Mitchell City Council inflames Avera-Sanford rivalryCouncil steps in when Sanford chosen over Avera for Rec Center service.
By: Chris Mueller, The Daily Republic
The Mitchell City Council expressed some concern and confusion at its meeting Tuesday night at City Hall over a newly proposed athletic program that would bring Sanford Health to the city’s Recreation Center.
Mitchell Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director Dusty Rodiek informed the council of a motion passed by his department’s board at its Jan. 8 meeting to partner with Sanford Health to offer its “Power Program” at the Rec Center.
“We’re trying to take a program similar to what we’re doing now and make it better,” Rodiek said.
The Rec Center currently offers another, similar athletic program run by Avera Health, but after a lengthy discussion, the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Board decided Sanford’s program would be a better fit, Rodiek said.
Councilman Jeff Smith then informed the council that he had contacted Avera Queen of Peace Hospital CEO Tom Clark, who told him that Avera felt it hadn’t been given a proper chance to present its programs.
Councilman Phil Carlson then expressed concern the Park, Recreation and Forestry Board may have acted unfairly.
“I’m worried that we’re picking winners and losers,” Carlson said.
Carlson suggested the matter should have come before the council as a separate agenda item.
“This is just a program idea,” Rodiek said. “That’s all it is. We just want to make the programming better.”
The Park, Recreation and Forestry Board's action on the program was presented to the council as part of the board’s minutes, but because Sanford and Avera — the latter of which has a much larger presence in Mitchell — were involved, the board felt the council should be informed.
“Because of the names that were involved, we wanted to at least make the council aware,” Rodiek said.
Rodiek said the board’s decision to go with Sanford on this particular program will not limit its future with Avera.
“I don’t think that this will in any way limit our future relationship with Avera,” he said. “We have other programs and visions for the future we hope Avera will be a part of.”
After further discussion, Rodiek and other representatives with the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Board agreed to again hear proposals from both Sanford and Avera at a future meeting, then make a decision, and then return to the council.
Project funds approved
The council approved Ordinance 2429 and in doing so, designated more than $10 million for four major projects.
The money comes from the $10 million in bonds issued in December.
It is being re-appropriated for 2013 in an ordinance that moves $2.6 million for the Corn Palace renovation project, $2.498 million for the MAC ice sheet addition project, $2.347 million for a new City Hall and $2.3 million for the public library expansion. The ordinance also includes more than $2 million for other projects that were not undertaken or completed in 2012 and moves them into 2013, including $1.98 million for the Avera Queen of Peace Hospital storm drainage project.
In other agenda items, the council:
* Set a March 4 date to hold a hearing on the application for financing the Norway Lift Station Project.
* Set a March 12 date to receive and consider bids for rock chips, City Project 2013-10; petroleum projects, City Project 2013-13; and paving, City Project 2013-15, all at 1:30 p.m. in City Hall Council Chambers.
* Discussed changes proposed by the Golf and Cemetery Board to cemetery decoration regulations. No official action was taken.
* Set a March 18 date for a hearing on a proposed sidewalk construction project for 2013.
* Adopted Resolution 3070, the plat of Lots 16 and 16A, of Enemy Creek Estates.
* Adopted Resolution 3071, the plat of Lot 2-A of Circle K Ranch Third Addition.
* Adopted Resolution 3072, the plat of Schlaffman Tract 1 in the southeast quarter of Section 26, Township 103 north, range 60 west of the fifth prime meridian in Davison County.
* Adopted Resolution 3073, authorizing the mayor and Finance Officer Marilyn Wilson to execute a quit claim deed to Barbara Johnson over a 5-foot-wide utility and drainage easement, turning the property on Lots 21 and 22 of the Island First Addition over to her.
* Held the second reading of and adopted Ordinance 2428, supplemental appropriations of $851,000 for the Norway lift station, with $800,000 coming from a low-interest loan from the state Clean Water State Revolving Fund, and $51,000 from the city Sewer Fund. The ordinance also designates $5,000 for computer hardware for the water treatment.
* Approved of Lawler Street, City Project 2010-2, State Project P3693(01), Lawler grading, curb and gutter, sidewalk, storm sewer, asphalt concrete surfacing, water main and sanitary sewer improvements, change order 5, increasing project costs by $4,583.56 for an adjusted contract amount of $451,640.97.
* Approved an agreement between the city and the South Dakota Department of Transportation for a state of good repair grant, with the city receiving a $240,000 grant for vehicle maintenance for its Palace Transit buses. The city will spend $60,000 on the project.
* Approved a Finance Committee report from its Feb. 4 meeting.
* Approved department and division reports, with the exception of the portion of the Golf and Cemetery Board report regarding cemetery decoration regulations, and the portion of the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Board regarding Sanford Health’s Power Program.
* Approved an $8,200 contract with Cherie Ramsdell for the design of the 2013 Corn Palace murals.
* Approved a $52,250 contract with Wade Strand for the production of the colored corn and other materials used in the 2013 Corn Palace murals.