Ice sheet gains supportMayor Tracy moves project to top of his priority list.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
Mayor Ken Tracy said he now feels helping the Mitchell Activities Center obtain a second ice sheet is his top immediate goal.
Tracy, speaking as a councilman before taking the office of mayor Monday night, agreed with other city officials that the city can move ahead to add the second sheet in the coming months. Ground could be broken in the spring of 2013, the council said after it unanimously passed a resolution of support for the concept.
He recalled that when he was interviewed by The Daily Republic after winning the June 5 election, he said relocating City Hall was his first priority, while noting that the sheet of ice was also high on his list.
“I do not have any problem putting the sheet of ice first on the list,” Tracy said Monday night at City Hall.
Dave Muth, of the Mitchell Skating and Hockey Association, asked the council to add the second sheet in the 2013 budget. The MSHA would work for six months to raise pledges for $500,000 while the city would spend $2 million for the $2.5 million project. A design could also be completed during that time, Muth said.
Councilman Mel Olson said while he supports the project, he thinks it should be approved as part of the August budget process or when the city decides what it will do with the Corn Palace and City Hall.
Councilman Marty Barington said hotel and motel owners may be interested in creating a business improvement district (BID), which would raise taxes to help fund city projects such as the ice sheet.
“I think it’s a great project to jump aboard,” he said.
Council President Jeff Smith said it is an excellent concept and would be a welcome addition to the city, serving to bring people to Mitchell in the offseason when summer tourists aren’t here. They would spend money throughout the community, Smith said.