Panel OKs mayor’s pick for senior services leaderThe Mitchell City Council approved Mayor Ken Tracy’s recommendation to appoint Jessica Pickett as the new senior services executive director during its meeting Monday night at City Hall.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
The Mitchell City Council approved Mayor Ken Tracy's recommendation to appoint Jessica Pickett as the new senior services executive director during its meeting Monday night at City Hall.
The mayor then gave her the oath of office.
Pickett, 30, now works for School Board Inc., in Colman, but before that she was the transportation supervisor and community involvement specialist for Inter-Lakes Community Action in Madison.
Tracy said she has a “very bubbly personality” and an engaging manner. She and her husband John Pickett bought a house in Mitchell last weekend and will move here with their daughter, Colin, 3.
Pickett will replace Brenda Paradis, who was fired in July. Department heads serve at the pleasure of the mayor.
In other business, the council:
• Approved Resolution 3015, raising sewer rates, which was tabled at the Aug. 6 meeting.
Public Works Director Tim McGannon said the increase will be about 8 to 9 percent for most users, who will see on average a $2 monthly rate hike.
The city ’ s sewer rate and combined sewer and water rates have increased gradually in recent years but are still lower than most cities and towns, McGannon said. Some projects have been set aside because of that, and the state has said the rates seem too low, he said.
• Tabled Ordinance 2408, repealing title 10 of the city zoning regulations and replacing it with the revised regulations as amended.
The new zoning rules were drafted by City Planner Neil Putnam, former City Attorney Randy Stiles, members of the Planning and Zoning Commission and other city staffers. They will modify some regulations, clarify others and bring some city rules up to date, while eliminating the need for some of the variances and other exceptions that have been routinely granted in the past.
City Attorney Carl Koch had questions about some terms in the lengthy document, and after detailing some to a council that was weary after more than four hours of meeting, the decision was made to table the matter.
• Tabled Resolution 3003, the purchase of the old Longhorn Bar property for $1, until the first meeting in September. Koch will study this as well.
• Heard a report from the Traffic Commission.
The commission approved a request to remove no-parkingovernight restrictions in the 100 block of all side streets off Main Street from First to Seventh avenues. This will allow people who come downtown to park on the side streets overnight, and will also help people who live downtown, the commission said.
It also OK ’ d a request from the Corn Palace Championship Bull Riding Challenge to close the east portion of the City Hall parking lot from 5 a.m. Sept. 26 through 5 p.m. Oct. 1 and the entire lot from 7 a.m. Sept. 28 through 7 a.m. Sept. 30 and the 600 block of North Main Street from 7 a.m. Sept. 28 through 7 a.m. Sept. 30 for the event.
The commission agreed to close the east end of the north alley in the 700 block of East Seventh Avenue from 3 to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday during the school year. The city will use a gate of some kind to do so at a cost of $3,000 or less.
It approved a request from L.B. Williams Elementary School for a handicapped parking space on the west cut-out on University Avenue for northbound traffic. The spot would be located in the first parking spot south of the walking ramp.
• Held a hearing on and approved the application of White Headed Robin Winery for a Special Event Wine License for Aug. 22-26 in the Corn Palace and City Hall for the Corn Palace Festival. The wine can only be consumed inside the buildings.
• Held a public hearing on and approved the application of Make-A-Wish Foundation for a Special Event Malt Beverage & Wine License at Hitchcock Park on Sept. 8 for Summer’s Last Dance. The fee was lowered from $500 to $250.
• Approved Resolution 3019, the plat of lot 1 of Park Acres First Addition and Park Lane.
• Accepted a grant offer from the Federal Aviation Administration to build a snow removal equipment building at the Mitchell Municipal Airport.
• Held a public hearing on and approved the application of the Palace City Lions Club of Mitchell for a Special Event Liquor License at the Corn Palace and City Hall on Sept. 22 for the OutKasts Car Club dance.
• Allowed the Public Safety Department to purchase a 2013 Ford Explorer off a state bid through Vern Eide for $26,177.
• Declared numerous items, including a 2008 Ford Crown Victoria and 2008 Dodge Charger, to be surplus and allowed the city to sell them.
• Approved these raffle requests: Mitchell Ducks Unlimited, with the drawing to be held on Sept. 20; Longfellow PTO, with the drawing to be held on Sept. 15; Palace City Pedalers Tour De Corn, with the drawing to be held on Aug. 25 and Mitchell Area Optimist Club, with the drawing to be held on Nov. 14.
• Sat as the Board of Adjustment to:
Set a Sept. 4 date for a hearing on the application of Bonnie J. Scott for a variance for a corner side yard setback of 6 feet instead of 20 feet at 620 E. Hanson Ave.
Hold a hearing on and approve the application of Ken and Kim Griffith for a conditional use permit to construct mini-storage buildings at 403 E. Juniper.
Hold a hearing on and approve the application of Ken and Kim Griffith for a front yard variance of 20 feet instead of 30 feet at 403 E. Juniper. The request is being made because the front yard setback is not being met.
Hold a hearing on and approved the application of Bonnie Wells for a variance to place a new home with an attached garage at 615 S. Davison St. The request is being made because the corner side yard setback is not being met.
Tabled the application of JoAnn and Travis Hohrman for a variance to request the distance between their principal and accessory building be 3 feet instead of 10 feet at 1505 E. Hanson Ave. It will be discussed by the Mitchell Planning and Zoning Commission Monday.
• Heard from Roger Haley, who said the city’s Public Protection Classification has been dropped from a class 4 to a class 4/9 because of concerns about response time in case of a fire. On that scale from the Insurance Services Office, 1 is the best rank, 10 the worst.
It takes fire vehicles 10 minutes to respond to a call on the north side of Lake Mitchell and a similar time for residents in other areas by the lake such as South Harmon Drive.
“Ten minutes is a lifetime, eternity,” he said.
Haley, who ran for mayor in June, said this will cost people money on their insurance policies, some up to $400 annually. He said while he knows the city is planning to build a satellite station by the lake eventually, placing a temporary station in a building by the lake may solve the problem.
Another option is writing impacted homeowners a check for the difference in their insurance policies, Haley said.
The council made no comments in response.