Council to hold first reading on 2021 budget with proposal to deny subsidy requests

Mitchell City Hall 5.jpg
The front entrance of City Hall, located at 612 N. Main St. (Republic file photo)

The Mitchell City Council will hold its first reading on the annual appropriations ordinance at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, which includes the proposal to reject several nonprofit organizations’ subsidy requests.

Each year, the City Council reviews the subsidy applications that are submitted by qualifying nonprofit organizations in the city of Mitchell, but due to the financial uncertainty and economic woes caused by the pandemic, the council is proposing to reject most of the applications.

Among the organizations that the council is proposing to reject subsidizing in the 2021 budget are the Prehistoric Indian Village, Mitchell Main Street and Beyond, Friends Foundation of the Mitchell Library, Friends of Firesteel, LifeQuest, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), Dakota Counseling, Helping Hand Pantry, VFW Post 2750, Creative Force Law Drive, Mitchell Area Safehouse, Mitchell Municipal Band and the Exchange Club’s fireworks display. The combined total of subsidy requests that were submitted by the organizations in which the council is proposing to reject amounted to $181,750. While the dollar amount of each group’s subsidy application varied, the combined total for all of the applications that were submitted to the city came in at $628,750.

The Mitchell Area Development Corporation (MADC), Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the Regional Economic Development -- which are divisions of the Mitchell Chamber of Commerce -- are the lone organizations with subsidy applications that the council is proposing to approve in the 2021 budget. Making up the majority of the subsidy requests is the MADC, CVB and Regional Economic Development, which comes out to a combined total of $447,000.

In addition, the council will hold its first reading on the proposed 2021 budget that’s amounted to just over $65 million, marking a $14 million increase from the previous year’s budget. However, the increase is directly related to the roughly $15 million in major infrastructure projects that the city is financing.


Some of the notable infrastructure projects include Phase II of the East Central Drainage project, constructing a new groundwater storage tank, wastewater treatment plant improvements and replacing the Dailey Drive Lift station.

According to City Administrator Stephanie Ellwein, the proposed budget, if approved, would be structurally balanced.

The council will also hold the first reading on supplemental appropriation requests that include adding air plasma purification systems to city facilities in the amount of $200,000, purchasing a self-contained breathing apparatus for the Fire Department at a cost of $200,000.

According to Ellwein’s documents attached to the council agenda, both items are deemed as “emergency purchases.” The air purification system is designed to help combat COVID-19.

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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