The Mitchell City Council backed a resolution that paves the way for the city to provide a facelift for a worn down alley on North Main Street.
After holding a hearing on the alley-which is located in the 200 block of North Main Street between Second and Third avenues on the west side of Main Street-the council unanimously approved during Monday's meeting at City Hall a resolution declaring the necessity to reconstruct the alley. That gives the city the go-ahead to conduct a special assessment on the alley.
Engineering Project Supervisor Terry Johnson updated the council on the existing condition of the alley, and said it's in rough shape, citing drainage issues, gaping potholes and worn down concrete.
"We regularly have to repair potholes in the alley, and it has very poor drainage as well," Johnson said. "It's been an alley we have been looking to repair for a while."
To address the drainage issue, Johnson said city crews will construct a 6-inch thick reinforced concrete surface with an inverted crown. According to Johnson, the inverted crown would help with drainage during construction. In conjunction with the alley reconstruction project, the city will rebuild the parking lot located at Second Avenue and Rowley Street adjacent to the Carnegie Library.
"We are limited for space in this area, so the inverted crown would force the water into the middle so we can then bring the water out to the streets," Johnson said.
The alley assessment includes 11 lots at a cost of $48,940.71, and Johnson said the total cost of the alley improvements will be divided equally between all lots benefiting from the alley reconstruction improvements.
Property owners will be notified on the scheduled timing of reconstruction, which is slated to take place in late July or early August, according to Johnson. Some of the businesses affected by the assessment are Dr. Lucky's Bar and Grill, Geyermans Clothing Co., Tickled Pink Boutique and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Johnson said property owners would have 30 days after the collection hearing to pay for their assessment without interest. After 30 days, interest would be added at a rate of 8 percent, spread into payments over 10 years.
After providing the project details, Johnson invited all property owners affected by the assessment to speak to the council.
Terry Sabers was the lone property owner to provide input on the alley project, and emphasized the need for tending to the alley and parking lot. Sabers owns the Tickled Pink Boutique property and the parking lot included in the reconstruction project.
"It really needs to be done, and it's a big investment for my property, but it's well worth it," Sabers said, noting his portion of the assessment is estimated at $13,000.
During his public testimony, Sabers voiced his concerns around the dilapidated Third Avenue and Main Street building that the city has been working to address for over a year.
"The disappointing part of this whole situation is that we have an eyesore that is 100 feet from our property," Sabers said, referencing the neglected 301 and 303 North Main Street building. "It's a safety hazard, and it's a disgrace to downtown Mitchell. And it makes for terrible access to the businesses in the area."
After the City Council's decision to deny a settlement agreement with property owner David Finnell during a March 3 meeting, Sabers said he isn't optimistic about the progress of the corroding Third Avenue and Main Street building.
"It would not surprise me if we're in the same spot we are in a year from now with how slow the legal process is," Sabers said. "I thought we had a solution to this in March, but it fell through. We should not be dealing with this problem still. It's a joke."
Sabers stressed the importance for the city to reach an agreement that-at the very least-allows for the reopening of Third Avenue.
"It has to be a priority, and we have to get this thing resolved," Sabers said. "In the meantime we need to move forward with this alley, but we need that street open."
In response to Sabers' concern, Mitchell Mayor Bob Everson affirmed his commitment to find a resolution to address the Main Street eyesore.
"We are trying to get something resolved as quickly as we can," Everson said.
Toward the end of the discussion, council member Jeff Smith asked for an update on the legal proceedings with Finnell regarding the Third Avenue building.
City Attorney Justin Johnson said the next court hearing for Finnell is scheduled to take place this week.
"It's not going to be anything groundbreaking, and the primary motion is for the defendant's attorney to withdraw from the case," Johnson said.
The following items were considered as part of the consent agenda:
• Approved the minutes of the May 6 council meeting.
• Approved minutes from the April 22 city planning commission meeting, May 6 public health and safety committee meeting and May 6 sidewalk committee meeting.
• Approved department reports.
• Set the date for the following raffle permits: Mitchell Regional Habitat for Humanity with a drawing to be held on June 7; OutKasts Car Club with a drawing to be held on September 22; Dakota Wesleyan University with a drawing to be held on October 5.
• Set the date for the following hearings: On the application of Palace City Lions Club for a special event liquor license to be located at the Horseman's Sports Arena for the Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo on July 18 to 21; On the application of Palace City Lions Club for a special event liquor license to be located at the Horseman's Sports Arena for Mustang Seeds Xtreme Bulls on Aug. 21; On the application of Palace City Lions Club for a special event liquor license to be located at the Horseman's Sports Arena for the Cornstalk Music Jam on July 6; On the application to transfer retail (off sale) package liquor license PL-4691 from Bates Enterprises, LLC, doing business as Big Dummy's/Longhorn Bar at 108-112 N. Main St., to Bates Enterprises, LLC, doing business as Big Dummy's/Longhorn Bar at 108-112 N. Main St. due to configuration of liquor license; On the application to transfer retail (on sale) package liquor license RL-5761 from Bates Enterprises, LLC, doing business as Big Dummy's/Longhorn Bar at 108-112 N. Main St., to Bates Enterprises, LLC, doing business as Big Dummy's/Longhorn Bar at 108-112 N. Main St. due to configuration of liquor license; On the application to transfer retail (on sale) liquor license RL-5764 from Bates Enterprises, LLC, doing business as Brew Parlor at 108 N. Main St. to Bates Enterprises, LLC, doing business as Brew Parlor at 610 E. Hanson Ave. (liquor license will be inactive).
• Tabled special event application for the Palace City Pre-Sturgis Party to be held on Aug. 1. The Corn Palace is requesting the closure of Main Street from Fourth to Seventh avenues, and a half block east and west of the 100 blocks of Fifth and Sixth avenues from noon to 11 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1. The closure of the Fifth Ave. and Main Street parking lot is also requested for the event, and alcohol will be served from 5 to 10 p.m.
• Approved a special event application for Edgewood Senior Living for the Longest Day, which requests closing North Main Street between Fifth and Seventh avenues from 2 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 21.
• Approved a special event application for OutKasts Car Club, for a parade permit on Main Street from the Shopko parking lot on the 1900 Block of North Main Street to Seventh Avenue, and to close Main Street from Railroad Avenue to Seventh Avenue and the half block of all side streets excluding First, Fifth and Seventh avenues for the OutKasts Cruise In and Car Show on Sept. 21. The street closures will begin at 4:30 a.m. and remain closed until 4 p.m. on Sept. 21 , except the 500, 600 and 700 blocks on North Main Street will remain closed until the end of the dance.
• Approved additional street closure for the Imagine Guild's request to close First Avenue from Rowley to Main streets on May 25 for Memorial Weekend in Mitchell.
• Approved additional parking lot closure of Fifth Avenue and Main Street parking lot for Mitchell Main Street and Beyond's First Fridays on Main.
• Approved application for West Nile prevention grant funds to replace the Grizzly Fogger in the amount of $16,000.
• Approved gas and fuel quotations.
• Approved May 20 pay estimates.
• Approved bills, payroll, salary adjustments and new employee hires.
• Pledge of Allegiance, received invocation from Cornerstone Baptist, roll call, heard citizens' input.
• Approved consent agenda, excluding the special event application for the Palace Pre-Sturgis Party.
• Met with the Traffic Commission regarding parade permits and heard traffic report.
• Met as the Board of Adjustment.
• Set the date for Board of Adjustment hearings: June 3 for Kimberly Kluth's application for a conditional use permit (home occupation) to operate a massage business at her residence located at 1106 W. 6th Ave, legally described as west half, block 3, Bracy's Addition, city of Mitchell. The property is zoned R2 Single Family Residential District.
• Approved Terrance and Michelle Lynde's application for a front yard variance of 13 feet rather than 25 feet as required to construct a covered porch and placement of an accessory building at their home located at 324 E. 14th Ave.; Tabled Carlos and Alayna Reyes's application for a conditional use permit to operate a family residential child care center to be located at 412 E. 12th Ave., legally described as lot 11, block 1, city of Mitchell. The property is zoned R2 single family residential district.
• Reconvened as city council.
• Approved applications for renewal of 2019-2020 malt beverage licenses.
• Approved agreement No. A2019-21, Wildland Fire Agreement, a contract with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, Wildland Fire Division, to become effective May 20 until Dec. 31, 2023.
• Approved and awarded a bid for curb and gutter project No. 2019-14. The bid opening for the city's concrete curb and gutter replacement, concrete paving and concrete sidewalk repair projects was held at 1:30 p.m. on May 14 at the City Hall Council Chambers. Staff recommends council approval to award Rexwinkle Concrete for both Schedule A and B. Schedule A entails hazardous curb, valley gutters and approach pavement at a cost of $90,410.45, while Schedule B entails concrete pavement, fillets and sidewalk and alley pavement at a cost of $117,386.50. The city has $829,992 budgeted for the projects.
• Approved Resolution No. R2019-40, a plat of lot 7, block 9 of Westwood addition, a subdivision of block 4 of Westwood first addition in the northwest quarter of section 16 in the city of Mitchell.
• Approved Resolution No. R2019-41, a resolution clarifying and segregating the surcharge for improvements to the city of Mitchell's wastewater system for payment of a revenue bond and yearly review of rate.
• Held first reading on Ordinance No. O2019-07, repealing and replacing Mitchell City Code Chapter 5-6: Fireworks and Explosives.
• Entered into an executive session, citing legal discussion. No action was taken.