‘Bridge to nowhere’ may have new home

Leslie Silverman

Where to park buses and recreational vehicles (RVs) was again discussed at the most recent Keystone town board meeting.

The town, which faces a huge parking dilemma when tourists visit for the season, has limited places to put busses, RVs and oversized vehicles.

“The problem I foresee,” said Pennington County Sheriff’s Office deputy Chris Plawman, “is if we require them to park too far away from downtown they’re just going to bypass the town. The closer to downtown we can get them to park I think the more people would utilize it and stay in town and spend money.”

Trustee Sandi McLain has discussed with Tammy Hunsaker and Derek Alexander using an area at the far end of Swanzey Street.

“If we could get a proposal from them to have a lease to the city we need a desperate location for RVs,” McLain said. “There’s no place in town once you run out of those four or five spots over by the chainsaw place.”

Trustee Kwinn Neff, who was not present at the meeting, has gotten permission to use the area in front of the Holy Terror Mine for bus parking. However, residents and officials see that as a necessary “turn around” spot.

“I think that’s a terrible idea, just because that’s where semis turn around. Where are you going to turn around if you don’t turn around right there?” said superintendent of Public Works Jerry Przybylski.

Another possible location on Roy Street was mentioned, although there was confusion as to whether the Pankratzs, who own the land, were giving the town permission. The old 1880 Train stop on Old Hill City Road was another possible staging place for buses.

President Lynette Gohsman offered to contact Meg Warder from the 1880 Train and the Pankratzs to find out for certain if either or both locations were viable.

A discussion on where to put the “bridge to nowhere” ended with a vote to replace the current Watson Park bridge with the “bridge to nowhere” that is currently sitting in a floodway field  and has been for the last “several” years.

“How can we as a town tell people that they cannot put anything in a floodway and then here we are as a town have the bridge sitting there?” Gohsman said.

The bridge has been engineered twice and will likely have to start all over again in the process. The town has set aside a small amount of money already for this.

The bridge in Watson Park is in good condition but “it’s not really a bridge” according to Przybylski.

Town Finance Officer Cassandra Ott will obtain a proposal from Interstate Engineering outlining the level of work needed to be done and the cost to move the “nowhere” bridge.

The board approved the proposal submitted by Interstate Engineering for the surveying and mapping of the town cemetery. The $9,000 project has already been budgeted for in a supplemental appropriation.

The yearly ground lease for parking, between the town and the Ramada, was approved. The lease allows the town to use some of the Ramada’s parking lot for tourist parking during the day while the hotel may use the Swanzey Street for overnight parking of hotel guests.

Keystone bingo ended for the season. Gohsman thanked Sherry Smith for all the food she brought to the event. She also thanked Przybylski and Plawman for their working putting together a silent auction.

Chamber director Robin Pladson has moved into her office at the senior center. Electrical updates to the building have been completed. Lunches will begin again at the center April 30.

The library will again be participating in the summer reading project. The library also received $415 from the recently held spring fling vendor show, which attracted close to 200 people. Pladson also reported the town collected $375 in vendor fees during the event.

Chamber numbers show 53 chamber member renewals and 31 brand new (more than two to six years since) memberships. Pladson has a list of summer events on the website. The Rod Run And Car Show alone, scheduled for May 21-23, has received 35,000 impressions.

The public works department is continuing to haul scrap metal. Discussion centering on how to pack and when to swap out dumpsters during clean up week took place with no action. The department has also been busy turning on water for businesses in town.

Dates on the Carrie Ingalls Birthday Festival are still up in the air, according to McLain, who sits on the planning committee. The town of Desmet has planned an event on the days originally chosen and the Keystone members are considering moving the event of the Monday and Tuesday after the Desmet event to attract people to both celebrations.

The board waived the use fee for the Keystone Community Center but stopped short of declaring a Special Event (lowering the vendor fees) until the official date is firmed up.

Officials numbers from the election were reviewed by the town board. The board voted to approve the canvas and results.

A malt beverage license was transferred from BRGR61 to BA Coffee Company and a new malt beverage license for the Last Mile Brewery was approved.

The traffic light in town will be turned on around May 1.

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