Trash talk over as action begins

Leslie Silverman
Downtown Keystone got a mini-makeover prior to the start of rally week. 
Town board president Kwinn Neff could be seen by business owners cleaning the streets of the town. Neff rented a pressure washer and along with the public works department and the Battle Creek Fire Department helped to beautify the town. The fire department will not bill the town for the work and considers the efforts a part of the partnership the town has with the department. 
Business owners throughout town were elated.
“This should happen on a regular basis,” said Kristen Marshall, assistant manager at the Keystone Mercantile, who saw Neff pushing a broom down Winter Street. Marshall was “thrilled” to see the town working together for what she called “the right thing to do.”
Marshall, like other business owners and employees, understands the need to keep the town looking pleasant for tourists so that they will want to come back. Marshall would like to see trash cans emptied daily and the streets cleaned on a regular basis, and hopes that this latest effort continues.
“What is our goal?” she asks rhetorically.
Rather than pointing fingers she knows that businesses and the town both want to have customers come back. She recently visited the small town of Medora, N.D., and remarked on its cleanliness and the flower beds lining the streets.
“That’s the way it should be,” she said.
Marshall isn’t alone on the idea of flowers or of regular street cleaning. Lisa Schaeffer, who owns the Red Garter Saloon and is notorious for cleaning the common area outside her business on a regular basis, also would like to see the town plant flowers and “ be as beautiful as Sturgis.” 
Schaeffer agrees with Marshall that the town needs to pressure wash more often.
“It’s awesome to have a clean city. I really appreciate them doing this. We need to do this all the time,” she said.
An employee at the Emporium who wanted to remain anonymous noticed an area in front of her shop that is usually filled with mud was clean for the first time in a long time. The mud would seep into hard to get street corners due to the recently installed DOT bump outs. The bump outs are in the state right of way but are the responsibility of the business openers to maintain. Yet because of their design, cleaning them is very difficult. The DOT is aware of the bump out issue and will be replacing drains after Labor Day weekend.
Neff used a hot water pressure washer with a degreaser. The process took about five hours but would likely take less time if done more often. He billed the town about $200 for the effort including the cost to rent the machine.
Chelon Fichter of Wild West Soda of South Dakota echoed the sentiment of the other business owners.
“I appreciate them doing it and making these small steps. It’s important for us all to work together. We got our trash cans, Amen. That’s the beginning, she added half-jokingly. “Now if we can only get the cigarette butts taken care of.”

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