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Mitchell City Council to discuss hiring consultant for new rec center

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news Mitchell, 57301
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

Discussion of hiring a consultant to research the city’s options for developing a new Recreation Center is on the Mitchell City Council’s agenda tonight.

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The agenda includes a 7 p.m. Sidewalk Committee meeting, a 7:20 p.m. Finance Committee meeting and the 7:30 p.m. City Council meeting, all in Council Chambers at City Hall, 612 N. Main St.

At the Oct. 7 council meeting, Tom Clark, regional president and CEO of Avera Queen of Peace Hospital, approached city officials to discuss the possibility of forming a partnership to build a recreation/wellness center in Mitchell.

Clark said Avera is willing to split the cost with the city for a consultant, who could identify various options and give recommendations for such a project. He estimated a consultant would cost approximately $25,000.

Mayor Ken Tracy said Friday that the discussion at tonight’s meeting will most likely focus on whether to hire a consultant for the project, but could also include discussion about how the city would like to proceed with the project long term.

It’s likely no firm decisions regarding the project will be made at tonight’s meeting, Tracy said.

City administrator

The council plans to hear public input at tonight’s meeting about a proposal to add a city administrator to the city’s government.

For months, city officials have discussed the idea of adding a city administrator, who would oversee the city’s department heads on a day-to-day basis and essentially act as an assistant to the mayor.

The proposal to add a city administrator is different from one put forward to add a city manager to the city’s government that was rejected by Mitchell voters in 2011.

Unlike city managers, city administrators are not the chief executives of the cities they serve, and instead are accountable to the mayor; they have little, if any, authority to hire or fire city employees or prepare a city budget; and only have the authorities granted to them by a mayor or by ordinance, according to Matthew Fairholm, a political science professor at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. Fairholm met with the council at its last meeting Nov. 18.

There are 20 cities in South Dakota with city administrators, according to information presented at the Oct. 7 council meeting.

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 and minutes from various committee meetings.
    • An automatic supplement of $3,460 to the Parks and Recreation Special Revenue Fund from a reimbursement for Bella’s Butterfly Garden.
    • A raffle request from John Paul II Elementary, with the drawing to be held Jan. 27.
    • Set a Dec. 13 date to receive and consider bids for the city’s recycling contract, to be held at 1:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.
    • Set a Jan. 6 date to receive and consider bids for concrete pipe supply, to be held at 1:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.
    • Change orders for the Mitchell Activities Center project to Palace Builders Inc., including a $22,857.95 increase to insulate sewer and water lines, a $1,030.73 increase to raise a fire hydrant, a $1,189 decrease for the city to supply materials, a $2,040 increase to change the interior paint, a $550 increase to revise waterlines, and a $511.11 decrease for city to paint the parking lot.
    • A change order increasing the cost of the Norway Lift Station project by $2,311.71, for a total contract amount of $461,752.31 to First Rate Excavating.
    • A change order decreasing the cost of the Capital Street project by $195, for a total contract amount of $733,485.91 to H&W Contracting.
    • 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.
    • A list of pay estimates.
    • Gas and diesel fuel bids.

Other business

In scheduled business tonight, council members plan to:

  • Sit as the board of adjustment and set a Dec. 16 date for a hearing on the application of Mike and Elaine Rieck for a side yard setback variance of 3 feet versus the required 8 feet, to construct an addition to their attached garage located at 2901 Dailey Drive.
  • Consider, during a 7 p.m. Sidewalk Committee meeting, potential sidewalk projects for 2014.
  • Consider, during a 7:20 p.m. Finance Committee meeting, writing off $19,358.51 in delinquent utility accounts for 2012, which represents less than 1 percent of the $5.09 million in total utility billings collected.
  • Consider adopting a resolution to use $12,000 from the general fund to provide interim financing for the tax increment financing district at Mitchell Technical Institute’s south campus.
  • n Consider approving the installation of flashing yellow lights and 15 mph speed limit signs on Capital Street, in front of Mitchell High School.
  • Consider the second reading and conduct a final vote on an ordinance to supplement the traffic, fire, public works, street and sidewalk, cemetery, health and welfare, and animal control portions of the general fund from the general fund cash balance; the parks portion of the Parks and Recreation special revenue fund from the parks fund cash balance; the Palace Transit and Sanborn County Transit portions of the Senior Services special revenue fund from the Senior Services cash balance; the nutrition portion of the Senior Services special revenue fund from the nutrition fund cash balance; the Iverson TIF, Vantage Point TIF, MADC Business Park TIF and ProBuild TIF portions of the debt service fund from property tax receipts; and various enterprise funds.
  • Consider the second reading and conduct a final vote on an ordinance to supplement the wastewater portion of the enterprise fund with $24,500 from the sewer fund cash balance for pump repairs.
  • Consider the first of two required readings of an ordinance to supplement the City Council portion of the general fund with $2,500 for legal publications, the municipal buildings portion of the general fund with $7,000 for building repair at the James Valley Community Center, the police portion of the general fund with $2,000 for utilities, the traffic portion of the general fund with $2,500 for light maintenance and $7,000 for street light utilities, all from the general fund cash balance; the culture and recreation portion of the general fund with $40,000 for sports authority promotion from business improvement district tax collections; the ProBuild TIF portion of the debt service fund with $10,500 for bond interest from property tax revenue; the sports complexes portion of the special revenue fund with $2,500 for part-time salaries, $2,000 for repair and maintenance and $1,000 for fuel, all from the park fund cash balance; the parks portion of the special revenue fund with $1,700 for repair and maintenance and $3,000 for fuel, both from the park fund cash balance; and the landfill portion of the enterprise fund with $5,000 for state garbage tax and $4,000 for sales tax, both from the sanitation fund cash balance.
  • Consider approval of applications for the renewal of liquor and wine licenses.
  • Consider approval of the appointment of Melanie Mullenmeister to the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Board and the appointment of Tom Patzer to the Lake Mitchell Advisory Committee.
  • Conduct an executive session for the purpose of consulting with legal counsel or reviewing communications from legal counsel about proposed or pending litigation or contractual matters.
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