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Historic house demolition on council's agenda

The Mitchell City Council is set to decide tonight whether there are any feasible alternatives to demolishing one of the city's oldest surviving houses.

The agenda includes a 6:40 p.m. Public Health and Safety Committee meeting, a 7:15 p.m. Traffic Commission meeting and the 7:30 p.m. council meeting, all in Council Chambers at City Hall, 612 N. Main St.

At a special meeting last week, the council heard hours of testimony about the possible demolition of a house at 205 N. Duff St., which was built in about 1883, but was damaged by fire in 2002 and was later declared a public nuisance by the city. But because the house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, state law requires the city take specific steps before the house can be demolished.

In a lawsuit filed Feb. 27, 2013, the city asked the court for permission to demolish the house, which the city had already at that time declared a public nuisance.

The house is owned by Clarence and Lauretta Larsen, who appeared at last week's special meeting with their attorney, Jim Taylor, of Mitchell. Lauretta Larsen told the council she opposes the demolition because she and her husband are still working to restore the house to the condition it was in before the fire.

City Administrator

Mayor Ken Tracy said last week he would announce the candidate who has accepted an offer to become Mitchell's first-ever city administrator at tonight's meeting.

Tracy declined to identify the person in an interview last week because, he said, that person's current employer still needed to be notified.

The city administrator will manage the day-to-day affairs of city government, but will be accountable to the mayor. The council agreed to add a city administrator to the city's government last December and agreed to hire someone for the position the same way it hires any other city employee, which meant the issue could not be referred to a public vote.

The council later set the position's annual salary at a minimum of $90,000, up to a maximum of $110,000.

About 40 people applied for the position, according to Billie Kelly, the city's human resources director.

Consent agenda

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

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

• The appointment of Jarred DeBoer, Greg McCurry and Joe Kramer to the Mitchell Parks and Recreation Board, as recommended by Mayor Ken Tracy, effective July 1.

• A July 7 date for a hearing on the application of the Palace City Lions Club for a special event malt beverage and wine license for the Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo July 17-20 at Horseman's Sports Arena.

• A July 7 date for a hearing on the application of the Mitchell Exchange Club for a special event malt beverage and wine license for the Bull Bash Aug. 20 at Horseman's Sports Arena.

• The application of the Mitchell Exchange Club for a special event malt beverage and wine license for the state amateur baseball tournament Aug. 6-17 at Cadwell Park.

• An automatic supplement of $3,500 from donated funds to the Parks and Recreation special revenue fund for handicap push button doors at the Rec Center.

• An automatic supplement of $6,400 from an insurance claim reimbursement to the water distribution enterprise fund for roof repair because of hail damage.

• The application of the OutKast Car Show for a bandstand with live entertainment from noon to 4 p.m. at Fourth Avenue and Main Street, a car show from First Avenue to Sixth Avenue on Main Street, and a half block on either side of Main Street, on Sept. 20.

• 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 plan to:

• Conduct a hearing and consider a resolution for the collection of special assessment rolls for construction projects and nuisance abatements in 2013.

• Award bids for the North Arrowhead Pass storm sewer project; gabion rip-rap for the north side of the Lake Mitchell spillway; and custom furniture, equipment and appliances for the Mitchell Public Library.

• Consider a resolution updating the functional classifications of certain roads and urban boundaries in the city of Mitchell based on recommendations from the South Dakota Department of Transportation.

• Consider a resolution to retain Dennis Maloney, a labor law attorney, to lead negotiations with unions for the city, at a rate of $125 per hour, and appoint the city's human resources director, city attorney and city administrator to the negotiating team.

• Consider a resolution authorizing the filing of an application for a grant under Section 5311 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.

• Consider a resolution to set the fee for the permit allowing outdoor wine service at downtown businesses at $100.

• Consider a resolution to cancel outstanding checks issued by the city.

• Conduct the first of two required readings of an ordinance to supplement the city administrator portion of the general fund with $49,000 for salaries, $3,750 for OASI, $2,950 for retirement, $7,325 for group insurance, $2,500 for professional fees and services, $1,500 for repair and maintenance, $1,500 for supplies and materials, $500 for uniforms, $2,500 for travel, conferences and dues, $1,500 for computer software and support and $7,500 for office furniture and equipment; the storm drainage portion of the general fund with $30,000 for municipal storm drainage; and $29,085 for building demolition; all from from the general fund cash balance; and the water treatment portion of the enterprise fund with $3,733 from the water fund cash balance for professional services.

• Consider an amendment to the city of Mitchell's lease for the Lake Mitchell Campground deleting a provision having to do with insurance, as the city already carries coverage for the buildings.

• Consider awarding a contract to Cunningham Recreation for playground equipment at Pioneer Park in the amount of $34,999.92.

• Consider a change order from Mueller Lumber Company for the Corn Palace renovation in the amount of $3,155 for crow's nest revisions, for an adjusted contract amount of $3,624,501.

• Consider approving additions to the Corn Palace renovation project, including a quote for control room renovations in the amount of $5,780 from Daktronics and a quote to relocate head end to projection room in the amount of $3,634 from Mid States Audio & Video.