City Council approves Sunday off-sale liquor salesThe Mitchell City Council on Monday evening gave its final approval in a 4-3 vote to an ordinance that will allow the city’s 13 businesses with off-sale liquor licenses to sell on Sunday.
By: Ross Dolan, The Daily Republic
The Mitchell City Council on Monday evening gave its final approval in a 4-3 vote to an ordinance that will allow the city’s 13 businesses with off-sale liquor licenses to sell on Sunday.
“Off-sale” means that alcoholic beverages may be consumed off the premises of the business making the sale.
About a half-dozen Mitchell residents, including Councilman-elect Mel Olson, spoke against the measure. The general message was that things are fine as they are and that increasing alcohol availability sends a bad message to area youth.
The Rev. Carroll Torgerson said, “I’m not a genius, but when it come to liquor, common sense goes out the window.” He illustrated his point by saying Iowa once tried to increase liquor sales to pay for treatment programs.
“I’ve never seen one incident where increasing liquor sales helped the community,” he said.
The Rev. Larry Parvin said alcohol destroys lives and families and “nobody’s helped selling alcohol on Sunday.”
Olson, who was later sworn-in during the meeting’s second half, said the current liquor policy encourages foresight — if citizens wish to have a drink on Sunday, they plan their liquor purchases accordingly.
Residents have “six days to buy alcohol and seven days to consume it,” he said. Olson did not believe the policy will substantially increase tax revenues. He said community feelings are strong against the change and ignoring that feeling would show “an element of disrespect.”
Outgoing Councilman Allen Lepke said to laughs, “I never thought I’d say this, but I tend to agree with Mr. Mel Olson.”
Based on constituent input, Travis Carpenter changed his prior “yes” vote on the ordinance’s first reading, and Dan Allen also said citizen input was strong against the measure. Lepke, Allen and Carpenter all voted “no” against allowing Sunday sales.
Marty Barington, Jeff Smith and Geri Beck said they all had strong support for Sunday liquor sales. Along with Doug Backlund, they voted “yes” to allow Sunday sales. Scott Houwman was absent.
The change will allow hunters and other visitors the convenience of purchasing a bottle of wine if they so desire, said Beck. Smith said he was voting as a “Christian making an economic decision.”
In their final actions, the outgoing council members awarded bid contracts for the Pleasant Hills Steel tax increment finance district to Site 2 Inc., Sioux Falls. Site 2 Inc. bid $30,590 for the “Schedule 1” water main segment of the project, and $31,409 for the “Schedule 2” segment (storm and sanitary sewers). Other bids were from First Rate Construction, Sioux Falls, $33,170 and $33,160, respectively; Northern Plains Construction, Winner, $34,954, and $36,925; and Shrank Construction, Corsica for $39,508 and $32,935.
The winning bid for curb and gutter work went to Rexwinkel Concrete, Corsica, for $28,613. Other received bids were from Robert Johnson Construction, Mitchell, $32,601; and Carl V. Carlson Company, Tea, $33,618.
Oaths of office
Signaling the official reorganization of the council, Magistrate Judge Patrick Kiner administered oaths of office to Mayor Lou Sebert and council members Marty Barington, Travis Carpenter, Mel Olson and Jeff Smith.
In the first action of his new term, Sebert recommended the reappointment of City Attorney Randy Stiles and municipal department heads.
Sebert said to the largely unchanged council: “To serve another three years with you is an honor. I’ll strive to handle my administrative duties to the best of my ability. We’re off to another year.”
Jeff Smith was re-elected council president, and Marty Barington, vice president.
Smith thanked outgoing Councilman Allen Lepke for his service. “You have done an outstanding job and I’m very pleased to have served with you,” he said.
Scott Houwman, absent from Monday’s meeting, had a commitment in Sioux Falls, said Mayor Lou Sebert.
In other business, council members:
- Passed, following a second reading and final vote, an ordinance that would supplement the finance portion of the general fund with $3,000 for a fabricator’s sales-tax rebate, with funding from the general fund cash balance; the police portion of the general fund with $3,500 for an in-car video system and $6,000 for minor equipment, with funding from grant funds; the street and sidewalk portion of the general fund with $224,000 for a previously approved acquisition of Mitchell Technical Institute utilities, with funding from the general fund cash balance; the culture and recreation portion of the general fund with $19,000 for the middle school swimming pool, to cover 33.3 percent of the pool’s expected operating expenses with funding from the general fund cash balance; and the Corn Palace fund with $38,300 for shows and advertising, with funding from grant funds and a donation from the Mitchell Convention and Visitors Bureau.
- Paid estimates.
- Sitting as the Board of Adjustment set July 20 as the date for the following hearings: the application of Jamie Grosdidier for a variance to construct a house/garage at 3100 Canal Circle; the application of Rolyn Wieczorek for a conditional use permit to operate a construction business at 100 W. Havens Ave.; the application of Winfred N. and Douglas Jelden for a conditional use permit to operate an automotive repair garage at 1104 W. Havens Ave.; the application of Val Fredrich for a conditional use permit to operate a day-care center in her home at 809 E. 12th Ave.; the application of Maureen Koch for a conditional use permit to operate a day-care canter in her home at 1420 Ridge Road; and the application of Lisa Shippy for a conditional use permit to operate a day-care center in her home at 808 E. 12th Ave.
The board tabled until August 3 the application of Canndi Balsius for a conditional use permit to operate a dog-grooming business located at 809 E. Hanson Ave.
- Approved a resolution authorizing a contingency transfer of $12,000 for an irrigation system at the cemetery.
- Adopted a resolution that would establish a three-year contract with Randy Stiles and Doug Papendick for their services as city attorney, with Stiles receiving $48,000 per year and Papendick receiving $3,650 per year.
- Approved a resolution that would authorize the city’s purchase of Mitchell Technical Institute utilities to assist with MTI’s south campus expansion, with the purchase to be paid back at a later date.
- Conducted the first reading of an ordinance that would supplement the traffic portion of the general fund with $7,800 to upgrade signal lights, with funding from the general fund cash balance; the street and sidewalk portion of the general fund with $65,000 for “TID No. 11 street construction”; the MADC business park portion of the debt service fund with $500,000, from the sale of “district real property”; and the concessions portion of the Corn Palace enterprise fund with $10,000 for ATM cash change; the golf course fund with $110,000 for golf carts “lease/purchase.”
- Conducted the first reading of ordinances that would amend the process for employment disputes and amend the portion of the city code pertaining to dog control. The change makes Chief of Public Safety Lyndon Overweg the final judge in determining if an animal is dangerous. That means the animal will have to be destroyed or removed from the city. Beyond that, said City Attorney Randy Stiles, pet owners who wish to challenge Overweg’s ruling will have to go through the courts.
The change with employment disputes, explained Stiles, will remove the council from the appellate process with employment disputes. Half the city’s unionized workers are OK with the change. The council will continue to the hear police and fire department employee appeals until a new contract is negotiated in 2010.
- Set July 20 as the date to conduct a hearing on the application of the Exchange Club for a special-event malt beverage license for the rodeo ground for the Miller Lite Bull Bash on Aug. 19; the application of the Palace City Lions Club for a special-event malt beverage license for Hitchcock Park for the Tour de Corn on Aug. 29; and the application of Hay Company Partnership, doing business as Steak ‘N More, to transfer an on-sale liquor license from V.V. Inc., doing business as Steak ‘N More, to Hay Company Partnership, doing business as Steak ‘N More.
- Set July 20 as the date for a hearing on the application of Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village for a special event malt beverage license for the amphitheater for a concert on August 8, 2009.
- Set July 28 as the date to receive and consider bids for a golf-car fleet project.
- Declared 40, 2003-model golf carts as surplus, so they may be sold or traded for better models.
- Approved an automatic supplement to the general fund for the Traffic Department in the amount of $65,200, from grant funds, for the LED signalized intersection upgrade project.
- Approved an automatic supplement to the capital project fund for the MADC business park in the amount of $128,496 from bond proceeds.
- Approved a construction change-order for the North Highway 37 lighting project that would increase the contract by $1,504, raising the contract to $26,347.50.
- Approved requests to conduct raffles from the Davison County Democrats and the James River Gobblers of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
- Approved a request by Mitchell Main Street & Beyond to conduct an Aug.29 raffle.
- Held two closed, non-public “executive sessions.” No action was taken after the meetings.