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Council moves ahead on BID, fireworks and building lawsuit

The Mitchell City Council moved forward Monday on three significant issues -- taking steps to create a business district, filing suit against the owner of a dilapidated downtown building, and creating an exception to the city fireworks ban.

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Mitchell (Republic file photo)

The Mitchell City Council moved forward Monday on three significant issues - taking steps to create a business district, filing suit against the owner of a dilapidated downtown building, and creating an exception to the city fireworks ban.

There was little discussion on any of the items during the regular meeting at Mitchell City Hall, although all have been roundly discussed at earlier meetings.

The Council approved on first reading an ordinance to create Business Improvement District No. 3 along eight blocks of Main Street. The effort had stalled May 7 amid confusion on whether affected property owners supported the plan.

City Attorney Justin Johnson informed the Council Monday that 42 percent of affected owners oppose the plan, clearing the way for the Council to approve it. Opposition from more than 50 percent would have halted it. Owners of property within the proposed district who did not respond to a city ballot issued May 10 were considered votes in favor of the BID because of how state law is worded.

Johnson indicated, however, that most of the affected owners have notified the city of their opinion.

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"We did hear back from most of the property owners, even with the short response time," Johnson said.

The business district will be used to tax properties along both sides of Main Street from The Depot Pub & Grill north to Seventh Avenue. The $308,000 in total taxes raised from the BID over its seven years - $44,000 per year - will be used to improve appearances along Main Street. The money is also viewed as skin in the game for property owners, as the city prepares to invest $1.2 million in new curb, gutter and corner bump-outs along Main Street.

On an unrelated downtown issue, the Council declared a crumbling 131-year-old building at 301 N. Main St. a public nuisance.

In April, a visual assessment of the damaged building performed by Albertson Engineering concluded it would cost roughly $235,000 to remedy the danger it presents, with additional investment needed to prevent future problems. No estimate was provided for building destruction.

The city has blocked off a portion of Third Avenue since summer 2017 because of the danger the building poses. The wall crumbled because water damaged the mortar in a load-bearing brick wall, engineers determined. The city was working with building owner David Finnell to fix the property, but those efforts later broke off.

Johnson said after the Council meeting that it will take awhile for the legal process to play out and he did not offer a timeline for action. He expects the building ultimately will be demolished rather than repaired because of the high costs.

On the issue of fireworks, the Council approved on first reading a change to city ordinance to allow fireworks to be discharged around Lake Mitchell between noon and midnight on July 3 and 4.

Personal fireworks will be permitted on land between the shoreline of Lake Mitchell and the nearest public right-of-way. The ordinance says the Park and Recreation Board will determine whether fireworks can be discharged at the city-owned campground. The exception to the fireworks ban does not apply if a burn ban has been declared by Davison County.

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In other action, the Council:

• Approved an application of the Exchange Club for a fireworks permit on July 4.

• Approved four applications for parade permits. Dakota Wesleyan University will hold the Blue & White Days parade at 10 a.m. Oct. 13; the Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo Parade will be held at 10:30 a.m. July 21; The Sixth Annual Neil Epp Memorial Poker Run will be held 12:30 p.m. June 30, and the Heart & Sole Cancer Walk/Run will be held at 5 p.m. June 8.

The Council approved the following liquor applications:

• of Corn Palace Shrine Club for a special event liquor license on June 2 for a wedding dance;

• to transfer retail (on-sale) liquor license RL-5761 from Bates Enterprises LLC, dba Big Dummy's/Longhorn Bar, to same due to configuration of liquor license

• to transfer retail (on-sale) liquor license RL-5764 from Bates Enterprises LLC, dba Brew Parlor, 400 N. Main St., Suite 210, to same at 108 N. Main St., Suite A.

• to transfer retail (on-sale) liquor license RL-5766 from R.R. Enterprises Inc. dba Sneaker's Peanut Bar, 1514 N. Sanborn Blvd., Suite A, to MG Oil Company dba Village Bowl, 1500 N. Duff St., Suite A.

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• to transfer retail (on-sale) wine license RW-23600 from R.R. Enterprises Inc., dba Village Casino, 1500 N. Duff St., Suite E, to MG Oil Company, dba Village Bowl, 1500 N. Duff Street, Suite A.

• to transfer retail (on-sale) wine license RW-6464 from R.R. Enterprises Inc., dba Village Bowl-Spare Change Casino, 1500 N. Duff St., Suite C, to MG Oil Company, dba Village Bowl 3, 1500 N. Duff St., Suite C.

• to transfer retail (on-off sale) malt beverage license RB-23601 from R.R. Enterprises Inc., dba Lucky Lady II, 1500 N Duff St., Suite 3, to MG Oil Company, dba Village Bowl 5, 1500 N. Duff St., Suite E.

• to transfer retail (on-off sale) malt beverage license RB-2844 from R.R. Enterprises Inc., dba Lucky Lady Casino, 1500 N. Duff St., Suite D, to MG Oil Company, dba Village Bowl 4, 1500 N. Duff St., Suite D.

• to transfer retail (on-off sale) malt beverage license RB-2828 from R.R. Enterprises Inc., dba Village Bowl & Lge/Spare Change Casino, 1500 N. Duff St., Suite B, to MG Oil Company, dba Village Bowl 2, 1500 N. Duff St., Suite B.

June 4 was set as the date for the Board of Adjustment hearing on the following:

• Radke Construction is requesting an oversize variance of 4,000 vs 2,000 square feet as required and a height variance of 24' vs 22' as required at the property located in 2001 Block of W Fifth Ave.

• Danielle Bultje has applied for a conditional use permit to operate a family residential child care center in her home at 508 E. 12th Ave.

• Joseph and Heidi Geppert have applied for a side yard on a corner variance of 18 feet vs 20 feet as required and a side yard variance of 2 feet 6 inches vs 3 feet as required for construction of a detached garage at their home located at 700 E. 2nd Ave.

The Council approved the following:

• Resolution No. R2018-22, A Plat of Lot 9, Block 3 of The Woods First Addition, A Subdivision of the East 1/2 of the SW 1/4 of Section 23, T 103 N, R 60 W of the 5th P.M.

• Resolution No. R2018-23, A Plat of Lots 1 and 2 of AJB Subdivision in the NE 1/4 of Section 12, T 103 N, R 60 W of the 5th P.M.

• Resolution No. R2018-24, A Plat of Lots 1 and 2 of Goldsteel Addition, an addition in the Northeast Quarter (NE1/4) of Section 23, T 103 N, R 60 W of the 5th P.M.

• Resolution No. R2018-25, A Plat of Lots 1 and 2 in the Replat of Tract E, Wild Oak Golf Club Addition to the City of Mitchell.

• The Council approved on first reading Ordinance No. O2018-07, amending City of Mitchell Municipal Code, Title 10, Article C, Urban Development District, 10-8C-3 Conditional Uses.

The Council approved the consent agenda with the following items.

• Raffle permits for Dakota Wesleyan University football, with drawings to be held Aug. 23, Sept. 15 and 22, Oct. 13, and Nov. 3 and 10; the Mitchell Area Optimist Club, with the drawing to be held Aug. 4.

• Authorize the application for West Nile virus prevention grant funds.

• Set June 4 for hearings on new on-off sale malt beverage licenses for All Star Convenience, Arnie's, Casey's General Store No. 3321, Coborn's No. 2025, Cornerstone Too, Coffee House LLC, County Fair Food & Fuel, Cubby's Mitchell East, Cubby's Mitchell West, The Depot, Easy Come Easy Go, Freedom Valu, Graham's Interstate BP, Marlins Family Restaurant, Northside Sinclair, Rob's Short Stop, Shopko No. 022, Tokyo Japanese Cuisine, Walgreens No. 10347, Westside Sinclair.

• Setting hearings for June 4 on applications for: Overtime Steakhouse & Sports Bar for a special event liquor licenses for weddings on June 9, June 16, and June 30; and on June 23 for a reunion.

• Authorization to purchase electrical services from Northwestern Public Service.

• Authorization to use remaining funds from a roofing project.

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