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$175,000 purchase of VFW building up for approval

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The Mitchell City Council will consider buying the damaged Veterans of Foreign Wars building for $175,000 at its meeting tonight.

The council meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 612 N. Main St. The meeting is being held Tuesday instead of Monday because of the Labor Day holiday.

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The council voted 6-1 on first reading to acquire the VFW building for $175,000 at its last meeting Aug. 19. Councilman Dan Allen was the only member to vote against it. Councilwoman Susan Tjarks was absent. The ordinance will get a second reading and could be formally adopted at tonight's meeting.

The city has already offered the VFW $150,000 for the three-walled building, which was damaged during the demolition of the former Longhorn Bar, with which the VFW building shared a wall. But, at the council's Aug. 5 meeting, VFW Post Commander Pat Ziegler asked the council to increase the offer so the VFW can afford to move to a new location.

Ziegler said the VFW is looking at the former Cherrybees building, located on North Lawler Street, just east of Main Street, as a possible new location. Cherrybees, a floral shop, recently moved onto Main Street.

The former Longhorn -- the oldest building in Mitchell -- was deemed unsafe after a wall collapse. The city bought the southern downtown building from the owner for $1, who said he lacked the resources to repair or demolish the building. He moved his business across the street.

Demolition of the former Longhorn began May 14 but was halted two days later when it was discovered the building's shared wall with the VFW building was unstable.

The VFW was forced to close for more than a month as a result of the situation.

Consent agenda

Council members plan to consider approving the following items as part of a consent agenda:

• The meeting agenda, council minutes from the prior meeting, planning commission minutes from July 22 and Aug. 12, and traffic commission minutes from Aug. 19.

• An application of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of South Dakota for a special event malt beverage and wine license for Summer's Last Dance Sept. 7 at Hitchcock Park.

• An application of ParTee Bar for a special event liquor license for the Pheasants Forever Banquet Oct. 18 at the Corn Palace.

• Approve raffle requests from the Longfellow parent-teacher organization, with the drawing Sept. 21; the Mitchell Athletics Booster Club, with the drawing Sept. 21; the city Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, Bella's Butterfly Garden, with the drawing Oct. 7; the L.B. Williams parent-teacher organization, with the drawing Oct. 12; the Mitchell High School cheerleaders, with the drawing at each home football and basketball game; and the Mitchell Skating and Hockey Association, with the drawing in February.

• A lottery game of chance for the Mitchell Area Safehouse Foundation to be held Feb. 22.

• Set a Sept. 16 date for a hearing on the application of the American Legion for a special event liquor license for the Bull Bash, Oct. 4-5, in the 600 block of North Main Street and the north City Hall parking lot.

• An automatic supplement of $1,500 from donated funds to the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department's special revenue fund for Bella's Butterfly Garden.

• A change order from H&W Contracting for the Capital Street improvement project with no change in the contracted amount; and a $31,257 change order from Ironman Construction for the Longhorn Bar demolition for additional work related to the unstable shared wall, bringing the total contracted amount to $173,973.48.

• A list of pay estimates.

• Approve bills, payroll salary adjustments and new employee hires, and authorize the payment of recurring and other expenses in advance as approved by the finance officer.

Other business

In scheduled business, council members plan to:

• Sit as the board of adjustment and set a Sept. 16 date for hearings on the applications of Troy Helleloid for a conditional-use permit to construct an accessory building across from 25 West Harmon Drive; and Rodney Klinger for a backyard variance of 17 feet rather than 25 feet for the installation of a roof overhang for an existing deck at 1411 Sharpstone Drive.

• Award bids for a storage shed project for the Mitchell School District, which was tabled at the Aug. 19 meeting, and for a landfill compactor project.

• Consider approving an application to transfer a retail on-off sale malt beverage license from Big Dummy's, 108/110/112 North Main Street to Aces & 8's Pub & Grub, 505 North Main Street.

• Consider adopting a resolution to plat Lot 12, Block 9 of CJM Second Addition, in the northwest quarter of Section 32, Township 104 North, Range 60 West of the fifth P.M., city of Mitchell.

• Conduct the first of two required readings of the annual appropriations ordinance for 2014.

• Conduct the first of two required readings of an ordinance to supplement the health and welfare portion of the general fund with $175,000 from the general fund cash balance for demolition of the VFW building; and the Antach/Mitchell High School TIF portion of the capital projects fund with $66,000 from the general fund for infrastructure construction.

• Consider approving an agreement with Helms & Associates, of Aberdeen, for engineering services for the construction of a third cell at the city's landfill, in an estimated amount of $136,766.

• Consider approving a final financial closeout for the Mitchell Municipal Airport improvement project as prepared by Helms & Associates and authorize the mayor to sign final documentation.

• Consider approving an agreement with SHE Inc. for consulting services related to the Longhorn/VFW demolition, in an amount less than $8,450.

• Consider approving an agreement with the South Dakota Department of Transportation for state financial assistance for pavement maintenance at the Mitchell Municipal Airport.

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