Teapot Days canceled



The Tea City Council met May 4 and made the decision to cancel Teapot Days for 2020 that were originally scheduled for June 17-20.

Finance officer Dawn Murphy said they can either get their money back or their deposits can be held until next year for all contracts except the fireworks. The council talked about doing a smaller event later in the summer to shoot off the fireworks. Some discussion was held in doing something in regards to the graduating seniors but the city would need to talk to the school district.

Most of the discussion during the meeting was in regards to ordinance 273, an ordinance that amends the traffic code for the city of Tea by adding a golf cart section. Councilman Todd Boots wanted the ordinance to add that golf carts need to have proper lights in the front and the rear during the hours between sunrise and sunset, as well as a rear view mirror. He also wanted it stated that they are not to be driven on the bike path and they need a minimum of $50 for an annual permit.

Councilman Chuck Ortmeier noted that golf carts are already allowed by state statute.

Councilmen Jim Erck and Casey Voelker do not want golf carts outside of residential neighborhoods or on streets with a posted speed limit sign above 20 mph. Voelker said he was for having fun, but not at the expense of slowing down traffic and causing hazards.

Councilman Joe Weis wants the ordinance kept as simple as possible and did not expect dozens and dozens of golf carts.

Resident Jason Bennett said that state law does not differentiate between gas and electric golf carts. He thinks lights and mirrors are an acceptable requirement. He does not think the police department should be the issuing and revocation party, but only enforcement. City Hall should be in charge of the permitting process. He also said any legal driver should be able to drive a golf cart, not just the cart owner.

Boots went through all of the towns that had been shared with the council that had a golf cart ordinance. He noted that all of those towns had a golf course. Tea does not. He was curious if other towns that do not have golf courses have a golf cart ordinance. He would also like to see a passenger seating capacity.

With the amount of revisions, Mayor John Lawler noted the ordinance needs to be put on the May 18 agenda.

Boots did not run for his open position in Ward 3. However, Lawler appointed him to continue to serve Ward 3.

Lawler, Weis, Erck and Boots all took the oath of office. Voelker was elected president of the council and Erck was elected vice president.

Lawler appointed Murphy as finance officer, Jessica Quigley as chief of police, Thad Konrad as utility superintendent, Meierhenry Sargent as city attorney, HDR as city engineer, Tea Weekly as official newspaper and Reliabank, Valley Exchange Bank and South Dakota Public Funds Investment Trust as official depositories.

For committee appointments, Voelker was assigned to water, sewer, streets; Boots to police; Sid Munson to fire; Weis to pools, parks and library; Erck to HRC; Ortmeier to TEDC; and Deann Ernster and Holly Hank as public reps to the library board.

In engineering and zoning, planning and zoning administrator Kevin Nissen presented a site plan for SLK Holding for contractor shops in Bakker Landing Addition. The 12,000 square foot building is slated to hold contractor shops with one half already being rented to a sprinkler system company. The council approved.

Nissen presented a site plan for Events by Jer next to the Sherwin Williams building in the Bakker Landing Addition. The building is 14,450 square feet and will be used as a storage building and office. The council approved.

The council also approved the developers agreement with Tempo Soccer Association. Their plan includes a 130-by-600 foot dome. There is currently no plan for bathroom facilities on the property.

Council extends COVID-19 resolution through June 1

The council extended the COVID-19 resolution through June 1. The previous extension was to go through May 15 but the council extended it through June 1. The resolution includes guidance on social distancing but does not limit the number of people. Parks continue to be open but playground equipment is still closed.

At the June 1 council meeting, Voelker would like to see the city adopt the governor’s back to normal plan rather than extending this resolution further.

Erck asked about softball and baseball fields for practices. Lawler is planning to attend the Park & Rec board meeting next week to find out what is happening there.

Boots noted cruise night will wrap up by the end of the month on Memorial Day weekend. That weekend the cruise will be raising money for the Veterans Memorial.

The council adjourned at 8:29 p.m.

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