Council considers Public Works Dept.


BROOKINGS – The Brookings City Council will hear a first reading on an ordinance to establish a Public Works Department during its meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the City & County Government Center.

The council will also consider a real estate sale for a construction project at 15th Street South and Seventh Avenue South.

Public Works Dept.

“The city manager is recommending a reorganization with the establishment of a Public Works Department to develop a more cohesive department with coordinated efforts of services for the community,” according to an attachment to the agenda.

“The department would contain the divisions of Engineering, Solid Waste, and Streets. This recommendation does not add any new employees and has no impact on the General Fund. The restructuring allows for a future savings in salaries with a reduction of departments/directors,” according to a memo by City Manager Paul Briseno attached to the agenda.

“The City of Brookings currently has 15 direct departments, directors or divisions that report to the city manager. … The current structure does not allow for effective and efficient management. When open positions occur, staff is tasked with determining the greatest use of operational resources. The current structure has been in place since 2000, with the exception of the Community Development Department addition. No legislative action was taken formally to incorporate this department,” according to Briseno’s memo.

“Approval of the organizational shift will decrease the number of departments and directors to 11,” according to Briseno’s memo. 

“The reorganization adjusts the Solid Waste, Streets, and Engineering directors to a manager salary classification. The existing Solid Waste and Engineering directors would maintain their existing title and salary until a future transition occurs from retirement. The newly created Public Works Department would contain the functions of engineering, stormwater, airport, snow removal, mosquito control, street maintenance, fleet, landfill and refuse collection,” according to Briseno’s memo. 

“More importantly, the change allows for greater collaboration between all divisions which can naturally share resources, communication and planning,” according to Briseno’s memo.

Any salary augmentation for the Public Works Director’s salary will be compensated from the Solid Waste Enterprise Fund. The proposed salary range for the Public Works director is $97,714-$131,914, Briseno reported. 

“The reduction of Solid Waste, Engineering, and Street directors to managers drops the positions range to … $77,569-$104,719. It’s proposed that existing individuals in the Solid Waste and Engineering Departments would not be financially impacted and change would occur with future transitions,” according to Briseno’s memo.

Real estate sale

The council will consider a real estate sale for the proposed construction to connect 15th Street South and Seventh Avenue South.

“City staff have been working with property owners Mike and Kathy McClemans related to their property, which is adjacent to the 15th Street South and Seventh Avenue South project. Mr. and Mrs. McClemans have agreed to convey approximately 3.48 acres of land to the City,” according to a memo by City Engineer Jackie Lanning.

The project has been in the works for a while.

“The City retained the services of Civil Design Inc. to design the street construction project for 15th Street South and Seventh Avenue South .... The street project includes water and sanitary sewer mains and services, grading, gravel, curb and gutter, asphalt pavement, storm sewer, detention pond, and wetland mitigation. The City Council held a public hearing on October 23, 2018, on the Resolution of Necessity for this project, which was tabled for storm drainage and easement discussions with land owners,” according to Lanning’s memo.

She also explained the financial considerations.

“The City will be responsible for the approximate assessment cost of $178,668 for the street assessment along the frontage of the property being transferred to the City. The proposed assessment cost for the City has been included in the 2021 budget for this project,” according to Lanning’s memo. 

“In exchange for the property, the City agrees to pay for platting costs, waive all assessments that the McClemanses would otherwise be responsible for, and to pay for surveying and engineering costs to design and construct an earthen channel from 15th Street South to the north entrance of the McClemans Addition detention pond,” according to Lanning’s memo.

Other items

Other items on the Tuesday agenda include an update on the settlement agreement and release regarding the Brookings County Detention Center project and a proclamation for National Disability Employment Awareness Monday in October.

The council will consider the Police Department Union contract and the city’s general employee contract, as well as resolutions to award bids on contractor snow removal equipment and snow and ice removal road salt.

The council will also have public hearings on changing the deadlines for preliminary plats, the storm drainage improvements for the State Avenue Watershed Improvement project, and a liquor agreement for the Main Street Pub.

Contact Jodelle Greiner at [email protected]

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