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Mitchell City Council awards Corn Palace construction bid

Mueller Lumber to complete first phase of renovation for $3.62M.

The Mitchell City Council awarded a bid to a local company for the renovation of the Corn Palace at its meeting Monday night at City Hall, but only after agreeing to a few changes to keep the project within budget.

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With a unanimous vote, the council awarded a bid for the construction of the first phase of the renovation of the Corn Palace to Mueller Lumber, which submitted the lowest bid for the project of $3.95 million. Another local company, Puetz Corporation, was the only other bidder, with a bid of $4.27 million.

Council President Jeff Smith said it's worth the expense to reinvest in the Corn Palace.

"In reality, that is our identity, and I think we're doing the right thing moving forward," Smith said.

To keep the project within budget, the council agreed to several changes that reduced the total construction cost of the first phase of the project to about $3.62 million. With a $4.2 million budget for the first phase of the project, that leaves about a 10 percent contingency for any unexpected expenses.

To stay within budget, the council agreed to remove from the project decorative tile planned for the base of the building, a felt wall finish on the upper floor of the lobby and seven small wind turbines on the south facade of the building. The council also agreed to have new all-glass doors at the main entrance, an additional expense of $10,362.

Any of the features removed from the first phase could be revisited in the second phase of the project, according to Eric Amel, of Meyer, Scherer and Rockcastle, a Minneapolis-based firm designing the project for the city.

Amel said the removal of the decorative tile, an expense of $268,086, was a difficult but necessary decision.

"It's a big chunk of money that got us to where we felt we needed to be," Amel said.

Councilman Mel Olson said it would be a detriment to the project to make cuts beyond what the council agreed to Monday night.

"The thing is, we have to have the wow factor," he said. "I think we're going to have the wow factor."

The two-phase renovation of the Corn Palace is expected to cost about $7.2 million. The city has already set aside $6.5 million for the project.

Changes to the Corn Palace will include new, light-up domes, larger murals with improved lighting and large windows that open to a walk-out balcony above the marquee. The soon-to-be vacated City Hall building, which is attached to the north side of the Corn Palace, will be vacated and renovated to include exhibits and a theater in the second phase of the plan.

Consent agenda

Council members approved as part of a consent agenda:

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

• An application to transfer a retail on-sale liquor license from Loyal Order of Moose, 516 W. 15th Ave. to Loyal Order of Moose, 516 W. 15th Ave., due to a change in the licensed premises.

• A raffle request from the Heart and Sole Cancer Walk, with the drawing to be held June 20.

• An automatic supplement of $17,212 from an insurance claim reimbursement to the Parks and Recreation Department's special revenue fund for roof repair at the Mitchell Activities Center, due to wind damage.

• A June 11 date to receive and consider bids for shoreline repair north of the Lake Mitchell spillway.

• A June 16 date to receive and consider bids for a hearing for work done on construction projects and nuisance abatements in 2013.

• A receipt of notification from the South Dakota Department of Legislative Audit that the 2013 audit report for the city of Mitchell has been received and accepted.

• Gas and diesel bids.

• A list of pay estimates.

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

Other business

In scheduled business tonight, council members:

• Approved, during a 7 p.m. Public Health and Safety Committee meeting, a fireworks permit for the June 20 Heart & Sole Cancer Walk/Run.

• Approved, during a 7:05 p.m. Traffic Commission meeting, a parade permit for Dakota Wesleyan University's homecoming parade from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sept. 20; a request to close Eighth Street from Minnesota Street to Iowa Street, and the Cadwell Park entrance to Eighth Street from 5 to 9 p.m. June 20 for the Heart & Sole Cancer Walk/Run; a request for a yield sign at 10th Street and Edmunds Street.

• Declared as surplus one Glock Model 27 handgun, one badge and name tag to be presented to Assistant Police Chief Leon Baier when he retires May 23.

• Discussed programs and future plans with the Mitchell Housing Authority.

• Sat as the board of adjustment and set a June 2 date for a hearing on the application of John Hollman for a front yard variance of 20 feet, rather than the required 35 feet, to construct a new accessory building at 1706 W. Fifth Ave.; approved the application of Erika Ellwein for a conditional use permit to operate a day care in her home at 808 E. Fifth Ave.

• Set a June 16 date to re-bid for furniture for the Mitchell Public Library.

• Approved a resolution for plat of Lot 16, Block 9 of the Woods First Addition, a subdivision of the east one-half of the southwest one-quarter of Section 23, Township 103 North, Range 60 west of the fifth P.M., city of Mitchell.

• Approved a resolution for a contingency transfer of $10,000 to the street and sidewalk portion of the general fund for repairs of damage from a hit-and-run to the guardrail of the Canal Bridge.

• Approved on the first of two required readings of an ordinance prohibiting certain forms of aggressive solicitation, which would prohibit anyone from soliciting in an aggressive manner in a public place; on private property without permission; within 20 feet of a bank or ATM; in exchange for blocking, occupying or reserving a public parking place for motorists; while being misleading about the reason for the solicitation; while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance; in any bus or in any public parking lot; within 6 feet of any building entrance; before sunrise or after sunset; and within 20 feet of any public restroom facility.

• Approved on the first of two required readings an ordinance amending Mitchell's zoning code.

• Approved on the first of two required readings an ordinance to supplement the City Council portion of the general fund with $5,000 from the general fund cash balance for legal publications; and the sports complexes' portion of the Parks and Recreation department's special revenue fund with $30,000 for capital buildings, with $15,000 from the park fund balance and $15,000 from a donation.

• Approved the purchase of library furniture off the state bid from HON Furniture, care of Brown & Saenger, in the amount of $39,168.30 for the renovation of the Mitchell Public Library.

• Approved an amendment to an agreement with the South Dakota Department of Transportation for airport SRE equipment from $125,000 to $120,000.

• Approved an amendment to the Lake Mitchell shoreline restoration project with SPN & Associates.

• Approved a certificate of substantial completion for Norway Avenue lift station project.

• Approved a change order to Ironman Construction for the Garden of Eden demolition, removing the deduction of $5,445 awarded in the original bid, for an adjusted contract amount of $23,921.

• Approved a change order to Sunkota Construction for the renovation of the Mitchell Public Library, adding a voice and data system for $5,895, for an adjusted contract amount of $1,872,025.

• Approved an agreement with Puetz Corp. acting as construction manager at-risk for the City Hall project.