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Public forum set for pool project

The Mitchell City Council agreed Monday night to schedule a public forum on a proposal to build a competition-sized indoor pool in the city.

The public forum is scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 27 in Council Chambers at City Hall, 612 N. Main St., to allow the public to directly address the council about a proposal to build an indoor pool next to Dakota Wesleyan University's as-yet unbuilt wellness center on the south side of the school's campus in Mitchell.

"Before we move much further forward, we need to give people an opportunity to express their opinions," said Mayor Ken Tracy.

At Monday night's regular council meeting, the council created a fund dedicated to the city's proposal to build an indoor pool. Then, the council gave initial approval to supplement that fund with $25,000 to pay for an architect to design the project. Given the council's initial approval, the ordinance will now go to a second reading and final vote at the council's next meeting, scheduled for Sept. 2, a few days after the forum.

Councilman Mel Olson said the council's initial approval of the appropriation will allow the council to make a final decision after the forum.

"If they want to go forward, we'll go forward," he said. "If they don't, we'll kill it on second reading."

Dakota Wesleyan plans to begin work this fall on a $10 million, 90,000-square-foot wellness center. If the city builds an indoor swimming pool, the two facilities could be built next to other, or could even be attached.

Tracy said the city's proposed indoor swimming pool is expected to cost roughly $6 million. Despite the proximity of the two projects, the city and school would pay for their own facilities and not share in the cost of construction.

The Mitchell Aquatic Club has pledged to raise $1 million if the city chooses to move ahead with

the project.

After Councilman Steve Rice and Councilman Randy Doescher each expressed some concern about the future operation and maintenance costs of an indoor pool, Mitchell Aquatic Club President Ryan Huber told the council that operation and maintenance costs of indoor pools elsewhere in the state typically are between $75,000 and $90,000.

Consent Agenda

Council members approved the following items as part of a consent agenda:

• The agenda, minutes from prior council meetings, reports from various city departments and minutes from various committee meetings.

• Raffle requests from the Mitchell Area Garden Club, with the drawing to be held Aug. 19; Mitchell High School, with the drawing to be held Sept. 13; John Paul II Elementary PTO, with the drawing to be held Oct. 10; Mitchell Area Safehouse, with the drawings to be held Dec. 5; Mitchell Area Optimist Club, with the drawing to be held Nov. 5; Trinity Lutheran Church, with the drawing to be held Oct. 5; Corn Palace Shrine Club, with the drawing to be held Nov. 9; and My Fishing Pond Inc., with the drawing to be held Aug. 24 and when the raffle is completely sold.

• The appointment of Carolyn Sivik to the Mitchell Public Library Board.

• The application of Blarney's Sports Bar and Grill for a special event malt beverage and wine license for Holiday Spirit on Dec. 5.

• A date for a hearing on the applications of the Palace City Lions Club for a special event malt beverage and wine license for a wedding dance Sept. 12 at the Lake Mitchell Sportsmen's Club, and a liquor license for the car show dance Sept. 20 at the Corn Palace and City Hall.

• A Sept. 2 date for a hearing on the application of Area Community Theatre of Mitchell, 700 N. Main St., for a retail on-off sale wine license.

• A $3,000 automatic supplement to the general fund from an insurance claim reimbursement for a side dump semi trailer.

• A surplus generator from the water treatment plant.

• 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.

Other business

In scheduled business tonight, council members:

• Approved, during a 7:15 p.m. Traffic Commission meeting, a request from Davison County to have a 10-inch curb painted yellow on each side of the driveway to its new parking lot in the 400 block of North Kimball Street; and a request from the Wilbur-Ellis Corn Palace Challenge to close the east portion of the City Hall parking lot from 5 a.m. Oct. 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 6, and the entire City Hall parking lot from 7 a.m. Oct. 3 to 7 a.m. Oct. 5.

• Sat as the board of adjustment and approved the application of Santel Communications for a conditional use permit to erect a 190-foot telecommunications tower in the 1801-1901 block of W. Cedar Ave.; the application of Dwayne Erickson for a backyard variance of 17 feet rather than 25 feet for an addition to his residence at 714 Mitchell Blvd.; and the application of Jason and Melissa Seppala for a sideyard on a corner variance of 12 feet rather than 20 feet and a backyard variance of 14 feet rather than 25 feet for an addition and for an attached garage at 700 S. Iowa St.

• Conducted a hearing and approved a resolution of necessity for a street assessment for curb, gutter, asphalt paving, concrete sidewalk, valley gutter, fillet sections, engineering and miscellaneous expenses for the 1600 block of South Minnesota Street.

• Conducted a hearing and approved a resolution of necessity for a street assessment for curb, gutter, asphalt paving, concrete sidewalk, valley gutter, fillet sections, engineering and miscellaneous expenses for the 1600 block of South Wisconsin Street.

• Conducted a hearing and approved a resolution of necessity for a street assessment for curb, gutter, asphalt paving, concrete sidewalk, valley gutter, fillet sections, engineering and miscellaneous expenses for the 500-600 block of West Pine Street.

• Approved a contingency transfer of $850 for dust control at Dakotafest, to cover the city's portion of the cost, which was split between the township, Dakotafest, Davison County and the city of Mitchell.

• Approved a resolution for the plat of Lots 1 and 2, Block 3, of Mitchell Christian Addition.

• Approved a resolution authorizing Parks and Recreation Director Dusty Rodiek to apply for a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to help fund improvements at Cadwell Park's east softball complex.

• Approved a resolution to reclassify a maintenance position shared by the Public Safety Department and Senior Services Department.

• Conducted the second of two required readings and adopted an ordinance to supplement the street portion of the general fund with $19,000 from the general fund cash balance for a side dump semi trailer.

• Conducted the first of two required readings of an ordinance rezoning property legally described as the west half of the west half of block one of the Morningview Addition. '

• Approved a request to apply for a grant through the Leona M. and Harry B Helmsley Charitable Trust for the acquisition of automated external defibrillators.

• Requested donations from the public for the placement of a historical marker for former Gov. Carl Gunderson in Mitchell for $3,000.

• Approved a raffle permit for the Sam Tronnes Memorial Foundation and Pro Hockey Celebrity Hunt, with the drawing to be held Nov. 14 and 15.

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