Wakefield City Council Talks Properties and Projects During November Meeting

WAKEFIELD – Wakefield’s City Council discussed several properties and heard updates on a few projects during their November meeting Wednesday night in the Civic Center.

Representatives from the rural fire board and Wakefield Volunteer Fire Department informed the council they would be moving forward with purchasing two defibrillators, one for each unit. The defibrillators cost about $30,000 a piece and funds will be coming from M.F.O. money provided by the State. They also told the council they were still moving ahead with looking for land to potentially build a new fire hall. They are working with Wakefield Progressive on a study to find potential spots. They also stated that a member of the community had offered to donate up to four acres for a new building. The council said they will do what they can to support the department.

Nick Sebade, owner of Nick’s Woodshop was approved to purchase a lot from the City. Sebade told the council that business is booming, and he and his employees have outgrown their current location. Sebade hopes to begin construction on a 60 foot by 135 foot building in the spring, and may apply to use Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to do so.

“We are kind of a small business, and this is a very big leap for us, I feel, so that TIF would be very helpful,” Sebade said.

The purchase of properties at 109 and 111 West 3rd Street for $19,000 was approved unanimously by the council.

After discussion, the council approved a $38,500 contract with Olsson to plan concrete, water and sewer for the 9th Street project that will run from Cottonwood to Birch Streets. Mayor Paul Eaton expressed his wish to establish a paving district when the project is finished.

Approval of a contract with Black Hills Energy was tabled after discussion. After extreme cold snaps last winter energy companies like Black Hills Energy are asking to enter into new agreements with their high use customers allowing them to curtail service if there’s a crunch. City Administrator Jim Litchfield said the new contract would only cover the power plant, which runs on diesel.

“If we had to run for days we would run out, but we haven’t run on natural gas in that plant for 10 years,” Litchfield said.

While the agreement would essentially have no affect on the city, council members wanted to know the repercussions of not signing the agreement.

Discussion was held about the employee responsibilities at the Wakefield Civic Center. Initially a position of manager was established and included managerial and janitorial work under one position. The Civic Center Board has agreed to split those into two separate positions providing both can be kept with in the hours and budget constraints placed on them. Attorney Theresa Miner will work with the City to draft new employment contracts.

City Clerk and Treasurer Pam Vander Veen was authorized to conduct business on behalf of the city at a number of area banks, a resolution for the signing of the year-end certification of the City Street Superintendent was passed and compensation package for the City Administrator position was approved with an annual salary of $76,960.

Public hearings for the Pick/Perry TIF application and annexation of parcels inside the levee on the north end of town were both set for Wednesday, Dec. 8.

The next regularly scheduled Wakefield City Council meeting will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 5:30 p.m. at the Wakefield Civic Center.