The Jefferson City Council approved two of three bids received for demolition of red-tagged properties.

Mike Chicoine had the low bids for both projects: $12,000 for 503 Main Street and $16,000 for 219 Main Street, plus the cost of insurance. The council approved paying him $12,300, not to exceed $12,500 for 503 Main; and $16,300 not to exceed $16,500 for 219.

The houses at 709 and 711 Main Street were also slated for demolition, but City Attorney Sabrina LaFleur-Sayler read a letter from Gloria Navrkal saying she wants to buy the properties. Police Chief Randy Crum said there is a private contract to remove the homes next week. Therefore, the council took no action on the bids on those properties.

Council members asked Crum to let Chicoine know they’d like the work completed as soon as possible.

In his report, Crum told the council about problems at another red-tagged property – the old high school. He and Police Officer Bill Manger saw a number of bicycles sitting in the school yard and found windows broken out on the far side. They were not able to locate the intruders, but Crum said there’s no reason they would not come back. He wants the owner, John Wakefield, to build the fence he promised to keep intruders out. LaFleur-Sayler will send Wakefield a letter with that request, and also point out to him his liability should an intruder be injured on his property.

Crum also talked about the number of trucks leaving I-29 at the Jefferson exit and going up the old highway to avoid the weigh station. He said he and Manger have been stopping any they see, pointing out that there is no truck route through town.

Nicki Werner appeared before the council to talk about a new business she is starting – Jefferson Beer Supply. She envisions a full-service brewery, from brewing the beer, to selling it wholesale, to holding beer tastings onsite. She sees it as a neighborhood gathering space. Werner is currently renovating the building at 202 Main Street. Werner said the opportunity is huge.

“Here in South Dakota we’re regularly one of the top states for beer and drink consumption per capita, but we’re 43rd for beer production per capita,” Werner said. “What that breaks down to is, there’s a lot of beer being drunk in South Dakota, but people in other states are making a lot of money off it.”

See full story in this week’s Leader-Courier.