Mayor to bring texting ban before Mitchell City CouncilSioux Falls ban prompts other cities to look at ban of texting while driving.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
The Mitchell City Council will consider taking the first step to ban texting while driving in the city during its meeting tonight.
Ordinance 2413, amending Title 7, Chapter 3 of the Mitchell City Code by adding a section prohibiting text messaging while in control of a moving vehicle on a public street is on the agenda for the meeting. Mayor Ken Tracy announced his support for the ban during the Sept. 17 Traffic Commission meeting before that night’s council meeting.
Tracy said safety concerns led him to bring the issue to the fore. He said it has been under discussion by other South Dakota cities since Sioux Falls announced its ban, which went into effect Friday. Huron is also considering enacting such a ban.
The mayor said he feels safety is the primary reason for the proposed ban. He asked the commission to consider the ban and it quickly agreed to place it on the council agenda.
C-store dispute continues
The council will also take another look at a Mitchell convenience store that is again seeking a license to see beer available for consumption on the premises.
It will hold a hearing on the application to transfer retail (on- and off-sale) malt beverage license RB-2169 from Bathke Enterprises LLC, doing business as Two-Eyed Jack’s Casino at 1401 N. Main St., Suite 108B, Mitchell to LAB LLC, dba Arnie’s First & Foster C-Store at 1218 E. First Ave.
The owners of the business struggled through numerous public hearings for the right to sell alcohol in one form or the other. After considerable public discussion over several months, including opposition from a group of people, the council voted to allow the business to sell malt beverages to go.
The owners are now seeking permission to sell malt beverages on the site, which would also allow them to open a casino. Some councilmen, as well as Public Safety Chief Lyndon Overweg, said they don’t believe the city’s current zoning code, or the new one under consideration for adoption, allows such sales in a neighborhood shopping district, which is the zoning of the business on the corner of East First Avenue and Foster Street.
Tracy said the owners of the business, who include former Councilman Doug Backlund, plan to sue the city over the long-running dispute.
The council meets at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall Council Chambers, 612 N. Main St.
In other agenda items, the council will:
• Consider adopting Resolution 3030, which allows the city to issue $13.9 million in sales tax bonds for its four major projects.
The city plans to fund a Corn Palace expansion and remodel, expand and improve the Mitchell Public Library, build a second ice sheet at the Mitchell Activities Center, and build a new city hall downtown.
The bond will pay for part of the projects, with the city also counting on using grants, donations and other funds for the four major projects. The council also will consider $175,000 in a supplemental appropriation to buy land for the new city hall.
• Table the second reading of Ordinance 2408, an ordinance repealing the city’s zoning regulations and replacing them. City Attorney Carl Koch is revising the new codes and will bring them before the Planning and Zoning Commission before they return to the council.
• Hear a report from the Finance Committee, which meets at 7 p.m.
The committee will review an audit of the 2011 fiscal year, discuss the 2013 appropriation ordinance, hear a report of the third quarter sales tax receipts from Finance Officer Marilyn Wilson, hear a report on damage from the May 5 hailstorm and approve minutes of the Sept. 17 Finance Committee meeting.
• Hold a hearing on a proposed resolution to build new sidewalk and replace hazardous sidewalk and consider adopting Resolution 3023.
• Consider adopting Resolution 3027, which would declare a public nuisance of Lot B, a subdivision of Lots 10-12, Block Six, except that portion between the west boundary line of Lot A and the east boundary line of Lot 9, of the original town of Mitchell.
• Consider Resolution 3028, accepting the fiscal year 2012-2013 operating agreement for Palace Transit under Section 5311 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.
• Consider adopting Resolution 3029, the annexation of Tract 1-B of Starlite Estates.
• Consider adopting Resolution 3031, the plat of Lot 109 of Maui Farms Second Addition.
• Consider adopting Resolution 3032, the plat of Lots 1 and 2, Block 4 of the Woods First Addition, and a portion of East Birch Avenue.
• Consider adopting Resolution 3033, which would cancel outstanding checks.
• Consider adopting Resolution 3034, declaring as surplus city-owned property described Lots One, Two, Three, 10-12, less the abutting vacated Davison Street and less H1 and H2, Block 49, Cooley and Guernsey’s Addition to the city of Mitchell, subject to easements, reservations and restrictions of record.
• Consider adopting Ordinance 2410, supplemental appropriations of $175,000 to buy land for the new city hall; $38,507 for paying off employee vacation and sick leave; and $1,800 for new traffic signs.
• Hold the first reading of Ordinance 2411, the South Point Village planned development district.
• Hold the first reading of Ordinance 2412, supplemental appropriations of $1,623,038 for paying off the Cabela’s revenue bonds; $95,000 for building demolition, $4,100 for parttime help, and $2,000 for a pump for the golf course.
• Consider approving Change Order 1 for City Project 2012-21, the 400-700 block of West Seventh, utilities to Schoenfelder Construction in the amount of $5,100.90 for the 500 to 600 blocks of North Kimball added to project. The adjusted contract to date is $97,653.87.
• Consider approving Change Order 1 for City Project 2010-2, the bike path, phase II, to Robert Johnson Construction in the amount of $2,850 for adding MSE block to a retaining wall. The adjusted contract to date is $253,469.65.
• Consider a request from the Lake Mitchell Advisory Committee to provide ongoing water quality testing on Lake Mitchell.
The committee wants to study algae in the lake and seeks to collect information for the study. It was discussed at its last meeting.
• Consider approving an automatic supplement to the Special Revenue Fund, Parks and Recreation, of $3,854 for a batting cage from a donation of funds.
• Consider approving an automatic supplement to the Special Revenue Fund, Parks and Recreation, of $2,500 for stadium wall repair at Cadwell Park from a contractor reimbursement for damages.
• Sit as the Board of Adjustment to:
Set an Oct. 15 date for a hearing on the application of Bruce and Karen Yakley for a roadside variance of 19 feet instead of the mandated 35 feet at 170 N. Harmon Drive.
Set an Oct. 15 date for a hearing on the application of Tom Diamond for a variance of 5 feet instead of the mandated 10 feet between his house and a detached garage at 309 N. Iowa St.
Hold a hearing on the application of Bailey Metal Fabricators for a variance to construct an addition at 807 N. Rowley St. The request is being made because the front yard setback is not being met. The Planning and Zoning Commission did not recommend approval during its Sept. 24 meeting.
Hold a hearing on the application of Jordan and Masondra Metzger for two variances to construct an accessory building at 901 E. Fourth Ave.
The request is being made because the side yard corner setback of 5 feet instead of the mandated 20 feet and back yard setback of 3 feet instead of the mandated 5 feet are proposed. The planners did not recommend approval Sept. 24. Jordan Metzger told the commission if he does not receive permission he will build smaller buildings at the site that do not require city approval.
• Approve these raffle requests: Catholic United Financial: Holy Spirit/Holy Family local council, with the drawing to be held on Oct. 7, 2013; Dakota Wesleyan University football, with the drawings to be held on Oct. 6, 20 and 27, and Nov. 10; and Mitchell Aquatic Club, with the drawing to be held on Nov. 4.
• Approve these pay estimates:
Lake Mitchell Bike Path, phase II project 2010-2 contracted to Robert Johnson Construction, Pay estimate 2 in the amount of $58,908.54.
Ash and Langdon sidewalk project 2012-4A contracted to Colwell Concrete Inc. Pay estimate 7 in the amount of $12,151.38.
Gamble/Eighth/Mentzer/Foster project 2012-4B contracted to Big “O” Concrete. Pay estimate 5 in the amount of $16,740.
Water meters and transmitters project 2012-11 contracted to HD Supply. Pay estimate 9 in the amount of $36,618.
Curb and gutter project 2012-14B contracted to Rexwinkle Concrete. Pay estimate 2 in the amount of $34,747.14.
Paving and overlay project 2012-15 contracted to Commercial Asphalt. Pay estimate 6 in the amount of $145,106.32.
Airport snow removal equipment building project contracted to Helms & Associates. Pay estimate 2 in the amount of $23,143.
• Hear an invocation from a Resurrection Lutheran representative.