Avery to be sworn in

Courtesy photo: Wayne Avery

Council to recognize Lanning, Hartmann; consider grant for new food pantry facility

BROOKINGS – Wayne Avery will be sworn in Tuesday as a Brookings City Council member, and two longtime city employees will be recognized as they retire.

City Engineer Jackie Lanning and former Fire Chief Darrell Hartmann will be presented certificates of appreciation.

The council this week will also consider a Community Development Block Grant application to fund a joint facility for the food pantry and other programs, according to an agenda attachment.

Also on the agenda is an item regarding Fishback Soccer Complex for potential discharge of residential fireworks, which would only be recommended by city staff if a business or organization can provide an agreeable safety plan within a few weeks’ time. Councilors will also consider appointing Eric Rasmussen as the assistant city attorney; street assessment for 15th Street South and Seventh Avenue South; and several rezoning items.

The meeting will start 6 p.m. Tuesday at the City & County Government Center.

New food pantry

The council will consider several items pertaining to an approximately $2 million Community Development Block Grant to fund a joint facility addressing food insecurity which would house the Food Pantry, Brookings Backpack Project, Senior Commodity, and United Way Programs. The 7,000-square-foot building would be located on First Lutheran Church property under a long-term lease with the United Way serving as the building owner, according to a memo by Jacob Meshke, assistant city manager.

“All partners are excited, enthusiastic and supportive of the project,” according to Meshke’s memo.

“The City of Brookings had started discussions with community partners to address the aging and failing food pantry facility. As the conversation shifted to a new facility, there was an identified opportunity to create a joint facility addressing food insecurity which would house multiple community partners,” according to Meshke’s memo.

“To maximize available resources, the City of Brookings and First District Association of Local Governments began a conversation regarding Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. The City of Brookings does not qualify for CDBG funds based on community income; however, a special population survey for users of the food pantry was identified as a means to qualify the City of Brookings for the grant. An adequate survey response was received to qualify the City of Brookings for CDBG funding,” according to Meshke’s memo.

“The City Council had previously identified $300,000 to support the construction of a new food oantry building. At this time, it has been determined that the CDBG funding would cover all necessary site work and construction activities,” according to Meshke’s memo. 

“Currently, discussions are ongoing if the grant would cover design, engineering and construction management, which account for approximately $70,000 of the project. Other non-grant eligible expenses associated with the construction are not anticipated to exceed $30,000, which would make the total potential liability up to $100,000,” according to Meshke’s memo. 

“Future discussions on fund usage could occur on furniture, fixtures, and equipment for the new facility if the grant application is successful. First District Association of Local Governments would provide grant management services for the project to ensure that program requirements are met,” according to Meshke’s memo. 

Medical cannabis

One of the first readings will be a temporary ordinance to establish procedures pertaining to licensing medical cannabis establishments in the city. The public hearing will be June 22.

“The proposed ordinance is temporary while the city awaits guidance from the South Dakota Department of Health on rules and regulations pertaining to the licensing of medical cannabis facilities,” according to an attachment to the agenda.

“Initiated Measure 26 (IM 26), which legalized medical cannabis in the State of South Dakota, provides that the South Dakota Department of Health shall set rules for medical cannabis establishments no later than Oct. 29, 2021. Due to the current lack of Department of Health standards and requirements, the city’s current regulations and controls may not yet adequately address the unique needs and impacts of medical cannabis establishments,” according to a memo by Ryan Miller, city planner.

“The proposed ordinance is temporary while the city awaits guidance from the South Dakota Department of Health on rules and regulations pertaining to the licensing of medical cannabis facilities,” according to Miller’s memo.

“As IM 26 has an implementation date of July 1, 2021, this temporary ordinance would allow the city to deny any applications for medical cannabis facilities until such time as the state adopts rules and regulations for the licensing of medical cannabis facilities. In the interim, the city continues to research zoning regulations for medical cannabis facilities,” according to Miller’s memo.

Contact Jodelle Greiner at [email protected]

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