Council reverses course in favor of pheasant cleaning business

The Mitchell City Council unanimously decided Monday to approve a conditional use permit allowing the community's lone pheasant cleaning operation to remain in business.


The Mitchell City Council unanimously decided Monday to approve a conditional use permit allowing the community's lone pheasant cleaning operation to remain in business.

At the urging of the community's business and hunting advocates, that decision reversed the vote of the city's planning commission denying a permit for Tami Dammann to continue running a business she's had for nearly 30 years out of her home at 412 N. Foster St. The decision was made as the council sat as the Board of Adjustment during a regular meeting at Mitchell City Hall.

"I've never had problems with anybody or any complaints, as far as I know," she said.

The planning commission took issue with a portable restroom that Dammann previously had located on her property for hunters. There were also complaints about a dumpster on her property - which she uses for pheasant clean-up - causing odor problems.

Dammann said she will not use the portable restroom any longer, and has moved the dumpster closer to her house, while also having it emptied more frequently.


"I feel like I run a very good business and I don't really know what hunters are going to do," said Dammann before the vote, hinting at a possible future without the cleaning business.

There was a handful of supporters for Dammann's business prior to the council voting, and no apparent opposition.

Mike Kuchera, who owns the South Dakota Guide Service business in Mitchell, said he's directed his customers to Dammann's business for at least 15 years. He said if Mitchell takes itself seriously as as pheasant community, it can't be without a bird-cleaning business.

The city used to have a couple of pheasant cleaning businesses, but Dammann remains the only now. Kuchera added that timing made this an urgent matter, with the pheasant opener set for Oct. 20.

"It's not like we're here in February," he said. "We're 30 days out ... and this is a critical thing in our area."

Mitchell Area Development Corporation Executive Director Bryan Hisel said that Dammann provides a real service, despite only being in business for a few months per year.

"She has an unusual location but she does a good job," Hisel said. "To shut down a 30-year business right before the key season, that's almost punitive in some ways. I hope you can be generous with your decision."

Dammann said she operated for years without a conditional use permit because she was unaware she needed one.


The council members were unanimous in their support for the business remaining. They approved the permit with the conditions that there's not an outdoor bathroom and that the dumpster is off the property by Jan. 15 following each hunting season.

"She's been there 30 years," Council Member Kevin McCardle said. "Let's keep her in business."

"We generally agree with the planning commission in almost every case but I guess in this instance, I just don't understand the rationale of this vote," said Council Member Jeff Smith.

Two-way talk

The council, meeting as the city's Traffic Commission, voted to temporarily enact two-way traffic flow on Second, Third, and Fourth avenues during the Sanborn Boulevard construction project next summer.

The issue came at the request of Dan Beukelman ahead of the continued construction on the main Mitchell thoroughfare, which is slated to take place between First and Ninth avenues in 2019.

Beukelman wanted the change to be permanent but the city council said it would make the change during the construction period and then re-evaluate next year about how successful it is.

Because the city already has two-way traffic for one block in each direction off of Main Street between Rowley Street and Lawler Street, Beukelman said the one- and two-way directions would be cobbled on the three east-west streets.


The city was already planning to enact some traffic changes in residential areas during the construction next year, but the council's action officially puts them into place. Otherwise, there could be some risk about having contractors directing traffic without official directing action from the council.

In 2012, 64 percent of Mitchell voters rejected a council decision to make Second, Third and Fourth avenues two-way routes. In May 2017, the Traffic Commission voted unanimously to make the three avenues two-way routes between Rowley and Lawler streets, arguing the change would help downtown businesses. The one-way avenues date back to 1950 on Second, Third, and Fourth.

Other business

The council also took the following action:

• Meeting as the city Traffic Commission, tabled a request from Justin and Janelle Thiesse request the speed limit be changed on Rowley Street to 25 mph all the way to Spruce Street, while approving the addition of a sidewalk near the newly built Dakota Hall on the Dakota Wesleyan University campus.

• Approved the consent agenda as proposed.

• Approved special event liquor licenses for: OverTime Steakhouse and Sports Bar for a special event liquor license for events on Sept. 21, Sept. 22, Sept. 28 and Sept. 29.

• Action to set date for Board of Adjustment hearing Oct. 10, 2018 for Carol Ragle's request for a conditional use permit/home occupation/homeopathic treatment at 820 West Third Ave, legally described as Lot 11, Block 101, Lawler's 2nd Addition, City of Mitchell. The property is zoned R2 Single Family Residential.

• Approved a variance request for Andrew and Kyra Mentele for an oversize variance of 3,024 square feet vs. 2,000 square feet as required in order to construct a garage at 718 W. Norway, legally described as Lots 7, 8, and W 29' of Lot 9, Block 43, University Addition, City of Mitchell. The property is zoned R2 Single Family Residential.

• Awarded bid for East Havens Water Main Loop City project No. 2018-25, as staff recommends Menning Backhoe, LLC in the amount of $111,464.20.

• Held hearing and approved resolution for 2017 construction projects and nuisance abatements.

• Approved Resolutions No. R2018-50 and No. R2018-52, a resolution authorizing an application for financial assistance for the East Central Drainage Basin project funding, authorizing the execution and submittal of the application, and designating an authorized representative to certify and sign payment requests.

• Approved Resolution No. R2018-51 to vacate a portion of an alley right-of-way described as the North 60.02 ft. of the alley in block nine (9), Van Epp's first addition, City Of Mitchell.

• Second reading and adoption of Ordinance No. 02018-09, 2019 annual appropriation ordinance.

• Second reading and adoption of ordinance No. O2018-10, supplemental appropriations.

• Held first reading on ordinance No. O2018-11, amending MCC 5-4A-3(B) regarding alternative waste drop off sites.

Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at
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