The city of Mitchell is two months away from beginning its transition to a single-stream recycling program, as the Mitchell City Council set rates with a new contractor and purchased new rolling carts during Monday’s meeting.

Public Works Director Kyle Croce provided details about the city’s agreement with Sioux Falls’ Millennium Recycling, the company with a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) that the city recently picked as its new contractor. Croce said the city’s rate to haul the collected recyclable materials to Millennium’s Sioux Falls facility would cost $35 per ton, which includes fees for Millennium to collect and process the recyclable items.

“They are eager to work with us and we look forward to establishing a great relationship with them to increase the recycling participation in our city,” Croce said of Millennium.

Croce estimates a maximum total of 2,400 tons of recyclable items to be collected in 2020, which equates to 240 trips between Mitchell and Sioux Falls at $400 per trip. That would bring the city's total fee to roughly $96,000 for 2020. Single-stream recycling occurs when participants place all recyclable items in a bin or cart, and the items are then collected and transported to a facility where they’re sorted and processed.

Council member Steve Rice addressed a few of his concerns with the new agreement, which centered around Millennium’s process of penalizing the city for unintentionally hauling prohibited recyclable items to the Sioux Falls facility.

“I’m curious as to what penalties could be incurred, and what are some recurring penalties that they see?” Rice asked in regards to what Millennium prohibits. “In the first year, I would expect we are likely to get some penalties.”

For example, every electronic item Millennium prohibits that makes its way to their processing facility, a penalty is handed down to the participating municipality.

Croce said Millennium has reported few penalties with other municipalities it collects and processes recycled items for, such as Yankton.

To help reduce the potential of penalties, Croce said a pre-screening method would likely be implemented at a city facility prior to transporting recyclable materials to Millennium Recycling in Sioux Falls.

The recycling revamp comes after the city examined whether to renew its existing contract with Dependable Recycling, the Aberdeen-based company the city has contracted for recycling collection since 2005. The city has been paying Dependable $23,800 per month, and a number of residents have reported various issues they’ve had with the company, including not collecting enough recyclable items that have been placed in the bins. The city's contract with Dependable Recycling expires Dec. 31, and Millenium will take over on Jan. 1, 2020.

Mitchell Mayor Bob Everson said there will be an education process for residents who choose to participate in recycling that will center around what items can and can’t be collected.

“We will be taking more items than what Dependable currently takes, such as all wine bottles, beer bottles, pop bottles and colored glass,” Everson said. “Pizza boxes and cardboard can also be collected, so we will need to educate people on the additional items that can be collected.”

Under the new system, recycling will be collected by the city once every other week, and Croce said a schedule will be provided to residents. He provided results from a survey the city recently conducted that asked residents whether they intend to be recycling participants, which had 1,425 responses. Of those responding, Croce said only 40 respondents stated they don’t want to participate, which equates to 2.8% of residents not interested in recycling.

“We feel good about those results,” Croce said.

According to previous studies, the recycling participation rate is at 26 percent for Mitchell residents. With transitioning to the new single-stream method, Croce said his goal is to see that participation rate increase to around 50 to 55%. The increase in participation would also reduce the number of recyclable items piling up the city’s landfill, which reduces the landfill’s life expectancy.

The city will be distributing the large recycling carts equipped with rolling wheels to its residents beginning in December. Croce said the city will distribute 5,000 96-gallon carts, while 2,000 residents will receive a 64-gallon recycling cart. In total, the cost of the city purchasing the 7,000 roller carts is $333,930, and each cart will have a 12-year warranty.

Following the first reading of the hotly debated garbage ordinance change the city proposed at the Oct. 21 council meeting, which called for requiring all Mitchell residents -- excluding commercial accounts with over eight units -- to pay for city garbage collection, the council unanimously denied approving the second reading. But the topic will likely return to the council's table soon, Everson said.

“I would like to make a recommendation this be denied, and we go back and review what we need to do with the ordinance to bring back two weeks from now at the next meeting,” Everson said.

MHS girl’s tennis team receives honor

Fresh off a state championship, the Mitchell High School girl’s tennis team received a civic honor Monday during the Mitchell City Council meeting.

Mitchell Mayor Bob Everson proclaimed Monday as MHS Girls Tennis Day, congratulating the team for bringing home the first girls tennis state championship in school history, which took place Oct. 8 in Sioux Falls.

“This a proclamation is in honor of the 2019 MHS girl’s tennis team, the first MHS girl’s tennis team to claim the girl’s tennis state championship in the history of Mitchell High School,” the proclamation said. “Whereas the city of Mitchell believes its student-athletes are an important part of the Mitchell community, therefore be it resolved the city of Mitchell wishes to make this very special recognition and proclamation in honor of this great accomplishment.”

The Kernels won the Class A state title, and finished eight points ahead of Yankton High School with an overall score of 492.5. The victory included doubles titles at Flight 1 (Kelsey Dahme/Atlanta Stahle) and Flight 2 (Olivia Huber/Amber Moller). For singles titles, Huber claimed the Flight 3 title, while Ashley Jones took the Flight 6 title.

Everson announced one more proclamation for the celebration of National Veteran’s Small Business Week, thanking veterans who serve as business entrepreneurs.

Consent agenda

The following items will be considered as part of the consent agenda:

  • Approved the minutes of the Oct. 21 council meeting.

  • Approved the minutes of the Oct. 15 Planning Commission meeting.

  • Approved the following raffle permits: Mitchell Technical Institute Rodeo Team with the drawing to be held on Dec. 13, 2019; American Legion Post 18 with the drawing to be held on Mar. 31, 2020.

  • Set the date for the following bid openings: Nov. 13, 2019, for ice bumper cars and equipment project No. 2020-7; Nov. 13, 2019, a rebid for the Mitchell Airport snow removal project No. 2019-53R.

  • Set the date for the following hearing: Nov. 18, 2019, an application to transfer RL-5764 retail (on-sale) liquor license from Bates Enterprises doing business as Brew Parlor, 112 N. Main St., Mitchell to TEAM Haus Inc. doing business as Northside Sinclair, 1905 N. Main St.

  • Approved automatic supplement to the Parks and Recreation Department’s special revenue fund in the amount of $13,888 for replacing a mosquito fogger. The supplement comes from a mosquito control (West Nile) grant.

  • Approved automatic supplement to the Parks and Recreation Department’s special revenue fund in the amount of $800 for skates used at open skate, which was a donation.

  • Approved change order No. 1 D&D Long’s addition utility extensions project No. 2019-31 to Metro Construction.

  • Approved the Nov. 8 street closure for North Harmon Drive and North Ohlman Street

  • Approved Oct. 21 and Nov. 4 gas and fuel quotations.

Other business

  • Recited Pledge of Allegiance, received invocation from Harvest Community, roll call, heard citizens’ input.

  • Approved consent agenda.

  • Held second reading and unanimously denied the garbage collection ordinance change that called for requiring all Mitchell residents, excluding commercial accounts with over 8 units and residents who are grandfathered in with their existing private hauler, to pay for city garbage collection.

  • Met as Board of Adjustment.

  • Held the following hearings and approved the applications: Mark Bigelow, Partner MRS, LLC and EIG Palace Mall owner's application for a conditional use permit to construct self-service storage facility buildings with various compartment sizes, ranging from 50 to 400 square feet, for household and commercial storage located at 1801 N. Main St., aka the Palace Mall. The real property is zoned a Highway Oriented Business District in the city of Mitchell; Steven and Leann Jendersee's application for a backyard variance of 3 feet vs. 5 feet for constructing an addition to their existing detached garage located at 123 S. Mentzer St. The real property is zoned (R2) Single Family Residential District in the city of Mitchell.

  • Held hearing and approved following application: Ronald Fessler's application for a side-yard corner variance of 10 feet vs. 20 feet as required and a backyard variance of 22 feet vs. 25 feet as required for constructing an addition and garage at 1107 W. Seventh Ave., legally described as east half of lot 1, block 3, Bracy's Addition, city of Mitchell. The property is zoned R2 Single Family Residential District.

  • Approved implementing a “no-passing zone” on West 23rd Ave. from North Main Street to the west property boundary of Graceland Cemetery.

  • Approved 2020 employee benefit rates.

  • Approved agreement to select Confluence as the construction administration and staking project leaders for Phase II of the Corn Palace Plaza.

  • Approved agreement No. A2019-51, SPN & Associates project to design the Dailey Drive lift station, which is estimated to cost roughly $1,200,000.

  • Approved agreement No. 2019-52, for the South Dakota Department of Transportation designing and constructing the Rowley Street and Interstate 90 bridge crossing.

  • Approved agreement No. A2019-53, proposal for consulting and design with confluence for hazard mitigation for Dry Run Creek.

  • Approved agreement No. A2019-54, Sunnyside and University additions storm water study project with McLaury Engineering. The $119,500 study project will focus on the drainage basin in the general area between Dry Run Creek south to Norway Avenue, and from Ohlman Street east to University Avenue.

  • Approved resolution to set fees for the city’s rideshare service companies. The rate for Transportation Network Companies would be a flat fee of $500, while the Vehicle for Hire Company (VFHC) would be $100 for an operation with one vehicle.

  • Approved Resolution No. R2019-83, a plat of lots 1 And 2 of Mirky's Addition, in the south half of the southeast quarter of section 11, township 102 north, range 60 west of the fifth prime meridian, in Davison County.

  • Approved Resolution No. R2019-84, a plat of tract 1 of Jesse's Addition in the southeast quarter of section 14, township 104 north, range 61 west of the fifth prime meridian, in Davison County.

  • Approved Resolution No. 2019-86, appoint Mitchell Mayor Bob Everson as agent for FEMA hazardous mitigation application for the city of Mitchell.

  • Approved Resolution No. R2019-87, authorization of court action and retention for outside legal counsel. The resolution would allow the city of Mitchell to seek and retain a lawyer for the former property owners of a Main Street building who allegedly breached a settlement agreement with the city.

  • Held second reading of Ordinance No. O2019-24, changing the zoning district classification of the Real Property legally described as lots 12 and 13, block 8, Applegate Addition, from Transportation, Warehousing, and Commercial (TWC) District to R2 Single Family Residential District, in the city of Mitchell.

  • Held first reading on Ordinance No. O2019-25, supplemental appropriations.

  • Entered into an executive session, citing legal discussion. No action took place.