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Tea City Council considers water system expansion

The Tea City Council called their June 19th meeting to order at 7 p.m. at Tea City Hall.

The meeting opened with the hearing of public comments. John Lawler was present to thank City Administrator, Dan Zulkosky, for all his work during his time at the City. Zulkosky will be retiring at the end of the month, Monday night marked his last Council meeting. He has served as the City Administrator for six years.

Vicki Pick was also present to talk to the Council about the Tea Community Hall and Museum. Prior to being the Community Hall, the building was once the Catholic Church and then housed the Tea High School for a short period of time. It was well taken care of then, Pick noted. She took over the Hall eight years ago and has been doing small improvements but it is coming to a point where larger work will need to be done and she is hoping the City will invest in one of the oldest buildings in town.

“A lot of good comes from seeing the history of the town,” said Pick. “I hope you will invest in bringing our history back to life.”

Dick Gors was also present to share Pick’s concerns.

The Council thanked them for their time and said the matter will be put on the agenda in July.

Following public comments, the board reviewed the application to start a home business. Rick and Carrie Willemssen submitted an application to open a daycare with 6-7 children. Carrie has 18 years of childcare experience and plans to be open 7-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The property, located at 325 Lisa Circle in Tea, is on a cul-de-sac and has a fenced yard. The board approved the CUP without any additional requirements.

The board also approved a liquor license for Pals Pub, Inc. to be located at Lot 2A, Block 1 in the Carl Soukup’s Addition.

Tory Larsen, from Lewis & Clark was present to give an update.

Larsen began by thanking Sid Munson who has served as a board member since 2003.

He then talked about how the Lewis and Clark base system of 44.19 million gallons a day (MGD) is to be completed by 2025 and the expansion expected to be complete by 2030 or 2031. Construction started last year on this expansion and will bring the system to 60 MGD.

Larsen said 19 of the 20 Lewis & Clark members will need more capacity beyond the 60 MGD in 15-40 years, Tea included. He believes two options exist: the second expansion of Lewis & Clark or looking into joining the Dakota Mainstem Regional Water System.

The second expansion, which could take decades to complete, needs to be looked at now, according to Larsen.

No decisions will need to be made until spring of 2024.

The Board then reviewed the building and site plans to construct contract shops located at 2015 E. Merchant Street, Bakker Landing Addition, submitted by Chad Javers. The 18,990 square foot building will be divided into a maximum of six units with a three-hour fire wall dividing the fire areas.

The plans were approved.

The Board reviewed the building expansion plans of Sky Lounge, located at 200 S. Main Ave into the portion previously occupied by Ralph’s Auto. The change in use requires the building to be brought up to code and have plans submitted and approved by the city.

The expansion will increase the occupancy load, plans reflect an additional fire door to be installed and outside doors that will swing out to be ADA compliant. Restrooms will also be made ADA compliant.

Questions arose about the gravel parking lot.

The plans were approved as presented.

The board reviewed the interior building plans for a 2,437 square foot Starbucks restaurant moving into108 E Venture Place, Suite 100.

The plans were approved.

The board also agreed to approve the next three-year contract with Lincoln County for E-911 and Dispatching Services.

An update was given on the property at 1st Street and Main Ave. The committee recently met and talked about different options.

The recommendation was to have bump outs from the curb on the south side, temporary at first with the City painting them in. The appropriate pedestrian signs would also be added. The Council decided that the temporary solution would allow them to get feedback and review if it’s the best overall solution for that area.

Motion was made to move forward with the temporary solution for the project.

A 2015 Explorer, police vehicle, was also listed as surplus property.

The Board discussed the Casey’s stoplights at Gateway. Tea Police Chief Jessica Quigley spoke with council member, Ruby Zuraff and stated that even a basic stoplight would be beneficial in that area.

The plan is to address that more thoroughly at upcoming planning meeting.

Zuraff also brought up Quigley’s concerns at the City parks, noting they have been having some trouble there lately with bullying and vandalism. Quigley is wanting to put cameras up in the area. The council has asked Quigley to come to an upcoming meeting to discuss the project before moving forward.

The Council also moved the July 3rd meeting date to July 10th and the July 17th meeting date to July 24th. They will hold a planning meeting, beginning at 6 p.m. on July 17th.

The meeting adjourned at 8:34 p.m.

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