NEWELL-Mayor Ken Wetz took some time to clarify Ordinance 03-2023, Prohibiting the Keeping and Feeding of Exotic/ Wild Animals or Waterfowl, at the regular Newell Commissioners meeting held October 10. He explained that the ordinance did not prohibit feeding songbirds, but is focused on any animal or bird that is ordinarily considered a wild animal or waterfowl. Additionally, the ordinance is necessary to ensure that SD Game, Fish, and Parks personnel or the Sheriff’s department personnel can be involved in the removal of these animals. The ordinance is aimed toward the feeding, baiting, or any manner of providing “access to food for any wild animal or waterfowl within the corporate limits of the Town of Newell.”
“This does not include songbirds,” said Mayor Wetz. Sherry Hocking solicited the commissioners to approve a waiver of fees for the City Hall for the Festival of Trees taking place in December. She said that since the Festival benefits local fire departments and ambulance services, the fee should be waived. Commissioners approved the request.
The budget for 2024 received approval. A total of $3,332,721 was appropriated with $731,391 in the General Fund, which included $72,000 in Public Safety, $341,746 in Public Works, $23,000 in Ambulance Service, $80,030 in Recreation, and $4,500 for Promoting the City. Other money is slated for the Liquor Store for $427,650, $1,352,500 for water, $792,500 for sewer, Perp Car is $1,280 and $27,400 for irrigation. Income for the town will come from taxes, licenses and permits, service charges, intergovernmental revenue, fines and miscellaneous sources. The largest part comes from the water fund from governmental revenue of $992,000 and sewer fund of $603,000.
The Newell Liquor Store is bringing in profits for the town. Year to Date profit for 2023 is $57,188.82 which is down $4,184.29 form 2022. Although income is higher, $38,043.36 more than last year, expenses have climbed with salaries at the top of the list and supplies a close second. Sales tax has continued to rise over the last three years. The year to date sales tax is well above 2020 by nearly $82,000 and approximately $40,000 over last year.
Public Works Superintendent Larry Parker informed the commissioners that he had been working on a water break along Elmira and Fisk Streets. He said that it may nearly “wipe out” the repair budget. Most of the lines are steel and at least 30 years older than any other line in Newell.
Parker also reported that the water tower has been cleaned and repaired. There were two spots that needed repair, one was the size of a tennis ball. He spent “a lot of time” on winterizing the Splash Pad. It took a day and a half to get the job done, but it is in good shape. He did note that the sand from the filter had been found in the tank. The Plumber from Belle Fourche took a look at the leak and will see what it will take to fix it.
Following a comment by Commissioner Allen Youngberg concerning the potholes on Third Street, Parker explained that he realized the problem and since there is no base, it would be difficult to fix. Parker had talked to the highway repair crew to get some of the ground up pavement from Highway 212, but they had not gotten any to the town. Mayor Wetz told Parker to continue to look for more.
The next meeting will be Monday, November 13 at 5 p.m. in Newell City Hall.