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City Council condemns old Longhorn Bar

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news Mitchell, 57301
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

The crumbling oldest building in Mitchell will be torn down.

The Mitchell City Council voted Monday night at City Hall to condemn the old Longhorn Bar, built in 1879, as well as an associated second brick building at 101 N. Main St.

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The council passed Resolution 3004 by a 5-3 vote to condemn the building, and move to tear it down, probably this fall.

The city's costs would be assessed against the property, not Jason Bates, who owns the property. However, Bates will still be responsible for current property taxes, the council said.

The Public Health & Safety Committee discussed the property for about a half-hour before the meeting. The council, which declared the property a public nuisance on June 12, also discussed it at length Monday.

The council had deadlocked at 4-4 to buy the building from Bates for $1 and then seek to recover the costs for demolishing it. Mayor Lou Sebert voted no to break the tie.

Councilman Greg McCurry said he has heard from several people that the building is not worth saving and is an eyesore.

"You don't want to put lipstick on a pig," he said.

Bates had offered a plan to repair the building but Public Works Director Tim McGannon said he could not accept it.

McGannon said it would cost about $75,000 to tear down the two buildings at the site, and put the material in the landfill. The city could then put in black dirt and plant grass. If and when the city sells the lot, it could get one-third of its investment back, he said.

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