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Mitchell City Council to discuss nuisance house, canvass election

This house owned, by Clarence and Lauretta Larsen, sits at 205 N. Duff St. was built in 1883 and has been declared a public nuisance. The Mitchell City Council will discuss the future of the house during tonight's meeting. (Republic file photo)

The Mitchell City Council will hold a special meeting tonight to canvass the results of Tuesday's election and conduct a hearing to determine whether there are alternatives to demolishing a 131-year-old house at 205 N. Duff St. that has been declared a nuisance by the city.

The special meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall, 612 N. Main St.

Nuisance house

The house at 205 N. Duff St., owned by Clarence and Lauretta Larsen, was built in about 1883 and is one of the oldest surviving houses in Mitchell, but was damaged by fire in 2002 and was later declared a public nuisance. But because the house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, state law requires the city take specific steps before it can be demolished.

That's the purpose for tonight's hearing, at which the city will attempt to prove there are no realistic alternatives to demolishing the house.

The owners of the house have said they are still working to restore the house to the condition it was in before the fire.

Canvass election

The council also plans to canvass the results of Tuesday's election and make the results offi cial.

The only city issue that appeared on the ballot was an ordinance allowing outdoor sidewalk wine service on downtown sidewalks, which voters approved with a vote of 1,215, or 60 percent, to 826, or 40 percent.

There were no contested races for seats on the council, but Steve Rice, Dave Tronnes, Dan Allen and Susan Tjarks all ran without opposition and, with council approval of the election results, will officially be declared elected.