Sturgis City Council approves open containers for summer, winter celebrations

Sturgis City Council approves open containers for summer, winter celebrations

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The main entrance of the Sturgis Public Library and City Hall, at right, in downtown Sturgis.

STURGIS | Counts of the Cobblestone Rod Run will celebrate its 52nd year further north for 2020.

Sturgis’s City Council approved a street closure on Main Street between First and Third streets as well as an open container allowance during the car show at Harley Davidson Plaza for the inaugural celebration from 2 - 5 p.m. July 11 during its Monday meeting.

The annual run will still be held in Black Hawk but will end with a cruise to Sturgis July 11 before returning to Black Hawk for a meal and awards, Rod Run committee member Bob Mallow said.

Mallow said the committee will discuss possible protocols and actions to take during the run and have a decision sometime next week.

The Rod Run began as a car club in October 1957, which is one of the oldest active car clubs in the nation.

“They have requested to come to Sturgis this year to set up a show time on Main Street,” said Jerry Cole, Rally and Events Director for the city.

There are no restrictions on age range for cars, but most are between the ‘50s and ‘70s.

One council member asked about what would happen if more social distancing was necessary in July.

City Manager Steve Ainslie said the mayor and/or the council, if they believed the event should be canceled, could have a majority vote to cancel the rod run if there was a public safety concern.

The council also approved an open container allowance for the Dec. 3 Christmas Tree Lighting at the Harley-Davidson Rally Point Plaza and the Parade of Lights route Dec. 4, which will begin at 6 p.m.; open container throughout downtown and street closure on Harley-Davidson Way between Lazelle and Main streets for the Chamber of Commerce’s After Rally Picnic Aug. 26; and the on/off sale malt beverage license and wine license for La Risa Mexican Cuisine.

During the meeting, the council tabled a public hearing item for further discussion. Dan Roe, who has property on the 2100 block of Hurley Drive, spoke with the council during the meeting about his variance request for street improvements on a subdivision of his property.

Roe requested the council to waive the improvements requirements, which includes a suitable gutter and sidewalk along the property. 

According to a staff report read at the meeting, about 30 notifications were sent out to other residents within 200 feet of the property. Of those notifications, 10 approved, six disapproved and 14 gave no response, which goes under approval, according to a city ordinance.

The report continues that the section of Hurley Drive was pre-existing before its annexation and was not built to modern city street standards. On May 5, the planning commission unanimously voted to recommend approval of the variance.

At the May 5 meeting, the commission discussed the need for improving the roads and said that it would be ineffective unless all of Hurley Drive was improved.

According to the report, Roe’s property is in a ditch-like section, which Roe said would not make for a great section of sidewalk.

One council member said infrastructure, roads and gutters has been a topic of conversation for some time and wanted to table the discussion before decisions were made that could set a precedent.

“I really feel what we do for one person, we should do for somebody else,” he said. “If we’re going to set a standard to let you off, we need to know what that standard is. I think there’s a process here that needs to be looked at.”

Ainslie said he and some city staff discussed the request and thought the city could take a couple of weeks to survey the town where there is a topographical or other reason why improvements don’t necessarily need to be made.

The majority of the council voted to table the hearing until late June or early July with one member voting no.

The council also approved to refinance Wastewater and Infrastructure Loans with Pioneer Bank. This refinancing would give the city a little more flexibility in repaying the loans.

Ainslee said with the declining and a reduction in interest rates and refinancing the loans to make payments for a longer period of time, the city would save $105,000 a year. He also said there’s no cost for the city to begin this. 

The council also unanimously voted to disapprove a Quit Claim deed for the Jenter property near Bear Butte Creek. During the meeting, the council learned the property contains an area that would require much development, but is classified as undevelopable, Ainslie said.

The council also approved a consent calendar, which approves minutes from the May 4 meeting, setting public hearings for a Special Event License for Loud American for the Community Appreciation Picnic and Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and to authorize the mayor to sign an endorsement of the Crisis Intervention Shelter Services (CISS) for the Emergency Solutions Grant Program.

CISS director Ashley Adams said the endorsement from the mayor isn’t anything new, but it is important.

“Without him, we probably wouldn’t be able to get these kinds of funds,” she said.

CISS is an organization that supports victims of domestic and sexual violence through shelter, advocacy and education.

Adams said every year, the center helps about 1,500 individuals. The funding, which comes from the ESG program along with other local organizations like the United Way and the Black Hills  Area Community Foundation, allows the center to help women pay utility bills, look for new housing, make doctor’s appointments and more.

During the meeting, the council also approved a payroll change in parks  for a seasonal worker to make $12 an hour, and Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen proclaimed this week EMS and National Public Works Week.

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