Council clears way for Knights of Columbus Hall to be demolished

Parish plans to make the space a new parking lot

The entrance of City Hall located at 612 N. Main St. (Republic file photo)

Another aging building will be coming down after the Mitchell City Council approved Holy Family Church’s request to demolish the Knights of Columbus Hall during Tuesday’s meeting at City Hall.

Despite missing out on an estimated $20,000 in revenue that the parish would otherwise pay for putting the building's debris at the landfill, council unanimously voted to approve the request. Tuesday's meeting was held a day later than normal due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

The 218 E. Second Ave. building has historically been utilized for meeting space and as a gymnasium. However, the structure has had maintenance issues and failing equipment, making it difficult to maintain. That’s according to Nathan Sparks, the Holy Family Parish Finance Committee chairman, who spoke to the council and provided details of the future plans the church has for the lot.

“There are many needs for the building, such as a new boiler, air conditioning unit and a roof repair,” Sparks said. “With the lack of usefulness, there is a minimal need to complete these repairs.”

Sparks emphasized the need for additional parking around Holy Family Church, which sparked the church’s plan to construct a parking lot after the building being torn down.


Situated at the corner of East Second Avenue and North Kimball Street, Sparks said the area is being used for parking, noting the close proximity of the Logan Luxury Five Cinema west of the building. Sparks said the church plans to allow the parking lot to the public.

“When we demolish the building, we plan to fill in the lot with about 30 parking spaces,” Sparks said. “Since we’re creating more parking, we are asking for the city’s consideration to waive the tipping fees for the rubble that will be hauled to the landfill.”

The rubble that will accumulate from the demolition project is expected to amount to roughly 450 to 500 tons. Considering Holy Family Church is requesting the city to waive the tipping fees for dumping the rubble that’s a result of the tear down, Public Works Director Kyle Croce is estimating the landfill would miss out on about $20,000 in revenue.

With that in mind, Croce requested the demolition crew to separate the debris, which would allow for some of the bricks and other rubble to be reused or recycled in some fashion. Sparks said there has been a brick mason who has expressed interest in utilizing the brick left over from the demolition.

“It’s a considerable amount of money in reference to what we gain from adding a parking lot,” Croce said. “If they’re willing to separate the debris and haul off the materials and metals that will go to the landfill, it would be an advantage for us.”

Schoenfelder Construction, of Mitchell, is the demolition company that will be tasked with tearing down the building and Sparks said the church will fund the building teardown and the construction of the parking lot. As for the timeline of the project, Sparks said the church and the demolition contractor are ready to begin upon the approval from the council.

Council member John Doescher raised a concern that centered around the lack of an agreement in place, noting it could leave the city vulnerable if the church decides to change course and use the lot for something other than a parking lot.

“I’m not opposed to considering this, but I think we need to have an agreement in place," Doescher asked. "What if the church at some point changes its mind and wants to sell the lot and do something else with it?"


Upon Doescher’s suggestion the city enter into a formal agreement with Holy Family Church, the council stipulated a written agreement to be solidified prior to the construction of the parking lot. City Attorney Justin Johnson will draft the agreement that would bind the parish to create the parking lot.

Consent agenda

The following items were considered as part of the consent agenda:

  • Approved the minutes of the Jan. 6 council meeting and the Dec. 30, 2019 Planning Commission meeting.

  • Approved department reports.

  • Approved the following raffle permits: LifeQuest Dancing 4 Dreams event with the drawing to be held on March 20; American Legion Post 18 with the drawing to be held on April 29; Pheasants Forever. with the drawing to be held on Oct. 16.

  • Set the date for the following bid opening: Feb 6, for trap and removal of minnows from the city of Mitchell’s WasteWater Lagoon (3-year lease).

  • Approved 2019 ambulance write-off requests.

  • Approved the appointment of Shawn Erickson to the Parks and Recreation Board to fill an unexpired term that runs from January 2020 to July 2021.

  • Approved Jan. 15 and 21 gas and fuel quotations.

  • Approved Jan. 1 pay estimates.

  • Approved bills, payroll, salary adjustments and new employee hires.

Other business

  • Recited the Pledge of Allegiance, received invocation from First United Methodist, roll call, heard citizens’ input.

  • Approved consent agenda.

  • Entered into executive session, citing legal discussion and negotiations. No action taken.

  • Met as Board of Adjustment.

  • Held hearing and approved the following application: Jan. 21, for the application to transfer RB-2842 retail (on-off sale) malt beverage license from I-90 Fuel Services Inc. doing business as I-90 Travel Plaza No. 101, S. Burr St. Suite A, to Holiday Station store No. 490, 1821 S. Burr St.

  • Held hearing and take approved on the following applications: Jan. 21, Darren, Devon and Dustin Long’s application for a height variance of 28 feet vs. 22 feet and a side-yard on a corner variance of 2 feet vs. 20 feet for construction of an addition to the existing building located at 520 S. Rowley legally described as lots 7, 8, 9, block 9, Van Epps First Addition, city of Mitchell. The property is zoned an R3 Medium Density Residential District; Alexis Jennings’ application for a conditional use permit to operate a family residential child care business at the property located at 1309 E. Fifth Ave., legally described as lot 4, block 1, Bridle Acres Addition, city of Mitchell. The property is zoned R2 Single Family Residential District.

  • Reconvened as City Council.

  • Entered into discussion on wastewater collection study report by Camden Hofer of SPN and Associates.

  • Approved to table the decision on one-way streets to the April 6 council meeting.

  • Approved GeoComm Dispatch mapping software for the Mitchell Department of Public Safety. The three-year contract is estimated to cost $24,114.

  • Approved Agreement No. A2020-06, a request to approve the equitable sharing agreement and certification between the federal government and the city of Mitchell's Department of Public Safety. The agreement would allow the Department of Public Safety to obtain funds from asset/drug forfeitures if the Mitchell Police Department is involved in the investigation.

  • Approved Agreement No. A2020-07, the acceptance of using the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) grant funds to purchase a new landfill compactor. The agreement allows the city to use 20% of the $663,000 grant that the DENR recently awarded to the city of Mitchell for the new single stream recycling program.

  • Approved Agreement No. A2020-08, the acceptance of the DENR’s grant to fund $545,000 in recycling equipment for the city’s new single stream recycling program.

  • Approved Agreement No. A2020-6D, the purchase of 22 (2-cubic yard) dumpsters for the city of Mitchell’s recycling program that will be distributed to participating commercial businesses and apartment complexes. The dumpsters will cost $12,190.

  • Approved Agreement No. A2020-6E, the purchase of a $120,509 recycling payloader for the city’s recycle transfer facility.

  • Approved Agreement No. 2020-19, the purchase of a $218,217 payloader for the MItchell Regional Landfill. The city has $226,000 budgeted for the payloader.

  • Approved Agreement No. 2020-22, the purchase of a $597,796 compactor for the Mitchell Regional Landfill. The city will utilize $118,000 (20%) of the DENR grant funds to purchase the compactor.

  • Approved Resolution No. R2020-04, a petition for the vacation of the alley right-of-way running north-south between the 701 block of West Eighth Avenue and the 700 block of West Seventh Avenue. Francisco Contreras Vazques and Janel Contreras; Dwight Daniel Stadler and Barbara May Stadler; Bechen Electric, LLC; Northwestern Public Service Co., are listed as the petitioners for the vacation of the alley.

  • Approved authorizing Mitchell Mayor Bob Everson to accept an employee release agreement.

  • Approved authorization of Resolution No. R2020-06, authorizing the city to abate the residential home of 414 S. Montana St. due to nuisance conditions that involve unsanitary animal waste and garbage collecting inside the home. An order to correct was issued, which stated the home must be cleaned or razed within 14 days. After the home wasn’t cleaned or razed within the allotted time of the order to correct, the city is seeking to abate and demolish the home.

  • Approved ambulance billing services contract.

  • Held first reading on Ordinance No. O2020-01, establishing airport ramp regulations that will set rules for prohibiting airplanes from staying on the ramp for extended periods of time, which has been an ongoing issue.

Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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