By Aaron Eberle
On Tuesday, November 15 at 7 p.m., Edgemont’s city council met. Law Enforcement was late to the meeting, so no report was given.
Animal Control Officer, Dustin Aldrich, stated that he has trapped four skunks and five raccoons. Aldrich also stated that he has taken two abandoned dogs to the Vet Clinic and disposed a dead deer in the campground.
George West spoke for the law enforcement committee. West said that they have to cross a few t’s and dot the i’s on the contract with the Sheriff’s office. They had met with Sheriff Evans once and Deputy Logue sat in for Evans a second time. West is hopeful that they will have everything finalized by Thanksgiving.
Councilwoman Barb Strozewski wondered about the change in the contract from a three mile radius to a one mile radius around Edgemont. She wanted to be sure to city properties, such as the cemetery would still be included with this change.
West replied that the change would exclude some of Dudley. West feels that those portions would be county problems, not the City of Edgemont.
Councilwoman Sandra Woodward stated that the Public Works Crew had been busy with things like sewers and winterizing.
Councilwoman Brenda Cullen stated that the Library Board had met. Cullen stated that they elected new people to the board and passed some new policies. Woodward wondered if they could see a copy of everything. Finance officer Karen Cain stated that Librarian Ashley Cortney usually gave her a copy.
Mayor Shaw stated that he has been talking to AE2S. They will need to add a power line and/or a communications line to Well #4. Shaw stated that there are some rancher’s south of town that have an interest in the BA Well #5. These ranchers were curious what would happen with this well after the new water project was finalized and would be interested in the water from there.
Shaw also stated that he had called the City of Custer. Sheriff Evans had mentioned at the previous meeting that Custer paid $340,000 for their law enforcement agreement with the county.
After discussing this with Custer, Shaw found out that they pay $320,000. This included four officers full time in the City of Custer. They are associated with the school more and does everything that Custer needs.
Strozewski doesn’t feel that Mayor Shaw should not be contacting these people on his own without council permission.
During public comment, several members of the community wanted to know more about the progress of the contract with the Sheriff’s office, as well as the letter that Mayor Shaw had written previously.
Lois and Dallas Stewart, Kevin Eberle, Jason Shook and Wayne Piper thought that calling Custer to find out more details about the contract they had, was unnecessary. The Stewart’s feel that it is an entirely different game and it shouldn’t be compared. Eberle feels that the populations do not compare. Piper feels like comparing the two cities is like comparing apples to oranges. Shook wanted to hear about Edgemont, not Custer.
Councilwoman Carla Schepler stated that the last meeting with the sheriff’s office, they talked a lot about community programs, the school and park, as well as a neighborhood watch. As soon as Deputy Steve gets back from school, the council will be working more directly with the council.
Mrs. Stewart wondered if things were moving along so well, why Custer was called.
Strozewski stated that she would like to have a ten minute recess to get her copy of a video from one of the previous meetings. In this video, it had the motion Woodward made about the letter that was to be drafted. The motion stated that Shaw could send a letter to the commissioners and sheriff’s office stating that the council would not be renewing the current contract, but they would be open for negotiations. The video and minutes reflected this motion.
Woodward stated that she would like to be able to contact the lawyer that drafted the letter. Woodward believes that there may be a reason why the lawyer did not add the negotiations part to it.
Bob Worden stated that if a person was getting a loan from the bank, they wouldn’t just blindly sign the papers without reviewing them and making sure it was what they wanted.
George Eberle wondered why if the contract was to run out at the end of the year, why a letter needed to be sent to terminate it. According to council and the mayor, the attorney requested that it be written that way
Kevin Eberle wondered if the law enforcement contract was ever discussed in executive session. When it was mentioned that it had been, Eberle stated that this was a violation of South Dakota Open Meeting Laws.
Strozewski asked Shaw to resign or to have his wages held for a period of time. Strozewski feels that she has been treated with total disregard. Shortly after this discussion, Cullen resigned stating that Strozewski had thrown her under the bus and Cullen feels that the public thinks she’s to stupid to be on the council.
In other news:
Ordinance 2016-11-1 (fireworks ordinance) was read a second time. There were a few typos that the council would like to change.
Liquor licenses needed to be renewed. Fresh Start, the Igloo Bar and the Victory Steakhouse are up for renewal. Strozewski felt that she couldn’t continue with the meeting, so these did not get voted on.