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Council talks 2019 goals

Mitchell City Council members discussed their goals for 2019 in the areas of infrastructure, recycling, Lake Mitchell and more during a work session on Monday night.

Mitchell City Council members discussed their goals for 2019 in the areas of infrastructure, recycling, Lake Mitchell and more during a work session on Monday night.

The majority of those goals related to setting out plans for projects already in the works and problems already identified, as the meeting was not intended to be a time to make any concrete decisions.

"The good thing is, it's kind of a continuation of the conversations you've been having the past couple of years," City Administrator Stephanie Ellwein said.

Ellwein told council members that three of their main identified projects - cleaning up Lake Mitchell, updating City Hall and renovating the rec center - cannot all be completed in 2019 because at least some of the funding for all three would have to come out of the city's general fund, and the budget for the upcoming year has already been set.

"I can't make the revenue stream triple," she said.

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Council Member Marty Barington said he thinks it's important that the council determine its priorities and start acting on them as soon as possible, rather than continuing to talk about possibilities.

"In the city of Mitchell, it takes two years before we can dig a hole," Barington said. "We have to prioritize. And we have to do it now. We can't steer away, because by the time we even start spending that money, it's going to be 2020."

Council members also expressed interest in reevaluating the city's budget process next year in order to ensure things are running as smoothly as possible, as well as potentially rethinking the city's recycling program.

Council Member Jeff Smith said that he felt uninformed when the city signed its three-year contract with Dependable Sanitation, of which he said about two years remain. In the upcoming year, he said he hopes to get more information on whether the recycling program currently in place is effective for Mitchell, and, if not, what would be a better fit for the city.

"I want to base this upon good information, and hopefully between now and then, we can kind of put together what's right for Mitchell."

Coming up with plan for streetlights and general city lighting and for effectively using security cameras around the city were also identified as goals for 2019, as was identifying how the sites of what were once the Jitters building and Casey's General Store on Main Street can be used.

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