the issue Senator Bolin declined to take any action. Councilwoman Reppe also reported she had been contacted   by parents of potential pool personnel with concerns relating to the disciplinary issues of misbehavior of children at the pool with the take home being, “…if the city did not support their employees in these disciplinary situations, they (the parents) were not interested in allowing their kids working at the city pool.  Councilwoman Reppe said she was also contacted by a resident concerned about the 1 More Bar regarding trash around the building.  Councilwoman Reppe brought up the Agenda Item relating to the FCS Plat and Zoning described her contacts regarding this issue.

          (00:37:20.60)  DAVID LARSEN  – Golf Course vs. Community Center.  Advocating separating the golf course from the community center.  I agree whole-heartedly.  These two entities should be separated into two departments and annual profit/loss statements be generated.  While Mr. Larsen did not bring up the old golf course building and storage shed, I would like to take this opportunity to speak to the surplus-ing of the property which houses the old golf clubhouse and storage shed. 


for possible future expansion need.  

          (00:41:19.43) MAYOR DRIESEN – Folks have expressed a desire to have live-streaming of the council meetings.  (00:41:54.90) ATTORNEY FELTS – made comments but was speaking too softly for anyone to hear.

(00:42:10.93)  AGENDA ITEM #7 – GOLF COURSE –  Approve spending $12,000.00           payment from second penny sales tax fund for Reel Mower from Purple Wave Auction.  Approve advertisement for golf course vacancy:  Grounds keeper, 30-40 hours from April thru October at.  Motion was made and seconded to approve advertisement.  Vote X3 Ayes.      Comment was also made to get rid of co-manager situation and have only one manager.  Approve spending $15,000.00 for a Reel Mower, Councilwoman Darla Reppe made the motion, Councilman Kyle seconded the motion and Vote X3 Ayes.

(01:00:44.33)  AGENDA ITEM #8 – STREET DEPARTMENT – APPROVE $14,200.00 Payment to Black Star ACA, LLC for 2005 Caterpillar CB- 224W smooth drum Compactor.  Approve Caterpillar Compactor $14,200.00 which includes 5% administrative fee plus $1,000.00 delivery fee.  Asks to move over another $2500.00 for the packer.  Motion by Councilman VandenHul, second by Councilwoman Peeples.  Vote X3 Ayes.

(01:05:20.50)  AGENDA ITEM #9 –  LEGAL UPDATES  -Presented by Attorney Austin Felts in the absence of City Attorney Sam Nelson/Austin Felts.  Mr. Felts introduced motion to get rid of the ON-CALL time in the Police Policy Manual 2.5  Delete and or strike 2.5  Will need 21 days to for amend the manual by resolution.  Motion to amend the Employee Personnel Policy Manual with the deletion/strike of 5.6.  Motion to approve a Police Limited Liability Agreement in writing to be signed by PD Employees and a representative of the City of Alcester.  Motion was made and seconded with Vote X3Ayes.

(01:14:20.13) AGENDA ITEM #10  – WASTE WATER FACILITYPLANT UPGRADE – Bid opening to be reviewed by Banner representative Tanya Miller 04/03/2023 meeting.  State Water Board delayed acceptance vote .

(01:16:44.83)   AGENDA ITEM #11 – PLAT MAP APPROVAL –


          (01:17:50.47) Attorney Felts states, “… I have had a chance to discuss with Sam ,,, uh about this,,, uh…the entirety of these two lots is within city ‘jurisdiction’…uh…so the agreement is as of now…is when this is re-platted the Farmers Coop will transfer the southern lot to…the south side of the ‘ditch’ area…u-u-h…this requires city approval because its within the  ‘entirety of the city limits’…To our knowledge there is nothing that’s outside…in addition it would be our opinion that…uh…even though it could be considered a waterway its…uh…entirely private property, there is no public utilities, there’s no easements or anything …uh…that provide access to the public through this…there is no use or anything that would…uh…instead classify this as a river or a street or something that the city has to provide           access to…uh…the only thing I’ve seen and on the plat specifically identified as center line of ditch…” 

          Mr. Felts I will address your arguments for the platting and zoning of this issue. I will not use the terms of Our or We ’cause there is thankfully only one of me, I think.  The only thing I can think of that would constitute myself in terms of Our or We, is lint in my pocket, an errant loose hair on my shoulder or piece of food left-over from lunch on my front.  

          So here I go.  Going with your use of city jurisdiction.  Using the definition of ‘Jurisdiction in rem’ which is what you appear to be grasping at, “…Power of a court over a thing so that the judgement is valid as against the rights of every person in the thing, e.g. a judgment or decree of registration of title to land…”  (Henry Campbell Black, Black’s Law Dictionary, Abridged Sixth Edition, Centennial Edition 1891-1991, page 595, WEST Publishing Company, 1991, St. Paul, MN )  In this case you appear to be applying the power of a ‘municipality due to its proximity to a spot of land’ has control over the land.

          Next you apply the prejudicial term of ‘ditch’ to the meandering waterway feeding into Brule Creek.  The water way you describe as a ditch often resembles a long dug out trench in drought years. 

          Now onto your opinion that the creek is within the entirety of the city limits is erroneous in substance and in theory because from the 1957 survey conducted by Edward K. Mather’s survey of Alcester city to Mr. Lawrenson’s  Survey of Alcester is subject to interpretation, who hired him and the wages of time.  One surveyors opinion over another’s opinion.

          You mention access to the water way.  You can be forgiven for ignoring access from the creeks head or its delta.  I can take my kayak and put in at the head waters of the creek and as long as I have enough water to float my boat (navigable is the word the state uses) I can traverse the creek without access from either bank.

          Mr. Felts the state of South Dakota defines water way or creek as, “…South Dakota statutorily defines navigability by stating that “a stream, or portion of a stream, is navigable if it can support a vessel capable of carrying one or more persons throughout the period between the first of May to the thirtieth of September, inclusive, in two out of every ten years.”  (South Dakota Codified Laws §43-17-34)    

          In conclusion just having a center line in a water way does not mean it is private property and allows some clog-footed, knuckle-head from damming it up.

          Owner ship and responsibility of the culverts at the juncture of Iowa Street and South Street is dependent on the ownership of Iowa Street.  It was my information per Ray Roggow, Public Works Admin. those culverts were put into place by the County.  In addition February 4, 2016, with regard to the annexation of the property formerly owned by Bill Boyer, the Union County Commissioners approved the annexation with the amendment to that annexation, “…including all adjoining roads…”  So according to the UCC 2016-001 Alcester is responsible for the roads adjourning the annexed property.

          Lastly and in addition, the procedure for the Planning and Zoning Commisson follows the same procedural order.

  • The Mayor convenes the Planning and Zoning Commission
  • Take notes of this meeting
  • Identify and Introduce the Zoning changes, Identifying the property locations and description of changes and the Platting of those changes
  • Verify the proper forms and dates of application are within the time frame set for request for review and change.
  • Discussion of the Planning and Zoning
  • Planning and Zoning recommends approval of the changes discussed with Motion, Second and Vote.
  • Planning and Zoning Commission adjourns stating the time of adjournment of the Planning and Zoning Commission.
  • City Council re-convenes and either accepts or denies any or all parts of the zoning changes.  Motion, Second and Vote is made accepting or rejecting the zoning changes and presenting any changes to the County Commissioners for their approval.

          Council moves to approve the change. Motion, second and Vote X3 Ayes

(01:38:03.20)  AGENDA ITEM #12  – POOL MANAGER – ABIGAIL MOORE –   Motions to approve hire for 2023 pool staff.  Motion to hire    Peyton Meyer. at $14.00 per hour.  Vote X3 Ayes

(01:40:02.47)  AGENDA ITEM #13  – 1 MORE BAR REPAIRS – Approval to spend up to $2000.00 for plumbing repairs and $1000.00 scrap removal plus dumpster rent.  Motion, Second and Vote X3 Ayes

(01:42:34.80) AGENDA ITEM #14  VOLUNTEER ROSTER – Motion, Second  and Vote X3 Ayes


          (01:46:21.80)  Payment to Reel Sharp for mower repair, golf fund $5408   from Golf Fund.  Approval  VoteX3 Ayes

          (01:46:56.80)  Approval of February Warrants  Vote X3 Ayes.


          SDCL 1-25-2.1    PERSONNEL  NOT NEEDED

(01:48:15.10)  AGENDA ITEM #17  ADJOURN  7:48 PM

Contact City Council

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