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Administrator salary among issues on city council agenda

A discussion of a recently passed proposal to add a city administrator to the city’s government is on the Mitchell City Council’s agenda tonight, as is a discussion about hiring a consultant to research the city’s options for a new Recreation Center.

0 Talk about it

The council’s agenda includes a 7 p.m. Finance Committee meeting and the 7:30 p.m. council meeting, both in Council Chambers at City Hall, 612 N. Main St.

At its last meeting Dec. 16, the council approved the city administrator proposal. At tonight’s meeting, the council plans to discuss what salary the position will require and further define the position’s job description, according to Council President Jeff Smith.

City administrator salaries typically range from $80,000 to $100,000, Smith said.

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

Unlike city managers, city administrators are not the chief executives of the cities they serve, and instead are accountable to the mayor; they have little, if any, authority to hire or fire city employees or prepare a city budget; and only have the authorities granted to them by a mayor or by ordinance, according to Matthew Fairholm, a political science professor at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. Fairholm met with the council at its meeting Nov. 18.

There are 20 cities in South Dakota with city administrators, according to information presented at the Oct. 7 council meeting.

Mayor Ken Tracy will notify the council that, at this point, it does not appear the city would benefit from hiring a consultant to study the city’s options for a new Recreation Center, according to Smith.

At the Oct. 7 council meeting, Tom Clark, regional president and CEO of Avera Queen of Peace Hospital, approached city officials to discuss the possibility of forming a partnership to build a recreation/wellness center in Mitchell.

Clark said Avera is willing to split the cost with the city for a consultant, who could identify various options and give recommendations for such a project. He estimated a consultant would cost approximately $25,000.

Dakota Wesleyan University has also approached the city to express interest in a possible partnership for the project.

“We’re working so well, I think we’ve moved past the study to tell you the truth,” Smith said.

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 and minutes from various committee meetings.
  • A raffle request from the Mitchell Gymnastics Booster Club Inc., with the drawing to be held Feb. 15.
  • Official depositories for the city of Mitchell for 2014.
  • The Daily Republic as the official newspaper for the city of Mitchell for 2014.
  • Set a Jun 3 date for the annual municipal election in conjunction with the primary.
  • Set a Jan. 20 date for a hearing on the application to transfer a retail on-sale liquor license from Steak N’ More, 1801 N. Main St., to A-Z Gaming Inc., 1801 N. Main St.
  • Set a Jan. 20 date for a hearing on the application to transfer a retail on-sale liquor license from VFW Post 2750, 103-105 N. Main St., to Corn Palace City Post 2750 VFW, 215 N. Main St.
  • The application transfer a package off-sale liquor license, an on- and off-sale wine license and a malt beverage license from Amstar, 100 S. Main St., to Casey’s General Store, 100 S. Main St.
  • A change order for the construction of the second indoor ice rink at the Mitchell Activities Center, increasing project costs by $1,058.97 for door hardware changes and a door fix, for an adjusted contract amount of approximately $1.35 million to Palace City Builders Inc.
  • A list of pay estimates.
  • Gas and diesel fuel bids.
  • 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.

Other business

In scheduled business tonight, council members plan to:

  • Set a Jan. 20 date for a hearing on the application of Wayne and Marcy Jones for a backyard variance of 19 feet versus the required 25 feet to construct an addition to their home at 1411 S. Minnesota St.
  • Set a Jan. 20 date for a hearing on the application of Ken and Mary Giblin, Mitchell Subway, for a front yard variance of 19 feet, 6 inches, versus the required 35 feet to construct a new building located at 802 N. Sanborn Blvd.
  • Award a bid for a concrete pipe project.
  • Consider adopting a resolution to increase the city’s recycling fee to $3.30 per month per residential unit.
  • Consider a resolution to approve the city’s collective bargaining agreements with its fire department employees, police department employees and general city employees.
  • Consider approving the acquisition of an MRAP armored vehicle from the 1033 military surplus program.
  • Consider approving a letter of support from the city of Mitchell for the Poet Ethanol Plant to maintain the renewable volume obligations.
  • Consider approving a software license and service agreement for the Mitchell Police Division.
  • Consider approving the Moonlight Bar’s application for renewal of its retail on-sale liquor license.