Council waives café fee

BROOKINGS – The Brookings City Council voted Tuesday to waive the permit fee for sidewalk cafés to give businesses more options during the COVID-19 pandemic.

City Manager Paul Briseno explained Ordinance 20-016. 

“The City of Brookings allows sidewalk cafés to serve alcohol and charges $100 per application. Staff recommends waiving the fee for any applicants through September 2021 to increase business under the current COVID-19 regulations,” according to a memo by Briseno attached to the agenda, available on the city’s website.

Section 6-8 of the city’s ordinances outlines sidewalk café rules, such as alcoholic beverage sales and consumption. An application for a sidewalk café permit shall be filed with the city clerk and must include a site plan which identifies the location of tables, chairs, umbrellas, trash receptacles, heaters and barricades. 

“From March 1, 2020, through July 1, 2021, the application fee is waived, and any fees previously paid during this period shall be refunded,” according to the amendment of the ordinance.

The configuration of the sidewalk cafés must meet ADA regulations of allowing 6 feet of unobstructed passage, structures for separation and assurances that proper measures will be taken to protect the public, according to Briseno’s memo.

The sidewalk cafés would also need to meet current COVID-19 restrictions, according to Briseno’s memo. 

Traffic signal bids

City Engineer Jackie Lanning on Tuesday explained a resolution to award the low bid to Timmons Construction Inc. to install traffic signal improvements at the intersection of Eighth Street South and Medary Avenue South.

“We … received four really good bids,” Lanning told the council.

Timmons bid $492,985, which is approximately 13% lower than the engineer’s estimate of $569,086, according to Lanning’s memo.

“This project was designed by Banner Associates and will include installing new signal poles with mast arms and luminaire lights, controller cabinet, video detection system, conduit, wiring, concrete curb and gutter and ramps and asphalt pavement. The project also includes lane widening for a new northbound right-turn lane and a westbound right-turn lane. In addition, each center turn lane will have left-turn signal arrows to improve the traffic flow,” according to a memo from Lanning.

“The project includes larger ramps for a future shared-use path on the north side of Eighth Street South,” according to an attachment.

Councilor Nick Wendell asked when it would be completed, since it’s on a school route.

It will be constructed during the summer of 2021, Lanning said.

911 radios

The council authorized saving approximately $35,000 over the next two years to pay for enhanced 911 radios. 

Ashley Rentsch, deputy finance manager, explained the plan to save money to pay for enhanced 911 radios in 2022.

“Due to a federal mandate requiring P25 Digital Radios by 2023, Enhanced 911 Dispatch is currently planning to purchase new radios in 2022. The approximate cost is $35,000,” according to a memo by Rentsch attached to the agenda.

“The department has decided to accumulate funds over the next two years for this purchase: $25,000 will be accumulated in 2021, which includes $10,000 to be carried forward from 2020. An additional $10,000 will be accumulated in 2022,” according to Rentsch’s memo.

“Project 25 (P25) is a set of standards for digital mobile radio communications developed to provide digital voice and data communication systems suited to public safety and first responders. This was initiated by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, and the radio equipment standards must be implemented by 2023 under this mandate,” according to Rentsch’s memo. 

“Each dispatch channel for Enhanced 911 requires a base station radio. The current radios are not P25 compliant. Enhanced 911 Dispatch will be required to purchase new radios in 2022 that meet these requirements,” according to Rentsch’s memo.


Contact Jodelle Greiner at [email protected]


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