05/15/2023 A Voice From the Gallery

The company accountant is shy and retiring…She is shy of about a quarter of a million bucks…that is why she is retiring.

Milton Berle

The  May 15, 2023, meeting of the Alcester City Council was called to order on by Mayor Lukas Driesen at 6:00 p.m. with Councilwoman Darla Reppe, , Councilman Kyle Vandenhul, Councilman Kerry Hedden and Councilwoman Kendra Hatle.  Austin Felts was the Attorney in attendance with Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples absent. The council and gallery recited the Pledge of Allegiance. 

(00:00:39.27)  AGENDA ITEM #3Approve Agenda –   Vote X Ayes.  Motion passed

(00:01:03.53)  AGENDA ITEM #4 COUNCIL INTERVIEWS – Open seat in Ward IExecutive Session SDCL 1-25-2.1     Not needed.

(00:01:11.50)  AGENDA ITEM #5  – Mayor Driesen presented his council committee assignments.

(00:03:28.07) AGENDA ITEM #6Public Input

          VICKIE LARSEN INPUT(00:03:37.30) I spoke to the need for all of our council representatives to have a city email by which their constituents could contact them privately without play “MAMA MAY I” with FOPat.  Residents of the council’s ward would be contacting their Ward representative directly.  Also the Council members would not be receiving emails on any business email accounts they may have. Thus protecting the privacy for both parties and in any unfortunate event that causing a subpoena to be served on a device of a council member, their business persona would arguably be exempt from that demand.

          I spoke to the profit/loss of the community center and the need to make sure the costs and debits created by the operations of the community center were INDEED attributed to the profit/loss of that entity and that if there was a profit that it included ALL costs to the operation and not was just ”crystals in the sun”.  I spoke to the  absolute need to separate the golf club from the community center.  This means ALL labor costs are on the separated books of the community center, all expenses for the community center are ON THE BOOKS for the community center.  This means there is NO picking up labor costs from the city general fund, it means all insurances, sales tax and use taxes are on the community center and are not taken from the general fund, that commensurate property taxes are assessed and applicable to the community center and do not disappear because the city is involved.



          I spoke to the credit card issuance for our police department.  The limit on the card for the PD Officer was at $500.00.  Now I believe the Finance Officer has her own city credit card and it has a limit of $1000.00 limit.  Now folks these limits are set and there should be no borrowing from the PD card to offset any over-usage in any “other” department which has slammed head-long into their limit just because they had the administrative power.

          I spoke to the trailer parked on Part street next to the pool.  I asked if the city owned that vehicle, ’cause FOPat has harassed residents for parking their trailers in the streets and threatened to tow them.  This trailer has been in that spot for 30 plus days, I believe the trailer belongs to the house on the corner across from the pool.  Is he going to move it?  I also spoke the proliferation of wood stacked in the backyard of that same dwelling.  Now FOPat has sic’ed ol’Geoff Fillingsness and his citation book on other residents with small piles of sticks but yet this yayhoo seems to get preferential treatment.  Really?

          Lastly I asked the status of the lawsuit Farmers Co-operative Society FCS launched against the city of Alcester in 2022  $CIV22-00048 (00:14:32.33) to which Attorney Austin Felts stated he could not comment as the lawsuit was still active and Attorney Sam Nelson was still involved in the disposition of the civil lawsuit.  My question is what is the hold up for this lawsuit.  I am going to ASSUME (me and only me) there is a conflict in coming to amicable terms, a whole lot of liabilities attached to the city, and now there is a whole lot of lawyer hourly billings involved.  We the people want to know!  What is the stale date on a civil lawsuit, boys?  Best I can tell is six (6) years but at what point after plaintiff filing does that time limit start, Huh?

          COUNCILWOMAN DARLA REPPE INPUT (00:08:52.87)  Councilwoman Reppe spoke to the no-man’s land between the ball fields, abutting properties and easements and whose responsibility for the up-keep.

          MAYOR DRIESEN INPUT (00:10:12.80)  Non-residents using the clean-up dumpsters.  Other discussion regarding the placement of a private party collection receptacle for metal took place.

(00:15:53.50)  AGENDA ITEM #7Legal Updates NO LEGAL UPDATES

(00:16:05.03)  AGENDA ITEM #8Police Department  Chief Jared Thompson/Office Kyle Kleinschmit  (00:16:13.87) Chief Thompson was up first and relayed an issue of mutual aid reluctance from the county.  (00:21:16.40)  Officer Kyle Kleinschmit took the podium to report and make a request.  He spoke to many issues involving part-time officer-wise.  He made the suggestion he would be amenable to becoming full time with stand-by capabilities but the hourly rate would have to increase.  Officer Kleinschmit spoke to being to all intents and purposes on-call on his off time hours which interfered with his other part-time job.  The city was aware he had another part-time job when they hired him and were ok with that condition of hire.  Officer Kleinschmit is willing to give up his other part-time employment for full time for the City of Alcester with the raise in hourly rate.

          I (Vickie Larsen) did comment to a past near calamity with 911 where the Union County Commissioners moved the minutes of September 23, 2014, reflect the Commissioners decision to file a lawsuit against the City of Alcester, the City of Beresford, the City of Elk Point, the City of Jefferson and the City of North Sioux City to recover unpaid fees for non-emergency dispatch services provided by Union County to the cities.  Outside legal counsel was sought by the Union County Commissioners.  This information was taken from the January 6, 2015, minutes of the Union County Commissioners and was later approved in the January 20, 2015, minutes as presented.  The 911 process was started in 2012 and culminated with the lawsuit which I believe was reported by Kelly Kruithoff for the Leader-Courier of Elk Point.

          Going back to the police department and paying them for their time.  If we continue to screw around with our law enforcement, no one will want to come to protect and serve our community.  Then we will have to resort to the old stand-by solution of law enforcement, the inflatable cop.  We can park the patrol car with the inflatable cop in the driver’s seat, then give FOPat the ‘job’ of blowing him up, inflating his ego and etc.  However we cannot inflate this officer with helium, ’cause we cannot afford to have a ‘high’ officer.  And we would be obligated to make sure in the summer he is in a cool dark place so the air does not expand and we have an on duty death of our inflatable police officer.  Yes, I already know I am irreverent.   

(00:44:34.77)  AGENDA ITEM #9Pool Employees  Hires  The council voted to hire Jaeley Christensen and Evan Brown as Lifeguards at a rate of $12.00/hour.  Additionally Ava Kingma was tentatively hired as Lifeguard at a rate of $12.00/hour upon successful certification.

(00:53:51.77)  AGENDA ITEM # 10–  Custodian  –    It was announced that our current custodian LeeAnn Haisch resign her position as city custodian leaving an

opening.  Councilwoman Reppe moved to advertise for the open custodian position, second to the motion came from Councilman Hedden, with no further discussion the group voted unanimously to advertise the open custodial position.

(00:55:11.87)  AGENDA ITEM #11  Credit card approval for Police Officer Kyle Kleinschmit with a limit of $500.00.  Motion was made by Councilman Vandenhul, second to the motion came from Councilwoman Hatle and with no further discussion the group voted unanimously to approve the credit card.

(00:55:38.57)  AGENDA ITEM #12Golf Course/Community Center    Discussion began with the question, do we want to sell the parcel with the old golf clubhouse?  Much discussion took place with the group ultimately tabling the question.  My vote would be No, Keep the land get rid of the building either by sale or give away to haul the thing away.  You never know when the land may be needed by the golf course, and the liability of a private enterprises so close to the golf course could prove costly.  Keep the land, get rid of the building.


          Next discussion and action point was the hiring of a cook and a waitress with the application of Danielle Ledgerwood for cook position at $13.00/hour and Ella Erickson vying for the waitress position at $7.42 per hours.  Motion was made by Councilwoman Reppe, second to the motion by Councilman Vandenhul and with no further discussion the group voted unanimously for hire these two individuals.

(01:07:48.60)  AGENDA ITEM #13  – Planning and Zoning  The great Fence conundrum, do we or don’t we.  Looking at five foot set-backs from the lot-line positioning, to on the line fence positioning and who takes care of the demilitarized zone?  This question was tabled to obtain more information.

(01:19:26.23)  AGENDA ITEM #14  – Snow removal repairs –  Discussion took place but no decision was made until Attorney Felts did some digging for information.

(01:26:39.90)  AGENDA ITEM #15  – Finance Office Updates

          (01:30:42.17)  Discussion regarding the open ‘shelter’.  My opinion is to get rid of it.  Tear it down and replace the tables with concrete tables which seat six spotted around the area as many parks have now established.  Upkeep is minimal.  (01:34:25.17)  Consolidation of the Pleasant Hill Cemetery CD’s.  Motion by Councilwoman Hatle, second to the motion came from Councilman Hedden with no further discussion, the group unanimously voted to consolidate the CDs from Pleasant Hill perpetual care Cemetery to one CD 60 months at 4.1%.  (01:40:08.03) Housing Study vote.  Motion was made by Councilwoman Hatle, second to the motion was made by Councilman Reppe with no discussion and by unanimous vote approved the expenditure of $2500.00.

(01:42:03.57)  AGENDA ITEM #16Executive Session if needed.  Motion was made by Councilwoman Reppe to go into Executive Session for the purpose of SDCL 1-25-2.1 Personnel, second to the motion came from Councilwoman Hatle, vote X4 Ayes.  Council in executive session at 7:44 P.M.  Council out of executive session at 8:22 P.M.    NO ACTION TAKEN

(01:43:12.00)  AGENDA ITEM  #17  – Adjourn  8:22 P.M.

Contact City Council

Mayor Lukas Driesen         

Councilwoman Darla Reppe – Ward III            605-934-2602

Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples – Ward I             605-934-2096

Councilman Kyle VandenHul – Ward II            605-934-

Councilwoman Kendra Hatle – Ward III

Councilman Kerry Hedden –  Ward II

Patricia Jurrens                                                    605-934-2517