Mayor clarifies drinking water story

By Benjamin Chase of the Plainsman
Posted 6/11/24

Notes from the June 10 Huron City Commission meeting

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Mayor clarifies drinking water story

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HURON — Typically, Huron City Commission meetings receive little to no public comment, but that was not the case at Monday evening’s meeting as four public comments were presented, including one from Mayor Mark Robish regarding Huron drinking water.

Robish noted a recent story from Dakota News Now titled “polluted creek threatens Huron drinking water source” that was released last Wednesday.

Robish noted that the city of Huron does not get its drinking water from Lake Byron, among many other inaccuracies in the story. Dakota News Now has removed the printed story from its website, though the video can still be found on the website.

Doug Pietz mentioned during public forum that Huron Community Campus would be graduating a consort of 24 students tonight at 5:30 p.m. Pietz also noted that the education master’s degree program is already full and has a waiting list for next fall.

Commissioner Drew Weinreis reminded the public that tonight’s Chamber Mixer is sponsored by the Community Improvement Committee. Robish also expressed his thanks to the State Fair staff and all those who made Wheel Jam go smoothly this past weekend.

Assistant city engineer Dennis Bennett presented two amendments to bids on the Third Street bridge project from Infrastructure Design Group. The time from the approval of the project through federal grant programs and going to bid led to increases in costs for the project totaling $19,911.06. Bennett reminded the commission that these projects are through grants where the city would be responsible for just 20% of that increase. Both increases were approved.

Bennett also presented a bid from Sentry for the salt storage shed in the amount of $203,164. This will replace the previous shed that was lost. Insurance payment from that loss should cover roughly half of the cost of the new building. This was approved.

Police Chief Derek Layher presented a USDA grant to purchase new tasers. The grant covers 35% of the cost, which means the city would be responsible for 65% of the $50,000 requested grant. Layher explained that this will be part of the 2025 buget if the grant is approved. The commission approved applying for the grant.

Commissioners also:
• Changed the classifications of Police Sergeant Bryon Reff and Police Captain Zachary Weber to regular status after completing the 45-day probationary period required with their promotions.
• Approved the hire of David D. Johnson for the Solid Waste Maintenance 1 position.
• Accepted the voluntary resignation of part-time year-round library clerk MaKiah Schweigert and approved advertising to fill the position.

• Approved the seasonal hiring of Avarie Estey as lifeguard at Splash Central.
• Approved the second reading of Ordinance No. 2259-15-25 regarding street names and drives.
• Approved Resolution No. 2024-06 to remove trunkline fees on undeveloped residential lots.

The commission held a work session regarding striping at the city parking lot north of the Huron Event Center. The decision was made to share the costs of restriping the lot with the contractor.

The public meeting ended with the commission adjourning into executive session for a personnel matter and for a contractual matter.