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Council ups rent for local lawn bowling group

Mitchell City Hall. (Matt Gade / Republic)

The Lakeview Lawn Bowling Association will be responsible for paying a $3,000 annual increase in maintenance fees following the Mitchell City Council's approval of a new facility use agreement during Monday's council meeting.

After lengthy discussion, the council unanimously approved to raise the annual maintenance fee from $3,500 to $6,500, with the contingency of the Lawn Bowling Association paying the 2018 maintenance fee of $3,500.

According to City Attorney Justin Johnson, the city has maintained the lawn bowling green at the Lakeview Golf Course for the past 10 years, and the association failed to pay last year's $3,500 annual maintenance fee, prompting the council to add the contingency to the agreement.

"After the lawn bowling association failed to pay last year's maintenance fee, Kevin Thurman asked me to investigate the agreement, and I discovered that no formal agreement was in place," Johnson said. "To address the issue, I sent a formal letter to the association notifying them that they needed to cease operations until a formal agreement was approved."

Johnson said there was no formal written agreement in place for the past 10 years, making it an informal process that needs to be changed to a written agreement.

For the past 10 years, Lakeview Golf Course Director Kevin Thurman has been tasked with maintaining the lawn bowling green. He spoke on behalf of the golf course, citing a number of issues he's had with the lawn bowling association.

Thurman recently conducted a cost projection for maintaining the lawn bowling green, which came out to be $12,688.75 annually. The agreement will hold the city responsible for paying the remaining $6,188.75.

"The $3,500 we've been charging is beyond fair, and there are some lawn bowling greens in San Diego that charge over $20,000 to maintain," Thurman said.

Lawn Bowling Association President Rod Titze is taking issue with the price increase, which he and fellow members feel is not a fair cost increase for maintenance.

"That's asking us way too much to keep lawn bowling going, and the increase is extremely unfair," Titze said in an interview with The Daily Republic.

Janis Gerlach, a local lawn bowling member, spoke to the council on behalf of the lawn bowling association, claiming the association didn't pay for last year's maintenance fee due to four benches failing to be installed that were promised by the golf course.

"Rod and Kevin do not talk, but we had ordered benches through the golf course, and why aren't they doing this?" Gerlach asked. "We also wanted new gutters."

According to Thurman, he's made conscientious efforts to communicate with Titze and other members but has failed at getting feedback as to what maintenance improvements the lawn bowling association requests.

"He never offered us any input to what type of gutter they wanted put back in on the lawn bowling green," Thurman said of Titze. "I only have so many dollars to take care of the golf course and the lawn bowling green, and nobody ever formally asked me to make these improvements."

After lengthy discussion, council member Marty Barington suggested the golf course and lawn bowling association improve communication lines, asking if the association will pay back last year's $3,500 maintenance fee, which Gerlach agreed could be fulfilled.

"I will make the motion to approve this agreement contingent that we receive our $3,500, and that lawn bowling will be responsible for paying $6,500 per year," Barington said. "I want to keep lawn bowling and healthy activities going in this city, but you need to fulfill your end of the bargain to keep this going."

Absent from the meeting Monday night was Council President Steve Rice.

Daycare conditional use permit

Yvonne Steward's application for a conditional use permit to establish a day care center at 517 N. Duff St. garnered a lengthy discussion between the council and the applicant, ending with the council's 4-3 vote to deny the permit.

City Planner Neil Putnam brought forth the Planning and Zoning Commission's recommendation to deny the permit, citing 10 nearby residents who submitted letters to the planning commission seeking disapproval. The letters stated concerns on the location of the Steward's house being close to Sanborn Boulevard, along with an inadequate sized yard to provide a big enough playing space for kids.

During public input, Steward spoke to the council and explained the process she's recently gone through to get licensed by the Department of Social Services to be a day care provider.

After a lengthy discussion, Barington offered Steward an opportunity to resolve concerns from nearby residents, giving her a two-week timeline, and the council would table the decision until the next council meeting.

Steward declined Barington's offer, opting to have the council vote on the permit during Monday's meeting.

Consent agenda

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

• Approved the minutes of the April 1 council meeting.

• Approved minutes from the March 25 city planning commission meeting.

• Approved department reports.

• Set the date for the following raffle permits: Mitchell Heart and Sole Cancer Walk with drawings to be held on May 11 and June 14; VFW Post 2750 with a drawing to be held on August 31.

• Set the date for the following hearing: On the application of the Corn Palace Shrine Club for a special event liquor license to be located at the Masonic Temple for a wedding on June 14.

• Set the date for the following bid openings: 1:30 p.m. on May 14, 2019 at City Hall for curb and gutter project No. 2019-14, which the city has $654,992 budgeted for the project that includes paving alleys and parking lots; 1:30 p.m. on May 14, 2019 at City Hall for sidewalk project, which the city has $110,000 budgeted for the project.

• Set the date for the following hearings: 6 p.m. on May 6 at City Hall for proposed special assessments for sidewalk construction; 6 p.m. on May 20 at City Hall for proposed special assessments for an alley project in the 201 Block of North Main Street alley between Second and Third avenues on the west side of Main Street.

• Approved authorization to apply for the South Central Alcohol Task Force 2020 budget.

• Approved authorization to apply for 2020 speed enforcement grant.

• Approved gas and fuel quotations.

• Approved April 15 pay estimates.

Other business

• Pledge of Allegiance, received invocation from Word of Life Church, roll call, heard citizens' input.

• Approved consent agenda.

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

• Met as the Board of Adjustment and reconvened as the city council.

• Set date for Board of Adjustment hearings: May 6, 2019 for Brenda Oleson and Dan Hauser's application for a front yard variance of 10 feet vs. 25 feet as required for moving of an existing accessory building located at 721 W. Hanson Ave., legally described as lot 12, block 8, railroad addition, city of Mitchell. The said property is zoned R2 single family residential district; May 6, 2019, for Gary & Sandy Butterfield's application for a backyard variance of 20 feet vs. 25 feet as required and an oversized variance of 1,848 square feet vs. 1,200 square feet as required for the purpose of constructing an accessory building located at 700 W. Pine Ave., legally described as lot 1, block 6, MLC addition, city of Mitchell. The property is zoned PD Mueller Lumber Morningview subdivision planned development district; May 6, 2019, for On Sight Storage LLC's application for a conditional use permit to operate a self-service storage facility located at 120 S. Lawler St., legally described as lots 10 and 11, block 20, original addition, city of Mitchell. The property is zoned CB Central Business District.

• Held a hearing and denied the application of Yvonne Steward, applicant, and Mid Dakota Properties, owner, application for a conditional use permit (family residential child care) at the property located at 517 N. Duff St., legally described as the south half of Lots 1 and 2 and the north half of the vacated alley, Rowley's second addition, northeast quarter of Section 21 in Mitchell Township, city of Mitchell. The lot is zoned R4 multi-family residential district.

• Approved and awarded bid for East Central Drainage Project to Menning Backhoe, LLC in the amount of $3,507,332.52. The city has $4,249,909 budgeted for the project.

• Approved the application of the Corn Palace for a special event license for Food Truck Fridays to take place at 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 17, June 21, July 19 and August 16, which will be located on North Main Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues.

• Approved city of Mitchell and Mitchell Township fire agreement.

• Approved lease agreement between the city of Mitchell and the Mitchell Area Development Corporation for the former NorthWestern Energy building located at 514 N. Main St. The city would lease the building for a duration of eight years.

• Approved Resolution No. R2019-28, a plat of lot 1, block 6, MLC addition, and a portion of West Pine Avenue, a subdivision of block 3 and lot 4B, block 4, Morningview addition to the city of Mitchell.

• Approved Resolution No. R2019-29, a resolution declaring an emergency to City Hall's broken down air conditioning unit.

• Held second reading on ordinance No. 02019-03, city's bicycle ordinance regarding updates for electric bicycles.

• Held second reading on ordinance No. 02019-04, city's grass in parks ordinance regarding the Mitchell Parks and Recreation Board recommendation to update the section of the ordinance that discusses the rules and regulations on grass in parks.

• Held second reading and approved ordinance No. 02019-05, supplemental appropriations requests.

• Held first reading of ordinance No. 02019-06, an ordinance that changes the zoning district classification of the Real Property described as lot C in the East half of the Northeast quarter of Section 30, T 103 N, R 60 West Davison County, from TWC Transportation, warehousing, and commercial district to urban development district.

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