HURON Residents are being encouraged to use city compost material on their lawns, gardens and flower beds to enrich the soil and conserve water as the continuing dry weather heads toward winter.
The City Commission approved a program to give away surplus material this fall after it was proposed by the solid waste department.
Great Plains Classic Compost is a product the city produces and markets. It is made from recycling yard waste and trees.
In this program it will be given away free of charge. The city will load it as operations allow or residents can load it themselves.
Spreading a one-quarter to one-half inch thick layer of compost on lawns, gardens and flower beds is called top dressing.
Top dressing is a fantastic way to conserve water while reducing winter damage and the amount of watering in the spring, while adding nutrients and beneficial microbes into existing soil, improving soil structure and reducing weeds, according to the solid waste department.
Superintendent Dale Fortin said the city has a surplus of 2,000 cubic yards of compost available to residents. They will need to bring their current water bill with them when coming to get compost.
Meanwhile, the commission gave second and final reading to the 2013 city budget ordinance.
The budget totals just over $25 million, compared with $38.7 for 2012.
The decrease is due to large projects this year, including the Central Park construction, Campus Center renovation and the start of construction of two new water towers.
Property tax revenue is figured in the budget with a 3 percent consumer price increase, for a $127,359 boost, and new growth of $1.2 percent for a $51,707 increase. The total levy will be $4.4 million.
Sales taxes are budgeted with a 3 percent increase, adding about $30,000 to the first and second penny sales taxes. The third penny is budgeted at $310,000.
Salaries are still being negotiated with the Fraternal Order of Police and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employee unions but the budget reflects a 2 percent cost-of-living increase plus steps.
Health insurance is climbing 26 percent, while workers compensation, property and general liability insurance are up 2 percent.
City utility rates are being increased by 2.4 percent based on the increase costs from the Mid-Dakota Rural Water System and a cost-of-living increase for all water, sewer and solid waste utilities.
The budget includes the recycling program recommended by the Green Energy Task Force. It also has a 6 percent contingency fund.
Approved a variance request from Tobi Hakes, 806 Wisconsin Ave. S.W., to build a fence six feet tall in an area that is closer to the street than the principle building.
Approved a raffle request from Lisa Johnson and the Episcopal Church women.
Approved an alcoholic beverage consumption request from the South Dakota Parks and Recreation Association at a picnic Sept. 24 in Campbell Park.
Set an Oct. 15 hearing for a 2012-13 retail on-off sale malt beverage license filed by VFW Building Corporation.
Approved a $108,618 progress payment for the north elevated water storage tank to CB&I of Clive, Iowa. Six of the 11 floors have now been poured. They deferred consideration of a change order with Maguire Iron of Sioux Falls for the east industrial park elevated water storage tank for a net change of $75,000 and a progress payment of $121,227.
Approved a request from Police Chief Gary Will Jr. to apply for an $8,900 grant to host a weeklong ethics instructor certification course.
Hired Paul Remund as a volunteer firefighter.
Approved the regular status after their six-month probationary periods of Quincy Burdick and Nathan Williams as volunteer firefighters and Brett Aldrich in the solid waste department.
Approved updated job descriptions for captains in the police department.
Went into executive session for litigation and union negotiations.For the complete article see the 09-25-2012 issue.
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