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City offers temporary storage for lawn bowling equipment

Bill Cochrane rolls a lawn bowl as a group of supporters of the sport practice on the newly opened green at Lakeview Golf Course Monday afternoon. (Tom Lawrence/Republic Photo)

Once the conversation on lawn bowling got rolling at Monday night's Mitchell City Council meeting at City Hall, it gathered speed.

When it came to a halt after a half hour, there was no clear resolution but there was some forward momentum. The city agreed to try to find temporary storage for the hundreds of pieces of lawn bowling now owned by the Lakeview Lawn Bowling Association.

LLBA President Rod Titze once again asked the council for about $30,000 for a 24-by-48 foot storage shed at the golf course. He has purchased about $70,000 in lawn bowling equipment with money he has received from donations.

Council members weren't inclined to reverse a decision they made this summer not to provide the funds.

The city has spent about $15,000 to create a green and more than $8,000 maintaining it.

The officials said they worry about annual requests for financial assistance from the group.

"I feel like we've done a lot to help you get this going," Councilman Travis Carpenter said.

Councilman Mel Olson said he is "not inclined" to spend another cent of city money on the project and Councilman Dan Allen told Titze to come back next year and make a request during the budget process.

Olson said perhaps supporters can raise at least half the money for the shed. He noted that local tennis players and backers paid for half the cost of lights at city courts.

But after an impassioned speech from Titze and comments from former mayoral candidate Rube Adam, a member of the James Valley Community Center board, the mood shifted.

Adam said the council should consider the sport an investment in the city's future. He said senior citizens are increasingly active and want outdoor sports to play.

Lawn bowling may bring people to town to play the sport, spend money and possibly relocate, Adam said. The council should realize "this is a pretty small investment," he said.

Titze said he expects 1,000 people to play lawn bowling at the course next year, but the equipment must be stored by the lawn.

"We've got to have a building so people can come out and use it," he said. "We need a place to put it."

Right now it's being kept in his garage, and he brings some bowls and other equipment to the lawn in his van.

Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department Director Dusty Rodiek and Golf and Cemetery Director Kevin Thurman then said they will try to find a temporary place to store the 2,400 lawn bowls and other equipment that Titze has obtained.

Thurman said he will discuss other concerns, such as a permanent storage facility, security and staffing, with his board.

The council thanked Thurman and told Titze they wish him well. He brought about 20 supporters of the sport with him and said he feels there is a large pool of lawn bowlers to draw from in the future.

"This is going to be for a lot of people in Mitchell," Titze said.


The Sidewalk Committee discussed proposed projects for 2011 and 2012 in a meeting that lasted one hour, 20 minutes longer than was planned.

While several areas were examined, plans discussed and costs weighed, no decisions were made. The committee will resume the discussion before the Oct. 18 City Council meeting.


A Finance Committee meeting was canceled because of the lengthy sidewalk discussion, but a review of the 2011 budget was shifted to the council meeting.

The council heard a brief summation of the $30.6 million budget from Finance Officer Marilyn Wilson. The budget increased 3.1 percent from 2010's $29.6 million budget largely due to capital improvement projects.


Jerry Toomey, a former City Council member, asked the council to reconsider altering its laws for RVs and other vehicles stored on streets.

The Traffic Committee discussed the issue in September but took no action.

Toomey said 20 years ago, a child darted out from between two parked vehicles and he struck the child with his car. The child was bloodied and hospitalized but recovered.

Toomey said he fears such an incident will happen again with a more serious outcome unless non-motorized vehicles kept on streets are moved. He said he found dozens of nonmotorized vehicles in a sixblock area around his home this summer.

"There's a problem, I think," Toomey said.

Other business

In other business, the City Council:

• Awarded a bid on the Fifth and Main streets demolition project.

The low bid was $212,103 by Schoenfelder Construction, of Mitchell, and it was awarded the contract. A May 1, 2011, completion date was set.

• Approved the application of the Palace City Lions Club for a special event liquor license at the Corn Palace and City Hall on Nov. 13 for the Colgate Country Showdown.

• Heard the first reading of Ordinance 2345 to rezone Lots 11 and 12, Block 13 in Gleeson's Addition.

• Heard the first reading of Ordinance 2346 to rezone Lot 10, Block 13 in Gleeson's Addition.

These two ordinances will be sent back to the Planning Commission, which will hold a public hearing at noon Tuesday, Oct. 12. The two owners of the lots are seeking permission to open a business there that some neighbors fear will be a casino.

Olson said he opposes the plan but wants to see it move ahead and get a fair hearing rather than "kill it in the crib."

• Heard the 2010 Corn Palace Festival report, which indicated there was a $15,008.41 profit from the concerts and events held this year.

Corn Palace Director Mark Schilling said the success of the Kenny Rogers and Gary Allan shows put the festival in the black. The total income from the concerts, beer, pop and food sales, the carnival and other areas was $398,711.21. Total costs were $383,702.80. Rogers cost $65,000, drew 3,148 people and took in $127,665; Allan cost $60,000, drew 2,843 people and took in $93,720; Bjorn Again drew 1,184 people and took in $12,320, magician Jason Latimer and comedian Dick Hardwick drew 1,034 people and took in $8,680, and musicians Everly and E-Nation drew 662 people and took in $3,200. Those shows were part of a package deal that cost about $48,000, Schilling said.

• Amended its contract with the Area Community Theater.

The new agreement will clear up concerns about flagpoles and insurance payments. The city had been listed as the beneficiary of insurance benefits but now the money would go to ACT.

The flagpoles will be removed from the front of the building. There was concern about finding people to raise and lower the numerous flags at the site.

• Authorized the Department of Public Safety to accept a community grant from Walmart in the amount of $250 to buy a digital camera.

• Declared surplus computers at the Mitchell Public Library.

• Amended Resolution 2847, which reads: "... the Water Fund will be reimbursed without further action on the part of this council" to read "... the General Fund will be reimbursed without further action on the part of this council."

• Examined the notice of acceptability for NorthWestern Energy utility improvements, City Project 2010-27, by H&W Contracting.

Mayor Lou Sebert said the city paid for the work and half the money will be refunded.

• Reviewed an automatic supplement to the General Fund, Police, in the amount of $2,685 from state grant funds for speed enforcement. This will pay for overtime for officers to work in speed-prone areas.

• Approved an automatic supplement to the General Fund, Street & Sidewalk, in the amount of $5,000 for bike path construction from a donation.

• Approved an automatic supplement to the General Fund, Police, in the amount of $500 for the Lids for Kids, a bike helmet program, from a donation.

• Approved an application of Kirby Larson for a taxicab driver's license for Becky's Vans.

• Sat as the board of adjustment and approved: the application of Larry Koster for a variance to construct a garage at 2341 West 23rd Ave.; the application of Jim Ritter for a variance to construct an addition to a garage at 183 Indianhead Drive; the application of Daren Long for a variance to construct a personal storage shed at 1920 Bridle Drive; the application of Don and Mary Lou Dailey for a conditional use permit to construct a 36-by-38 foot garage at 71 N. Harmon Drive; and the application of Don and Mary Lou Dailey for a variance to construct a garage at 71 N. Harmon Drive.

• Approved pay estimates.