New council member Pfister sworn in

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LUSK - With the resignation of councilman Adam Dickson the council has appointed Ron Pfister to fill the vacant position on the Lusk Town Council. Ron Pfister was sworn in at the August council meeting.

Visitor Jim Pontarolo had an extensive discussion with the council and public works director Todd Skrukrud regarding the ongoing issues of sewage backing up from the sewage main into Pontarolo’s basement. It has happened three times over the last thirty days and every time Pontarolo spends 7-12 hours mitigating and pumping/bucketing sewage out of the house. Fortunately he has found a way to prevent further damage by directing the flow to his bathtub and bailing from there however he can’t leave town since he never knows when it will rain and cause this to occur. Even after installing a flow check valve it has not solved the problem. He would like to come to an agreement with the town of Lusk regarding how they are going to solve the issue. Skrukrud agreed that this was a major problem but not one with an easy solution. The town will be replacing the lift system but not sure on the timeline for that. Skrukrud also clarified that the town has been working to try and find the infiltration point where excessive run off is overwhelming the sewer system. He also agreed to look into adding in a service line check valve situation or some way to emergency divert and release the bulk of the pressure on the system. The mayor apologized to Pontarolo that this is happening and agreed that the town would try to work Pontarolo and solve the issue sooner rather than later.

In department updates ambulance director Mike Mayville reported that the service has been able to respond to all calls and requested transports. They did receive a rec grant to help with supplies and are hoping to negotiate some discounts with the supply companies. They are working on new protocols and will have access to a cell phone app that will let all EMTs have the protocols on their phones and this is a “really powerful tool” according to Mayville. He hopes to have this approved and in place in the next thirty days. While both ambulance units are hanging in there replacing both ambulances is necessary. Mayville anticipates that it will take at least a year to get the ambulance unti once it is ordered.

Greenskeeper Trevor Barner informed council that the better weather in July had allowed them to make progress and find more consistency and routine at the golf course. While the greens are finally responding the way Barner wants he continues to be concerned about root growth. If he doesn’t start seing the type of root growth he wants Barner warned it could be a very damaging winter. A new control system for the drivering T has been put in place that can be operated by computer or cell phone.

Chief Bo Krein reported that his department responded to a total of 335 incidents in July. This is up from 273 a year ago. Arrests were quadrupled from a year ago as well. The department is now preparing for Sturgis and the accompanying traffic surge. An officer is heading to Ohio for training to bring a K-9 unit back to Lusk.

Pool manager Joyce Hammer gave council the proposed hours for the remainder of the season. Normal hours will be staffed until August 20. From August 21-September 4 lap swim will be held from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The pool will be fully open from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Swimming lessons were a big hit though some sessions were missed due to weather and conflicts. There were a few ongoing issues with pool chemical that Hammer feels she has finally resolved. She is looking for someone to paint the pool in the off season. Hammer commended John Eddy and Rory Norberg for all their “off hours” assistance to keep the pool functional and open.

Royce Thompson confirmed that the power outage for Sunday, September 17 from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. has been confirmed and this will occur as long as there is good weather than day. The airport had a record fuel sales month with 1600 gallons of fuel being used. An airport inspection is coming up and Thompson doesn’t expect any issues.

Desiree LeLeux, Town Clerk, reported that AFLAC re-enrollment is coming up as well as the FAA meeting for the airport program. The department of audit training to fulfill the requirements of HB 0060 will occur on August 23. The town plans to have the council room as a training site.

Public works director Todd Skrukrud informed council that the excessive moisture continues to cause problems in multiple departments and a loader is down. The infrastructure project is shifting gears to focus on sidewalk and landscaping on the streets that paved. While waiting to hear on the TAP grant for the sidewalk work on third street the town will move ahead with some repairing and pouring in the block by the ranger. This is coming out of budget however so they will be trying to keep that expense as low as possible.

In old business all the gambling ordinances passed on third reading. The rate hike ordinances passed second reading.

Livestock permit renewals for Chris Turdeau, Sara DesEnfants and Susan Beecher were approved.

An open container permit for the EMS benefit for the shop parking lot was also approved.

Extensive discussion regarding the open container permit applied for by Lusk Liquor was held. Liquor store manager Verlene Manager explained that the business was requesting an extended open container permit to allow them the full use of their property for the remainder of the summer. Impromptu corn hole tournaments and other activities are the purpose behind this. Council added the agenda item of expanding the serving area of the liquor store to include an outdoor seating area. Matney stated, “We have done it for years and years and years and years and didn’t know we couldn’t and now it has hurt our business so much not to have it that we might not even be able to purchase at the livestock sale.”

After significant discussion it was determined that the council would award an open container permit for the parking lot area to the North of the liquor store for special events, pending approval of the Mayor of Chief of Police as long as the parking lot is closed to parking for safety reasons.

The council also approved the Lusk Liquor request to expand the designated serving area to include an area immediately adjacent to the building and designated on a map with fencing. The Chief of Police and Public Works director must approve the area and fencing materials.

There was no executive session and the meeting adjourned.