City Council ends some overnight parking in downtown MitchellMerchants report long-term parkers crowd out customers.
By: Ross Dolan, The Daily Republic
Heeding the recommendation of the city Traffic Commission, the Mitchell City Council acted Monday evening at City Hall to reverse a decision that has allowed overnight parking in the 100 block of East Third Avenue between Lawler and Main streets.
The council voted to institute no-parking times in the 100 block of East Third from 3 to 4:30 a.m. The change was made after hearing testimony from merchants who said overnight, and in some cases, long-term parking, had all but eliminated their available customer parking.
This summer, the council dropped the former policy of no parking on downtown side streets after 2 a.m.
The council also voted to rescind a request by the Cornerstone Coffee House and Deli for an additional 15-minute parking spot on Third Avenue. The ownership of the Cornerstone, which also experienced a dearth of available parking, was OK with the decision to eliminate the extra slot it had earlier requested.
Hank Kor told the commission Monday that the lack of parking could jeopardize the Christmas season at Bonnie’s deKor.
“This is harvest time for us,” Kor said. “A lot of our living is from Christmas and this is like trying to farm and having your combine broken every other day. We’re just asking you to do something so we can get by.”
Kor explained that the 15-minute parking slots are not used by people who take longer to shop or to eat lunch. “We have had many complaints from customers that are finding it difficult to park and shop for any length of time.”
Marty De Boer, a landlord on the street, said what has become long-term parking on the street for some will leave no space for snow storage this winter. “It’s not working,” he said.
He said trash buildup has also been a problem.
The council agreed and voted quickly to revert to a no-parking time period in the one-block stretch.
Tracy accepted some of the blame for what turned out to be a bad change.
“I had some input prior to making the first change,” he said. “I should have discussed it further.”
Cabela’s bonds to be paid off
The council voted to spend $1.6 million to pay off the Cabela’s bonds first issued in 2000.
It’s part of a process for the city to use cash on hand to lower its debt before issuing $13.9 million in bonding for four new projects: A new city hall, an expanded and improved Corn Palace, an expansion and improvements to the Mitchell Public Library, and a second sheet of ice at the Mitchell Activities Center.
The council adopted Resolution 3039, the approval of the redemption of the sales tax refunding revenue bonds, series 2008, and authorized Finance Officer Marilyn Wilson to send notice of redemption.
The council also adopted Ordinance 2412, which includes a supplemental appropriation of $1.623 million to pay off the Cabela’s bonds. Wilson said the bonds will be paid off Dec. 1.
The city issued $5 million in bonds in 1999 to pay for the “wildlife museum” — essentially, the wall of trophy animals — inside of Cabela’s. In 2008, the Nebraskabased outdoors giant asked to have the bonds reissued.
“Cabela’s requested restructuring to get liability off its books,” Wilson said.
The city then refinanced $3.405 million in bonds, and the interest dropped from 8.68 percent to 4 percent, a savings of $1 million, she said.
Wilson said the bonds were due from 2013 to 2016. Paying them off now will mean a savings of $132,413 in interest.
The city is clearing a lot of debt, she said.
It paid off a $1.565 million streetscape bond issued in 2000 in June; it also had been refinanced to get a lower interest date. Another $8.2 million bond issued in 2000 to pay for the B-Y water system is still being paid off, Wilson said. There was $5,645,000 left on it at the end of 2011.
On the advice of City Attorney Carl Koch, the council decided to table consideration of a developer’s agreement for Tax Increment Financing District 16 with Innovative Systems LLC and CJM Consulting.
The TIF would be for $1.528 million, which would pay for the cost of infrastructure in the proposed district near Innovative Systems. The costs would be borne by the district and the city would be reimbursed by taxes generated within the district.
Tracy said an existing TIF district along Ohlman Street, which was created by developer Chuck Mauszycki, was never fully developed.
Tracy said TIF District 16 developer Roger Musick swapped property along Cemetery Road for land Mauszycki owned near Innovative Systems. The new TIF No. 16 would overlap the land within the original TIF District 7. The TIF plan will pay for improvements to the new district.
Koch said he had problems with details in the agreement and recommended delaying approval until he had time to review the agreement more thoroughly.
In other agenda items, the council:
Approved allocating $95,000 for the demolition of the old Longhorn Bar as part of Ordinance 2412.
The ordinance also includes $2,500 to pay a new employee in the Finance Department and $1,600 for a new part-time information technology worker, and $2,000 for a new pump for the golf course.
Adopted Ordinance 2414, supplemental appropriations of $90,000 for the land for the new city hall, $35,000 for forcemain repair for sewer treatment, and $26,550 for sidewalk construction.
Heard a report from the Traffic Commission on the downtown parking issue and on a request from the Christmas at the Palace Committee to close the 600 block of North Main Street, including no parking, from 3 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 19, for the event, which will replace the Parade of the Lights.
Heard a report from the Finance Committee on damage to city buildings and vehicles from the May 5 hail storm.
Adopted Resolution 3035, the plat of S. J. Nebelsick Tract 1 in the northeast quarter of Section 17, Township 102 North, Route 60 west of the fifth prime meridian in Davison County. The Mitchell Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval last week.
Adopted Resolution 3036, the plat of Lot 1-A, Block 9 of the Woods First Addition. The planners recommended approval.
Adopted Resolution 3037, the plat of Tract 1-C of Starlite Estates. The planners recommended approval.
Adopted Resolution 3038, the plat of Tract 1-D of Starlite Estates. The planners recommended approval.
Adopted Resolution 3040, appointing Stephen Peschong, Dennis Robinson and Randy Doescher as the board of appraisers. All three own property in the city. The trio will determine the value of city land that has been declared surplus. The land will be sold through a process to be determined at an upcoming meeting.
“It isn’t all that often that we sell city property,” Tracy said before the meeting. “I can recall one other time when I was on the council when we set a board of appraisers in the past.”
The land is located along Burr Street at the west side of the intersection of Ash and Burr near the railroad overpass.
“A party expressed some interest in it,” Tracy said.
Adopted Resolution 3041, transferring real property described as the east 66 feet of the west 383.82 feet of Lot 5-B except the south 601.76 feet thereof, a subdivision of previously replatted Lot 5 of the Mitchell Interstate Industrial Park, to the Mitchell Area Development Corp.
Adopted Ordinance 2411, creating the South Point Village Planned Development District, which is a rezoning of the development.
Amended Ordinance 2409, the 2013 annual appropriation ordinance, to change amount of tax levy to be certified to the Davison County Auditor’s Office from $4,401,194 to $4,370,213.
Added Cindy Titze and Janice Peterson to the Insurance Committee.
Approved Change Order 1, snow removal equipment storage building AIP ‘25, to Mueller Lumber Company increasing the amount of contract by $2,721 for concrete apron in lieu of pavement added to project. The adjusted contract to date is $405,221.
Approved an automatic supplement to the General Fund, Traffic, in the amount of $963 for signs from a refund due to an over-payment.
Approved an automatic supplement to the Special Revenue Fund, Parks, Recreation & Forestry, in the amount of $2,178 for the Plant-A-Tree program from donations.
Approved an automatic supplement to the Special Revenue Fund, Parks, Recreation & Forestry, in the amount of $10,000 for the Hitchcock Park playground project from a donation of funds.
Acknowledged the volunteer listing on file with the Human Resource Office.
Approved raffle requests.
Accepted department and division reports.