City Council to hear from Corn Palace, City Hall committees MondayA pair of committees charged with helping determine the course for the Corn Palace and City Hall will report to the Mitchell City Council Monday.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
A pair of committees charged with helping determine the course for the Corn Palace and City Hall will report to the Mitchell City Council Monday.
Members of the Next Generation Corn Palace Committee and the City Hall Relocation Committee will speak to the council during a special meeting of the council. The meeting will start at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall Council Chambers, 612 N. Main St.
The city has been studying changes to the Corn Palace since 2010 and the Palace committee has held meetings in the city, reported to the council and worked with a design firm from Minneapolis to prepare a possible renovation and expansion of the iconic downtown facility.
That report, released at a public meeting in January, called for sweeping changes to the Corn Palace and the surrounding area. The price was estimated at $35 million, with several costs left out, including the expense of buying and relocating businesses in the immediate vicinity of the Corn Palace.
The report was quickly criticized by the public and Mayor Lou Sebert and council members said the price tag made it an unworkable proposal.
All six of the candidates for mayor said during the chamber forum last week that they do not support the $35 million plan. All called for scaled-back versions.
Some elements of the report, though, including areas for tourist attractions and exhibits, have gained some traction.
To do that in the most efficient manner, the report recommended moving City Hall offices out of the building adjacent to the Corn Palace and expanding into that area.
To do so, the city needs to find a new home for City Hall.
That has been the task of a second committee. At last week’s council meeting, the city agreed to hire Puetz Corp. for a study of architectural, mechanical and electrical options and costs for moving City Hall to the Mitchell Technical Institute’s soon-to-be-vacated north campus site.
MTI plans to combine its operations and classes at its south campus. The north site has also been looked at as a possible combined city-school library.
Puetz will charge between $5,000 and $7,000 for a study of the MTI building and, possibly, a rendering for the proposed remodel. The council budgeted $15,000 for studies of possible new City Hall locations.
The council will also discuss how much money and borrowing capacity it has to pay for an expanded Corn Palace and other capital improvement projects, such as a Recreation Center modification to possibly include an indoor pool, a second ice sheet at the Mitchell Activities Center for hockey players and skaters, and other projects.