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August 2021 Pierre Mayor Harding's Report

August 2021 Pierre Mayor Harding's Report

Often when it’s time for me to write a column for the chamber, I have a solitary city issue to discuss. But, it’s been a busy summer! There are a lot updates you might be interested in.  Let’s start with construction.
 
STREET CONSTRUCTION

We have two major street projects underway.  We have started to rebuild Airport Road from Lowell Avenue to just east of the airport terminal entrance. That means, to get to the Pierre Airport or the other businesses located near the airport, you’ll need to use the Elizabeth Street detour.
 
Highland Avenue is also under construction. It’s getting rebuild from the just north of the Wynoka Street intersection to Second Street. This is a complete rebuild of the street including new underground water main.
 
Morris, Inc. has the contract on both jobs. The construction schedule has them both wrapping up this fall.
 
AIR SERVICE
I receive quite a few questions about air service to and from central South Dakota.  I’m pleased to report we now have four roundtrip flights most days between Pierre and Denver International Airport. You can book with Denver Air Connection or SkyWest via united.com.
 
If your full itinerary is with United, your bags will check through to your final destination whether you book with Denver Air or SkyWest Airlines.  If your itinerary includes other air carriers, like Delta or American, you may need to recheck your bags if you book through Denver Air.  If you book through SkyWest, you shouldn’t need to recheck bags for connecting flights.
 
OUTDOOR POOL

The city has bid the earth work portion of the outdoor pool project. We anticipate the earthwork can be completed this fall allowing the construction of the structure to begin this coming spring.
 
The earthwork contractor will remove the bad soil that exists at the site and replace it with soil suitable for the project. Our goal is for the settlement from the new material to happen during the winter months allowing the construction of the structure to begin this coming spring.
 
Throughout the process, you can expect the pool site to take on a very different profile. We’ll be excavating about 15,000 yards of bad soil and bringing in about 20,000 yards of new soil. That will elevate the pool out of the water table.
 
We expect the project to be complete next year and open in time for the 2023 swim season.
 
AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT (ARPA)
ARPA refers to the second round of corona virus funding provided by the federal government. Pierre’s allocation is about $2.5 million. We haven’t yet received the money, and there are restrictions on what we can do with it. We plan to use the funding for eligible water and wastewater infrastructure projects. Once the details are worked out, we’ll provide more specifics.
 
RENTAL LICENSING AND INSPECTION PROGRAM
The City of Pierre is considering implementing a residential rental program to register, license, and inspect rental housing units. The goal is to protect the life, health, and safety of those living in residential rental units. 
 
We held a series of informational meetings to help explain the plan to stakeholders. Through the course of that process, we received quite a bit of feedback and continue to hear more. We’re in the process of reviewing the input and expect to bring an updated ordinance back to the commission this fall. 
 
For more information about the rental licensing and inspection program, as well as other city activities, visit cityofpierre.org.

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