Clubs and Organizations City manager
speaks to Rotary The Vermillion Rotary Club held its weekly luncheon meeting on Tuesday, May 26, at the Neuharth Center on the campus of USD. President-elect David Lorenz opened the meeting and led us in the invocation. This was followed by a round of singing, introduction of guests, and announcements. President-elect David Lorenz introduced John Prescott as our speaker for the day. John is the city manager of Vermillion. He also introduced two interns working in his office: Jeff Melhoff and Evie Johnson. They assisted in the preparation of his presentation concerning recently completed and ongoing projects in Vermillion. He began by saying how pleased the city is with the new City Hall. It contains 31,000 square feet of space. It was funded by $1.5 million from the second penny sales tax and $4 million of bond proceeds. It replaced the old city hall, which was inadequate and non-compliant in many respects. There are spaces which can accommodate significant future growth. There are conference rooms available to the public for meetings. He also reported on the progress of the downtown streetscape project. This was funded by a federal grant of $435,000 requiring an 18 percent local match, which also came from the second penny tax. The project includes a "pocket park" next to the Hollywood Theater and a public plaza on the corner of Market Street and Main Street intended for community events. Project completion is scheduled for July 15. The city has also received a $750,000 federal grant for expanding the hike/bike path. This path will extend along the Vermillion River to Dawson Bridge and also along the south side of Highway 50 from Highway 19 to Dakota Street. Another project is the continuation of upgrading the airport. In 2005 the airport was upgraded with pilot controlled lighting, ramp lighting, snow removal equipment, upgraded fueling system, and weather reporting equipment. The current project will improve the runway with a new concrete overlay funded 95 percent by federal funding with a completion date of Aug. 9 for the Sesquicentennial celebration. The wastewater treatment plant is also scheduled for upgrading in light of future expansion and will be capable of handling 4.1 million gallons per day. Voters approved a new power transmission line, which will begin construction in 2010. This will cover the 20 miles from the Spirit Mound switching station to Vermillion. The Crawford Road extension will be starting soon with a completion date of Nov. 1. John also mentioned that curbside recycling will start about Sept. 1 and will cost about $3.50 per household per month. Future expansion will include apartments and businesses. Funds from the national Stimulus Bill may provide the means to provide recycling bins to households, replace the furnace in the Carnegie Library, fund slip line replacement for some of the aging sewer lines, and possibly add one additional police officer. John also took questions from the audience.