BankWest gets go-ahead for new buildingThe new bank at the corner of Spruce and Burr will replace an existing branch inside the Highland Mall.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
BankWest received permission from the Mitchell Planning and Zoning Commission to build a new bank in the city during the commission’s Monday meeting at City Hall.
BankWest of Mitchell President Ryan Huber said Monday morning that the bank will replace an existing branch inside the Highland Mall. The new location is on the northeast corner of the Spruce/Burr intersection on the southern edge of Mitchell.
“We’ve lived in the Highland Mall for 10 years now, and we’re ready to own our own walls,” he said.
A north branch at 1920 N. Sanborn Blvd. will remain open, Huber said. The new bank should be open this fall.
“Well, I guess a lot will depend on weather, a lot will depend on our contractor and other factors,” Huber said. “We understand that we’re not the only client of our contractor and subcontractors. We want to be open as fast as we can.”
Huber, who declined to disclose the cost of the project, said he has about 20 employees total at the two locations.
The property where the bank will be placed was annexed into the city in February. BankWest bought the land Oct. 31 from the Wolf Creek Hutterian Brethren, of Olivet, for $819,000.
There is more land in the parcel than what is dedicated to the bank project.
Puetz Corp. project manager Keith Reiners made a presentation to the planners Monday. The commission’s sole concern was drainage, and it was told that will not be a problem.
Public Works Director Tim McGannon said traffic is a concern.
“That intersection has become congested with traffic backing up, specifically at 3 p.m. with people getting out of MTI,” McGannon said.
He would prefer the lot have access from Mall Drive, a road located just to the east of where the bank will be. Mc-Gannon said he didn’t feel he has legal authority to require that.
Reiners said the bank wants to have access off Spruce Street and said one of two existing entrances in the lot will be removed.
McGannon said BankWest could regret that decision when its customers are stuck in traffic for 10 minutes.
He said the city, Davison County, the state and Mitchell Technical Institute are trying to find a solution to the problems connected to growth in the area.
A center turn lane is needed, McGannon said, and should be added within five years.
A South Dakota Department of Transportation meeting on the issue is set for April 6 at City Hall, he said.
There was another concern as well.
Fire Marshal Marius Laursen said since the building will not have sprinklers, bringing hoses to the building in case of a fire will likely shut down Spruce Street, since the closest hydrant is across the street.
“We would really like to see a secondary access,” he said, and McGannon said he would “strongly” recommend that.
Reiners said he would plan to add a second entrance to the lot from Mall Drive.
More development is coming to the area, Laursen and McGannon said, and that will only add to the congestion.
Planning Commissioner Jay Larson said the ultimate answer is to extend Foster Street into the area to reduce the traffic congestion.
That will take a lot of work and time, Larson said, but it is needed. Currently, Foster Street terminates on the north side of Interstate 90.
In other business, the commission:
• Recommended approval of an application of Amy Schaefer for a conditional use permit to operate a daycare center in her home at 934 E. Birch Ave.
• Recommended approval of a plan from Larry’s I-90, 1510½ S. Burr St., for a 20-by-44-foot expansion. The building permit will not be issued until a drainage site plan is presented to the city building inspector.
• Approved the plat of the Jim Town Trail Conservation Easement in tracts 1 through 4 as long as access is maintained by keeping a section line road open.
The wetland conservation easement is north of the city but within a three-mile jurisdictional boundary and needs city approval. The county will also review the plan.
Under state law, the plat cannot be approved without public access, Larson explained to applicant Dvonne Hansen.
“We agree with everything you’re doing,” Commissioner Bernie Schmucker said. “The whole thing is great. It’s just a matter of playing the legal game.”
“There’s never been a road there,” Hansen said. “This is all in the middle of nowhere.”
She said the road would be retained in order for the easement to be approved.
• Recommended approval of a plat of Witzel Tracts 2 and 3 for Hansen.
• Recommended approval of a plat of Lots 17 and 18 of block 6 of Woods First Addition.
The owner wants to expand Lot 18 and will alter the line, making 18 larger and shrinking 17. Putnam said Lot 17 cannot be simply eliminated.
The three plats that the commission recommended for approval will go before the City Council Monday night, as will the day care CUP request.
• Recommended approval of a plan for an addition to Wesleyan Church, 601 N. Sanborn Bld.
Putnam said the current sanctuary will be torn down and replaced while a fellowship hall and offices built about a decade ago will remain. Work on the project is scheduled to begin in late April or early May, he said.
• Recommended approval of a plan for a new roof from Mike Brookbank at a building that once housed a radiator shop at 123 W. Second Ave. as long as the design meets city specifications for a building permit.
It will be a welcome addition to the area, the commissioners said, and will likely make the vacant building more attractive for future use.
• Recommended approval of a plan for a deck from Chuck Mueller at 508 N. Rowley St.
• Tabled, due to a lack of time, a review of the revised planning and zoning code that was drafted by City Attorney Randy Stiles and Putnam.
• Met without Commissioner Larry Griffith, who was absent.