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USD professor to meet with Mitchell City Council about city administrator

The Mitchell City Council will discuss a proposal to add a city administrator to the city’s government with a professor from the University of South Dakota at a meeting tonight.

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The agenda includes a Public Properties Committee meeting at 5:45 p.m., a Sidewalk Committee meeting at 6 p.m., a Traffic Commission meeting at 6:25 p.m., a Finance Committee meeting at 6:45 p.m. and the City Council meeting at 7:30 p.m., all in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 612 N. Main St.

During the Finance Committee meeting at 6:45 p.m., Matthew Fairholm, a political science professor at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, will meet with the council to discuss a proposal to add a city administrator to the city’s government.

A city administrator would oversee the city’s various department heads on a day-to-day basis and answer directly to the mayor and council. There are 20 cities in South Dakota with city administrators, according to information presented at the Oct. 7 council meeting.

The proposal is different from one put forward to add a city manager to the city’s government that was rejected by Mitchell voters in 2011.

An entire chapter of South Dakota’s codified laws is dedicated to the rules and regulations governing city managers, as well as the duties of the position. No such statutes exist for city administrators.

Fundraiser proposal

The council plans to continue a discussion tonight that started at its Nov. 4 meeting regarding the potential hiring of a professional fundraiser to raise money for the renovation and expansion of the Corn Palace.

At the Nov. 4 meeting, the council directed Jacki Miskimins, director of the Mitchell Convention and Visitors Bureau, to contact other cities in South Dakota that have used professional fundraisers and relay those experiences to the council.

Miskimins estimated that a feasibility study from a professional fundraising group would cost between $15,000 and $25,000.

It would take several months to develop a request for proposals, she said, and six to eight months to develop the study.

In July, the council approved a $7.175 million plan for the Corn Palace, split into two phases.

The city currently has $6.5 million set aside for the project to renovate the facility and expand its tourism exhibits into the adjacent City Hall. A new city hall is planned in southern downtown.

Consent agenda

Council members plan to consider approving the following items as part of a consent agenda:

• The meeting agenda, council minutes from the prior meeting, minutes from various committee meetings and reports from various city departments.

• Raffle requests from the Mitchell Community Scholarship fund, with the drawing to be held Feb. 24; the Mitchell Aquatic Club, with the drawing to be held each Monday, Wednesday and Friday in 2014; and POET Mission Greenhouse, with the drawing to be held Dec. 16.

• An application to transfer a retail on-sale liquor license from Bryan A. Rickel, 421 N. Wisconsin St. to CC Steaks Inc., doing business as Cattleman’s Club Steakhouse, 601 E. Norway Ave.

• Applications for general taxi licenses for Palace Transit, E-Z Ride Taxi Cab, Becky’s Vans, Granite Springs Lodge and Party Bus Rock’n.

• Change orders for the construction at the Mitchell Activities Center increasing the project’s cost by $1,345, another increasing the project’s cost $535, and another decreasing the project’s cost by $1,777 to Howe Heating and Plumbing Inc.

• Bills, payroll salary adjustments and new employee hires, and authorize the payment of recurring and other expenses in advance as approved by the finance officer.

• A list of pay estimates.

Other business

In scheduled business tonight, council members plan to:

• Sit as the Board of Adjustment for a hearing on the application of Chris and Frank Krohmer for a variance for an oversize accessory building adding 1,320 square feet to their existing 2,112 square feet, and a side yard variance of 11 feet rather than the required 20 feet, located at 500 E. 16th Ave.

• Review the 2014 Health Insurance Renewal.

• Conduct a hearing on a resolution of intent and public hearing on a three-year hay land lease, and consider a resolution to accept bids and authorize the lease of municipally-owned hay land.

• Award bids for the removal of asbestos from the city-owned Garden of Eden building, located at 214 W. First Ave.

• Consider adopting a resolution setting fees and charges for various city-related services, licenses and fines.

• Consider adopting a resolution to plat Lot 8A of Shank’s First Addition, a subdivision of the West 436.75 feet of Lot 8 in the northwest one-fourth of Section 29, Township 103, Range 60 west of the fifth P.M., Davison County.

• Consider a resolution for the emergency procurement of repairs, without advertising, to fix the wastewater treatment plant’s pumping system.

• Consider a resolution to vacate the easement of Lots Four and Five of D. Odegaard’s First Addition, a Subdivision of Previously Platted Lot Five in Fiala’s Addition, city of Mitchell.

• Consider a resolution authorizing the release of city interest in the Bridle Acres Boundary Easement.

• Consider the first of two required readings of an ordinance to supplement the traffic, fire, public works, street and sidewalk, cemetery, health and welfare, and animal control portions of the general fund from the general fund cash balance; the parks portion of the Parks and Recreation special revenue fund from the parks fund cash balance; the Palace Transit and Sanborn County Transit portions of the Senior Services special revenue fund from the Senior Services cash balance; the nutrition portion of the Senior Services special revenue fund from the nutrition fund cash balance; the Iverson TIF, Vantage Point TIF, MADC Business Park TIF and Probuild TIF portions of the debt service fund from property tax receipts; and various enterprise funds.

• Discuss the installation of flashing yellow lights and 15 mph speed limit signs on Capital Street in front of Mitchell High School.

• Consider the first of two required readings of an ordinance to supplement the wastewater portion of the enterprise fund with $24,500 from the sewer fund cash balance for pump repairs.

• Consider authorizing Gary Larson to conduct the audit for the 2013 fiscal year.

• Consider approving a lottery game of chance for the Mitchell Area Safehouse Foundation, to be held May 9.