Mitchell City Council sets liquor license fee at $190,000A business or person could, under the right conditions, buy a liquor license from the city at a set price of $190,000, the Mitchell City Council decided Monday night at City Hall.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
A business or person could, under the right conditions, buy a liquor license from the city at a set price of $190,000, the Mitchell City Council decided Monday night at City Hall.
The council approved Resolution 2975, setting the fee for a liquor license for a full-service restaurant that makes a majority of its money from food sales. Under state law, the council had to set a price based on the market value of liquor licenses.
The city investigated and found that was the most recent price for a liquor license sold in Mitchell. The name of the business and the people involved were not disclosed.
After a brief discussion, the resolution passed 6-1, with Councilman Mel Olson casting the lone no vote.
Before buying a license from the city, a prospective buyer must see if a license is available from a current license holder. The owner can agree to sell his or her license for more or less than $190,000 or can decline to sell it.
If a deal cannot be made, the city can issue one for $190,000, with the money going into the general fund.
The state allows cities to issue such licenses in an effort to attract hotels, restaurants and other businesses who want to sell liquor as part of their business. Many cities have issued all the licenses they have available under a population-based quota system, creating the need for these new licenses.
The council tabled Ordinance 2397, authorizing the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages on sidewalks by restaurants in the Central Business District, for two weeks.
Cornerstone Coffeehouse and Deli, 123 E. Third Ave., asked for the change at the Feb. 21 council meeting. Co-owner Geri Beck said it would be an additional offering to the business, and alcohol would be served with meals. Only restaurants would be allowed to sell alcohol outside their businesses.
City Attorney Randy Stiles drafted a proposed ordinance and said insurance is a major question, especially if someone walking past the tables has trouble getting around them and falls.
Public Works Director Tim McGannon recommended placing the sidewalk tables next to the business to allow for a walking path by the curb.
Stiles said businesses should have up to $1 million in coverage, but he said even then, the city could be pulled into court.
“If a suit comes up, everybody is going to get sued,” Stiles said.
Councilman Greg McCurry said one business that was considering it learned its insurance would double by serving alcohol on the sidewalk, so it is now less interested.
Stiles said he believes only the Cornerstone and Cafe Teresa would qualify for the permit.
The council directed Stiles to check with other cities to see how they are handling such businesses.
• Set a March 12 date for a meeting on the Next Generation Corn Palace Area Development Project.
The meeting next Monday will be an opportunity for people to offer ideas on how to create a Corn Palace plan that would fulfill the city needs and garner support from local residents. It will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Council Chambers.
• Held the first readings on Ordinance 2395, to set a definition of “at large” in regard to dogs running loose, and an amendment to Ordinance 2396, the dog leash laws in public parks.
The new ordinance and the amendment on the current ordinance would allow people to let their dogs run free in the new city dog park.
The council was told if there was a dogfight, or a dog attacked a person, the matter would be settled between the dog owners and people and the city would likely not be involved in the lawsuit.
The park will have a 2.3-acre area for large dogs and a separate 0.75-acre area for smaller dogs. It will feature water stations for the dogs and drinking facilities for people as well. The location is in a cityowned lot near the Cadwell softball fields.
• Held a hearing on and denied, sitting as the Board of Adjustment, the application of Bob Plastow for a conditional use permit to operate a home occupation computer business at 808 E. Third Ave.
The application has been a point of dispute between Plastow and neighbors John and Brenda Weisser. They debated it at a Feb. 13 Planning and Zoning Commission and at the Feb. 20 City Council meeting, where the matter was tabled.
The council advised the neighbors to come up with a solution two weeks ago but none was reached. The Weissers attended the meeting but did not speak.
Stiles offered comments on the city code and how it impacts this matter. Stiles said the council needed the vote of six councilmen plus some new findings to overrule the recommendation of denial from the Planning Commission.
Olson noted that two home-based businesses had received conditional use permits earlier on the condition that they not have employees. Plastow has indicated he hopes to hire an employee and add an intern who may become a paid employee.
‘That’s sort of a different kettle of fish,” Olson said. “We all feel badly about your situation.”
Plastow and the Weissers exchanged glances as he left the meeting but they did not speak.
• Held a hearing on and approved, sitting as the Board of Adjustment, the application of Larry and Kathy Gebel for a variance to construct a carport at 1118 S. Kimball St.
This issue also has been held up because of a dispute between neighbors but a compromise calling for a different setback and a smaller building was reached that was agreeable to both. The Planning Commission, which originally recommended denial, listened to the proposed compromise and changed to calling for approval.
The council agreed and approved the variance in a unanimous vote.
“I appreciate the neighbors getting together and working it out,” Olson said.
“It’s been a learning experience,” Kathy Gebel said in a thank you to the council.
• Set a March 19 date for a hearing on the application of Mary Hohn for a variance to construct an addition at 608 S. Edgerton St. The request is being made because the side yard setback will not be met.
• Set a March 19 date for a hearing on the application of Interactive Outdoor Media Inc. for a variance to construct an off-premise sign at 1001 S. Burr St. The request is being made because the distance from other off-premise signs will not be met.
• Held a hearing on and then approved the application of Stephanie Swanson for a conditional use permit to operate a dog grooming business at her home at 1513 E. Ash Ave. Swanson may board some of the dogs for a day or so in the future, which caused Olson to ask if her neighbors were agreeable to that. She said they were.
The Planning and Zoning Commission had recommended approval with conditions.
• Held a hearing on and approved the application of Stephanie Everson for a conditional use permit to operate a day care at 509 E. Sixth Ave.
The Planning and Zoning Commission had recommended approval with some conditions, including that the permit is non-transferable.
• Held a hearing on and quickly approved the application of Verizon Wireless for a conditional use permit to construct a tower at 1525 W. Havens Ave. The property is in a highway oriented business district. A Verizon tower requires a conditional use permit in that district.
The planners had recommended approval.
• Heard a report from the Sidewalk Committee, which met to discuss hazardous sidewalks and new sidewalks.
During the committee meeting, Public Works Deputy Director Terry Johnson explained why the city has a hazardous sidewalk program to provide a smoother, safer path through the city and showed photos of sidewalks that have settled, cracked or are damaged in another way.
The city is inspecting sidewalks in the northeast section of town and preparing to move to the northwest quadrant, Johnson said. Residents will be notified by mail.
Work will begin this spring on installing new sidewalks in the city, he said.
• Awarded a bid on rock chips, city project 2012-10, to Spencer Quarry, which submitted the only bids. The city will buy 2,500 tons of the chips for $31,750, according to Street, Sewer and Landfill Superintendent Ron Olson.
The city will also buy another 450 tons for $5,850 for the road to the city landfill. It’s a county road, but the city collects a $2 annual fee from Mitchell residents to pay for maintenance on the road, Olson said.
• Awarded a bid on a skid steer loader for the Street and Sanitation Division, city project 2012-16, to the low bidder, Cook Implement, of Chamberlain, for $44,000.
• Set a March 26 date to receive and consider bids for petroleum products, curb and gutter projects, and paving and overlay. The bids will be reviewed at 1:30 p.m. at Council Chambers.
• Held the second reading of and adopted Ordinance 2393, supplemental appropriations of $20,000 for water distribution on National Guard Road and $12,000 for golf course equipment.
• Held the second reading of and adopted Ordinance 2394, supplemental reappropriations for several city departments and divisions. The money comes from 2011 projects that were not completed.
• Approved the 2011 Annual Financial Report.
• Authorized the finance officer to transfer $35,000 for 2011 and an additional $7,500 for 2012 to the Mitchell Regional Landfill Closure/Postclosure Reserve Fund from Sanitation Cash Balance due to adjusted costs from recertification.
The fund is required in case the city closes the landfill.
• Declared surplus a Glock Model 22 handgun, serial number RDE849. A former employee who has left the Police Division and now works for the state wants to continue using the weapon, according to Public Safety Chief Lyndon Overweg.
The former officer will buy a new gun and trade it for the Glock.
• Approved the application of the Palace City Lions Club for a Special Event Malt Beverage License at the Corn Palace for the April 14 Hairball concert.
• Approved raffle requests from men’s slow pitch softball, with the drawing to be held May 23, and Helping with Horsepower, with the drawing to be held Oct. 22.
• Approved a tax abatement in the amount of $1,538.68 to KL City Properties for Lots 2 and 3 in Block 13 of the original addition due to “qualifying for discretionary on portion of renovated building.”
• Approved an abatement of taxes in the amount of $112.52 to city of Mitchell for the east 64 feet of Lot 12, 13, and 14 in Block 18 of the Original Addition due to it being purchased by a tax-exempt entity.
• Councilman Jeff Smith was absent.