Newell City Commission plans for Labor Day celebrations

July 13, 2018

NEWELL — The Newell City Commission met in its regular monthly meeting Monday and set in motion several plans for the annual Labor Day celebration weekend in Newell. Commissioners approved Jean Smeenk’s proposal for the second annual mud volleyball tournament to be held at the ice skating rink just west of the entrance to the rodeo grounds.

“It would be nice if we had a bit less water this year,” Smeenk said. “Last year it was about to the knees and made things a little difficult.”

City Foreman Larry Parker said he and Smeenk would meet to discuss the planning for the event.

The commission also approved blocking off Girard Street on Saturday, Sept. 1, for the Newell Bar and Liquor Store street dance, which will begin at 5 p.m. and last until 2 a.m.

The board had little discussion on several items, including the naming of those to serve on the newly created “Beautification Committee,” which was a goal of Mayor Ken Wetz. Commissioners Chad Erk and Andy Howie are to serve from the commission, along with three residents, which include Rachel Blake and Buzz Sinner and a yet to be announced third person. The goal for this committee will be to gather information and report to the board about issues and ideas they have about properties in the city limits needing attention as well as projects to further beautify the area.

In reference to the issues part of this committee, Commission Connie Humble asked, “Do we have any records of the properties John (Perry, former ordinance officer) had started?”

Finance Officer Jen Parrow said that there were records, and Wetz stated that those would be reviewed. This is an effort on Wetz’s part to include residents in the effort to get the residences and commercial areas looking sharp.

A bit of time was used up during department reports. Fire Chief Verl Tifft was questioned by Wetz about compensation for the department’s work when it receives a signal (accident) call.

“Do you get any kind of pay for those?” asked Wetz.

Tifft responded that the only pay that is received by the department is for fires, and that came in the form of money from the county commission.

“Sometimes, if the property owner (in a fire) has insurance, we can submit a form and get some money,” said Larry Parker, another volunteer with the department. He said the department did not receive anything for accidents or other types of calls.

Bar Manager Lorri Olson said she was working on the annual Poker Run during the motorcycle Rally and Museum Curator Linda Velder said they were looking for “fun” ideas to include during the run. A portion of the money raised goes to the museum.

“We’d like to have something fun at each stop,” said Velder. She is looking for ideas, especially from those who might participate and singled out Commissioner Don Adams.

The board approved three building permit issues, as well as accepting a bid of $375 for the 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup with a blown motor from Jerry Peters of Belle Fourche. The pickup had been put on the surplus list at an earlier meeting, and the city had requested bids, receiving just one.

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