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Council approves financing for water improvements

Mitchell residents living near Dry Run Creek will soon have access to better drinking water after the Mitchell City Council approved a resolution Monday to replace aging infrastructure on some of the city's water facilities.

Mitchell City Hall. (Republic file photo)
Mitchell City Hall. (Republic file photo)

Mitchell residents living near Dry Run Creek will soon have access to better drinking water after the Mitchell City Council approved a resolution Monday to replace aging infrastructure on some of the city's water facilities.

According to City Administrator Stephanie Ellwein, the infrastructure of the existing water main on South Rowley Street is a root cause of rusty water, which she noted garnered a history of concerns from residents living in the area near Dry Run Creek. The council unanimously approved financing measures for the water facility improvements during the regularly scheduled meeting at City Hall.

"We are repairing all of those areas of concerns that have contributed to rusty water," Ellwein said. "It's an important step for us to improve the drinking water of that area."

The approval allows the city to finance up to $690,000 for the water facility improvements through using a Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan from the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which provides low-interest loans to governmental entities for clean water projects. Part of the loan will be paid through water use fees, which the council approved recently.

Ellwein said the infrastructure on the water facilities will be replaced in the same area as the sewer facility improvements in the East Central Drainage project, noting it will be wise to repair both simultaneously.

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The council also approved a resolution for Phase I of the East Central drainage project that allows the issuance and sale of revenue bonds to finance the sewer facility improvements. The amount budgeted for the East Central drainage project is $3,563,931.

The two resolutions are necessary because the sewer facility improvements are done in the SRF clean water application, while the second resolution is for the drinking water facilities.

"The improvements that are occurring on the sewer facilities are part of that surcharge dedicated for the repayment of those bonds," Ellwein said. "By doing that, it goes into the 10 percent debt capacity, rather than going into the city's 5 percent capacity. It qualifies for that loan because it's an improvement that is serving the entire population."

Council member Susan Tjarks applauded the city's extensive work on improving the water quality and drainage system along Dry Run Creek.

"I know there are going to be a lot of people happy that we are doing this," Tjarks said, as she made the first motion that was unanimously approved by the council.

SPN and Associates Project Engineer Jeff McCormick said the next step is finishing plans for the East Central drainage project within the next few weeks, which will allow for construction to begin this spring.

"We want to finish everything and finish asphalt this construction season, but this map we have works well so that the contractor can pick areas they can get done this season, while planning other areas for construction next season, if need be," McCormick said.

Kelley land purchase draws citizen input

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Steve Sibson brought forth his concerns regarding the $4.1 million land purchase agreement along Firesteel Creek during the citizens' input portion of the meeting.

Sibson voiced his opposition to the land purchase that the city approved during a January 23 special meeting.

"I will stand behind my points that the city buying this house will impact the pocketbooks of the citizens of this county, one way or another," Sibson said.

Sibson noted another concern is that once the city buys the land, it comes off the property tax rolls, thus increasing the property tax impact on the rest of Mitchell residents.

Consent agenda

The following items were approved at once during the consent agenda portion of the meeting:

• Approved the minutes of the Jan. 22 council meeting, Jan. 23 special council meeting and committee meeting.

• Set the date for the following raffle permits: VFW Post 2750 with a drawing to be held June 1; Dakota Wesleyan University with a drawing to be held Feb. 16 at the Corn Palace during the DWU basketball game; Mitchell Skating and Hockey Association with a drawing to be held Feb. 23; Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary School with a drawing to be held March 23.

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• Set the date for the following hearings: Feb. 19, 2019 for the application of MG Oil Company to transfer retail (on-sale) liquor license located at 1801 N. Main St., Suite 1 to MG Oil Company, doing business as Thirsty's, located at 1500 N. Duff St., Suite B; and Feb. 19, 2019 for the application of Meyers Oil Company Inc., doing business as D'Luxe Casino, to transfer retail (on-off sale) malt beverage license located at 1510 South Burr St., Suite C, to Hohn Partnership, LLC, 1510 South Burr St., Suite C.

• Approved authorization to accept the South Dakota Department of Transportation 5310 grant funds for repair and maintenance.

• Approved purchase authorization of a wastewater department pickup, a 2019 Ford F250 4x4 Regular Cab for $30,500.

• Approved purchase authorization of a new patrol car, a 2020 Ford Explorer Interceptor SUV from Vern Eide Ford for $33,995.

• Approved H&W Contracting as the low bid for Sanborn Phase II & III reconstruction city Project No. 2019-22, and bridge rehabilitation Project No. 2018-22B. The total combined cost of the two projects is $8,530,086.96.

• Approved Joe Schlimgen to the Golf and Cemetery Board for a three-year term.

• Approved Feb. 4 pay estimates.

• Approved bills, payroll, salary adjustments and new employee hires and authorize payment of recurring and other expenses as approved by the finance officer.

Other business

The council considered the following items:

• Pledge of Allegiance, invocation from New Home and St. Mary's, roll call, heard citizens' input.

• Held a hearing and action on the application of V.V. Inc. doing business as Sudz to transfer retail (on-sale) liquor license located at 508 and 510 East Havens to Potter's Plus Studio located at 100 North Main St.

• Held a hearing and action on the application of V.V. Inc. doing business as Sudz, 508 and 510 East Havens for a new retail (on-off sale) wine license (video lottery excluded).

• Approved authorization to use remaining 2018 funds for 2019 in the amount of $11,566 for completion of Recreation Center locker room remodel.

• Approved agreement No. A2019-04, a partial settlement agreement with Puetz Corporation, which will have Puetz pay the city $8,952 to resolve the city's weld costs claim against the contractor for discrepancies regarding welds in the Mitchell Indoor Aquatic Center pool.

• Approved on Resolution No. R2019-14, a plat of lot 1 of DN&KN addition in the SE 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of section 36, T 104 N, R 61 W of the 5th P.M., in Davison County.

• Held second reading and adopted Ordinance No. O2019-01, trees and shrubs chapter updates.

• Held second reading and adopted Ordinance No. O2019-02, an ordinance that changes the zoning district classification of the real property legally described as lot 9, block 7, Rowley's 1st addition, in the city of Mitchell, from Neighborhood Shopping District to R2 Single Family Residential District.

• Entered an executive session, citing legal discussions. No action was taken.

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