An olive branch

The Flandreau City Council voted this past week, ahead of passing a formal budget for this next fiscal year, to unrestrict the $20,000 that it typically allocates to River’s Bend Golf Course. Council members also, after much discussion recently about how to best support the course, its crews and volunteers, allocated the course an additional unrestricted $10,000.
The funds, Council members believe, could go toward hiring a full-time Greens Keeper. A committee appointed to study the course’s biggest challenges earlier this year, told City Council members recently that the best possible future for the course was for the City to take it over. The City, committee members argued, could offer someone a full-time, year-round position with benefits as Greens Keeper during the golf season and another city role throughout the winter months. It’s just not something they can offer and as a result, no one has applied for the role. The transfer wasn’t accepted.
“Obviously it’s not what they wanted but they’re appreciative we’re willing to unrestrict the funds and see what they can do,” Mayor Dan Sutton told the Council.
Golf course Committee Member Jason Ramsdell said that the course and its members are appreciative of the additional funds and they continue to be optimistic. But they worry little will change.
“We’ve advertised locally, hit up nearby colleges, but because it’s a small 9-hole course, and not 12-month work, we can’t get someone. The pay is competitive, it’s just the fact of being a small course here that doesn’t have a lot to offer like an 18-hole scenario. Truly it’s boiled down to no benefits and no 12-month pay,” said Ramsdell.
Also heard at the most recent meeting of the Flandreau City Council on September 19, 2022:
New Finance Officer Lori Kneebone applied to get the city a rating as a member of the South Dakota Public Assurance Alliance. Flandreau was awarded a Bronze rating, which is the highest that a new entity can be rated. Each year, cities can reapply. SDPAA is member owned and helps to protect municipalities, counties, townships, conservation districts, and special districts from liability and property loss exposures. There are over 400 South Dakota participating local governmental entities .
Mayor Dan Sutton and the City Clerk brought forth and signed a resolution removing the Crescent Street Bridge from the city’s inventory. With the signatures on the agreement, Flandreau can not receive another grant from the state DOT, or any other state or federal bridge funds, to replace the structure. The property will become part of the Flandreau Santee Sioux’s inventory and the plan is for the BIA to seek funding to replace the structure.
City crews would still help take care of things like plowing during the winter months as part of the unique partnership.
Mayor Sutton and Administrator Cohl Turnquist also met with FSST leaders to discuss the new bike path and entryway project. The City and FDC are currently waiting on a formal letter of support for the project from the tribe ahead of the grant application to go in that will support funding for the project.
City Administrator Cohl Turnquist has been in contact with the architect for the Fire Station project, current plans are under review and he is hopeful the bid process will take place soon. Turnquist also met recently with the airport consultant selection committee and informed Council that the committee selected Helms and Associates for various projects.


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