$100,000 Going To Event Center

The Britton City Council unanimously approved spending up to $100,000 from its capital outlay fund at its regular meeting Monday to wrap up some unfinished projects at the Britton Area Event Center.

Number one on the list is an elevator to allow handicapped accessibility to the second level that will allow finishing work to occur on that floor. Donations have already been received for two meetings rooms on the second floor. A $20,000 donation has also been earmarked for the elevator.

Also included is a public address system, a soundproof curtain for the stage, stage lighting, and a security system for the building. The curtain will be on a track to allow flexibility on how the the ater and main gym area can be used.

The board also discussed how rising COVID-19 cases may affect the city. Marshall County Healthcare Center (MCHC) Administrator Nick Fosness and Clinic Director Mandy Carlson talked with the council on the current situation in the county.

“The MCHC and Avera are encouraging people to follow CDC guidelines and mask, social distance, and wash hands,” stressed Fosness. “We want people to do activities safely and to protect those that are vulnerable.”

COVID-19 cases in the county increased by 15 this week, and Fosness said that number is a bit misleading.

“Up to this point we’ve been in a bubble, but the river is rising and Marshall County is now considered as having substantial community spread like just about every other county in the state,” Fosness noted. “There are also some people with symptoms that have not been tested because they’ve been asked to stay at home and not risk infecting other people.”

The council and MCHC agreed to work together to develop an advertising campaign to remind area residents of good safety protocol regarding the virus.

In a related issue the council has agreed to permit MCHC to put some exercise equipment in the conference room in the Event Center. The MCHC Wellness Center, which has over 200 members, has been closed since mid-March and is now being used as a Wellness Clinic. Equipment will likely remain at the Event Center until the MCHC renovation project is complete and will be open to the public under rules established by MCHC.

Council members also discussed Stalker Radar, a noncontact body temperature screening device, as a possibility for the Event Center.

“I’m just curious about what our new normal will be for public places,” said Mayor Clyde Fredrickson. “This equipment would indicate if anyone wishing to use the Event Center had an above normal temperature, and I think I would be in favor of something like that.”

Cost of the equipment would run about $2,500. No action was taken.

The council held a Zoom meeting with Damian Gable, architect for the MCHC project. Zoning issues were discussed and the city expressed its desire to help the project move forward smoothly.

In other action the board authorized Fredrickson to negotiate with Reliabank of Watertown for possible purchase of the Leewood Apartments. The building, located on the south side of Britton, has been vacant for many years and was recently purchased at public auction by the bank.

SLH Holdings of Brookings has expressed interest in owning and refurbishing the property and then managing it as an apartment complex. SLH earlier met with the council and asked that it consider donating the property as a form of economic development for the community.

The board approved liquor license renewals for Ken’s Food Fair, Flowers By Anita, Snapper’s Dry Bean, Cliff’s 1- Stop, VFW, Northern Lights Inn, and Dollar General.

The council decided to purchase a new mosquito fogger using $11,000 from the West Nile budget at a total cost of $13,252. Discussion was also held on the purchase of a pickup for city use and a mower for the airport but no action was taken.

The next meeting of the board will be Monday, Dec. 14.

Marshall County Journal

PO Box 69, Britton, SD 57430
Phone: (605) 448-2281
Fax: (605) 448-2282