Mitchell City Council plans to decide on texting ban repeal
The Mitchell City Council is set to decide tonight whether to repeal the city's ban on texting while driving once a new statewide ban takes effect later this year.
The agenda includes a 6:30 p.m. Public Health and Safety Committee meeting, a 6:35 p.m. Lake Mitchell Advisory Committee meeting, a 7 p.m. Sidewalk Committee meeting, a 7:10 p.m. Public Works Committee meeting and the 7:30 p.m. City Council meeting, all in Council Chambers at City Hall, 612 N. Main St.
The council gave initial approval to a repeal of the city's texting ban, which has been in effect for almost a year, with a 4-2 vote at its last meeting April 7.
A repeal of the city's texting ban was proposed after a bill to ban texting while driving in all of South Dakota was signed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard late last month. The state's ban, which does not explicitly forbid local governments from passing or enforcing their own stricter texting bans, will take effect July 1.
The city's ban, which is stricter than the state's ban, makes texting while driving a primary offense, which means law enforcement is able to stop a driver thought to be texting even if no other offense is suspected. The city's fine is $120.
The state's ban will make texting while driving a secondary offense. That means law enforcement is only allowed to ticket a driver for texting while driving if that driver was stopped for another offense. The state's fine is $100.
In an interview Friday with The Daily Republic, Mayor Ken Tracy said he still prefers the city's ban to the state's ban and hopes the council will at least keep texting while driving a primary offense in the city.
In addition to Mitchell, seven cities and one county in the state have already enacted their own bans on texting while driving. They are Aberdeen, Watertown, Box Elder, Huron, Vermillion, Brookings, Sioux Falls and Pennington County.
Council members plan to consider approving the following items as part of a consent agenda:
• The agenda, minutes from the prior meeting, minutes from various committee meetings and reports from various city departments.
• A raffle request from Abbott House, with the drawing to be held Nov. 15.
• A raffle request from Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mitchell area, with the drawing to be held Aug. 20.
• An automatic supplement of $11,837 to the water treatment enterprise fund from an insurance claim reimbursement for roof wind damage.
• Set a May 5 date for a hearing on the application of Imagine Guild Inc. for a special event malt beverage license, a consumption permit and a noise permit for the Memorial Weekend in Mitchell and Barbecue Cook-Off, to be held May 24.
• A list of pay estimates.
• Bills, payroll, salary adjustments and new employee hires, and authorization for payment of recurring and other expenses in advance as approved by the finance officer.
In scheduled business tonight, council members plan to:
• Consider, during a 6:30 p.m. Public Health and Safety Committee meeting, a request for a fireworks permit from Jennifer Starr for May 9.
• Consider, during a 6:35 p.m. Lake Committee meeting, a public dock program at Lake Mitchell.
• Consider, during a 7 p.m. Sidewalk Committee meeting, a sidewalk waiver for the 2200 block of South Mentzer Street.
• Consider, during a 7:10 p.m. Public Works Committee meeting, urban boundary changes and functional class changes for certain roads.
• Sit as the board of adjustment and conduct a hearing on the application of Lyn Rysavy for a side-yard on a corner variance of 17 feet, 6 inches, instead of the required 20 feet; and conduct a hearing on the application of Doug Krantz, doing business as Krantz LLC, for a conditional-use permit for additional self-storage units at 2316 S. Ohlman St.
• Conduct the first of two required readings of an ordinance to rezone property at 2316 S. Ohlman St. from Urban Development District to Highway Oriented Business District.
• Hold a discussion with the Mitchell Housing Authority regarding current and future projects.
• Hold a discussion about panhandlers in the city.
• Set a May 5 date for a hearing on a proposed resolution of necessity for the 1400-1700 blocks of East First Avenue.
• Consider approving a contingency transfer of $14,500 to the general fund for professional services.
• Consider approving a resolution to plat Lot 9A, a subdivision of previously platted Lot 9 of D. Odegaard's First Addition, a subdivision of previously platted Lot 5 of Fiala's Addition, city of Mitchell.
• Consider approving a resolution to provide the South Dakota Department of Transportation with a map depicting the city of Mitchell's urban boundaries, as approved by state and local officials pursuant to the Federal Aid Highway Policy Guide of 1991.
• Consider approving a resolution updating the functional classifications of certain roads in the city of Mitchell based on recommendations from the South Dakota Department of Transportation.
• Conduct the second of two required readings and hold a final vote on an ordinance to add Kimball Street, from Fifth Avenue to Seventh Avenue, to the city's emergency snow route, and Kimball Street, from First Avenue to Fifth Avenue, to a snow removal district.
• Conduct the second of two required readings and hold a final vote on an ordinance to supplement the wastewater treatment portion of the enterprise fund with $17,000 from the sewer fund cash balance for pump repair and landfill portion of the sanitation fund with $45,000 from the sanitation fund cash balance for landfill cell construction.
• Conduct the second of two required readings and hold a final vote on an ordinance to amend Title 3, Chapter 1 of the Mitchell City Code by changing the time for appointment of persons to the boards, commissions and standing committees of the city.
• Conduct the first of two required readings on an ordinance to amend Chapter 8, City Personnel, by eliminating the personnel policy handbook requirement for employee termination, discipline, termination and grievance and appeal provisions.
• Conduct the first of two required readings on an ordinance allow to allow golf carts, including electric golf carts, to travel on roads in the city.
• Conduct the first of two required readings on an ordinance to supplement storm drainage portion of the general fund with $22,000 from the general fund cash balance for storm drainage improvements on West Second Avenue; the water treatment plant and the water distribution portions of the enterprise fund with $5,000 for roofing repairs, $17,000 for water utilities on East 10th Avenue and $12,000 for water utilities on West Second Avenue, all from the water fund cash balance; and the waste water collection portion of the sewer fund with $20,000 for sewer utilities on West Second Avenue and $12,000 for sewer utilities on East 10th Avenue, all from the sewer fund cash balance.
• Consider approving an agreement to transfer entitlements with the South Dakota Department of Transportation for SRE equipment for the Mitchell Airport in the amount of $125,000.
• Consider approving a work order for annual bridge inspection agreement for consultant with South Dakota Department of Transportation utilizing Brosz Engineering.