BROOKINGS – The Brookings City Council last Tuesday approved renaming the Blue Rink at Larson Ice Arena, rezoned a portion of the Reserve Addition, approved a woodworking shop on Fourth Street; and proclaimed October National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Mayor Ope Niemeyer issued a proclamation naming October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which was accepted by Matt Weiss, vice chair for the Brookings Disability Awareness Committee,
“I truly believe that Brookings is a community of inclusivity,” Weiss said, adding that the proclamation helps promote awareness for all work places to be inclusive.
It’s critical for workplaces to welcome employees who have disabilities to build a strong economy and promote self-sufficiency and independence for those workers, Weiss said.
Blue Rink named
The council approved Resolution 21-085, allowing the Blue Rink at Larson Ice Arena to be named Brookings Dental Clinic Rink for a period of 10 years.
Dusty Rodiek, director of Parks, Recreation & Forestry, explained the item.
“As a part of the fundraising campaign for the Ranger Hockey Performance Center, Brookings Ice Skating Association requests naming rights for the Blue Rink,” Rodiek said, adding the annual contribution for the Blue Rink naming rights is $8,000 per year, resulting in a total commitment of $80,000 toward the project.
The projected construction cost of the Hockey Performance Center is approximately $1 million according to a memo by Rodiek attached to the agenda.
The council approved Ordinance 21-033 to change the zoning of a portion of the Reserve Addition from Residence R-3 Apartment District to Business B-3 Heavy District.
Mike Struck, director of Community Development, said the ordinance pertains to property along 20th Street South along the east and west side of Christine Avenue and would provide opportunities for business growth and development.
Struck pointed out the area proposed for rezoning has wetlands north of it that can’t be developed. The city owns two nearby lots; one is a lift station lot, the other is a detention pond.
“Immediately adjacent to the property … that is also a detention pond that’s owned by the city, so your primary neighbors are gonna be immediately to the east in the undeveloped area of the R-3 right now,” Struck said.
Niemeyer asked Struck to explain the B-3 Heavy District.
It is a heavy business district and allows a lot of the retail options that are along Sixth Street; Main Avenue South south of the railroad tracks to 15th Street South; in the northeast quadrant on the east side of the interstate with the implement dealers, Struck said.
“It’s a lot of service-orientated type services,” Struck said, like appliance stores, health clubs, furniture stores, storage units, and some retail.
The council approved a conditional use permit for a woodworking shop at 202 Fourth St.
Struck explained Jerry Cooley is proposing to establish a woodworking shop in a 200-square-foot area in a detached garage.
“Part of the reason it triggers the major home occupation fact is he does plan to produce products that he would offer for sale off the premise at different craft shows, fairs, things such as that,” Struck said.
The Planning Commission stipulated two conditions: The conditional use permit is for the applicant only and cannot be transferred to subsequent property owners, and the hours of operation must be limited to 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., “and that’s primarily because of when the noise ordinance would come into play with the city,” Struck said.
Bicycle Advisory Committee
Rodiek explained the first reading of Ordinance 21-035 pertaining to the Brookings Bicycle Advisory Committee. The ordinance would re-establish the Bicycle Advisory Committee as a subcommittee of the Park Advisory Board and set guidelines for it.
“The purpose of the committee has evolved from being strongly involved in developing the Bike Master Plan to bike advocacy,” Rodiek said.
“Moving forward, this subcommittee will continue to have a voice in the priorities of the Brookings Bike Master Plan and will be able to provide input similar to the manner that they’ve been now,” Rodiek said.
Councilor Nick Wendell said he appreciated the work of the Bicycle Advisory Committee and how it has promoted bicycling not only as a recreational activity, “but also as a means of transportation.”
“How will we ensure that this committee will continue to have a voice in promoting bicycling as a means of public transportation?” Wendell asked.
“I’m not an expert in streets and the designs of bike lanes,” Rodiek said. “That’s why we’ve specifically invited the city engineer (Charlie Richter) to be a part of those discussions. … To ensure that bicycling is part of a viable transportation option, that’s why we’re gonna involve the city engineer in all of the meetings.”
“I’m happy to hear that,” Wendell said. “I just don’t want us to lose the progress we’ve made there.”
The second reading is set for Oct. 26.
The council approved:
• The low bid of $72.90 per ton by Blackstrap for road salt; it was one of four bids and was a 1.5% decrease from the 2020-2021 road salt price of $74 per ton.
“As a city, we do mix our road salt with sand at a ratio of one-third salt to two-thirds sand to help extend the life of the road salt and try to keep our costs down,” Assistant City Manager Jacob Meshke said.
• The bids for contractor snow removal equipment – including motor graders with wings, 3- to 6-yard loaders, loaders with reversible blades, end-dump trucks, and side-dump trucks – as listed in Resolution 21-084.
“We did see about a 5% increase across the board on a per hourly basis,” Meshke said. “Staff requests city council approve all bids received; contractors would be deployed in order of greatest value to the city.”
Contact Jodelle Greiner at [email protected]