Mitchell’s plans for a new water storage tank are moving ahead, with another big step planned for next week.

The city of Mitchell recently received approval from the Davison County Board of Adjustment for the plat where a new, 2.5 million gallon tank will be built in 2022. The Mitchell City Council will be asked to formally authorize the land purchase for where the tank will be located during its regular meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16. (The meeting will be held on Tuesday, rather than Monday due to the Presidents Day holiday.)

The tank is scheduled to be placed just south of the Mitchell city limits, located to the northeast of the intersection of 256th Street and State Highway 37, or about 1 mile south of the intersection of Burr Street and Spruce Street.

Mitchell has a purchase agreement for square-shaped plot of 10 acres. The cost of the land is $149,971.50 and is being purchased from a company associated with Mitchell Livestock Marketing, which operates the nearby cattle sale barn to the north.

The land was the first choice of the city of Mitchell because of its close proximity to the city and being located adjacent to the B-Y Water District line that runs north to Mitchell, supplying the community with its drinking water.

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The city of Mitchell has estimated the total cost of the project at $5 million. Design work is expected to take much of 2021, with construction then to follow in 2022, with the tank expected to be relatively short and round in size. Because of that it won’t look like a water tower, city of Mitchell Engineering Project Supervisor Terry Johnson said.

Johnson said building the tank will allow the city to phase out its current water treatment plant located on the north end of Mitchell, which has aging equipment. Instead, the tank site and new pump station south of Mitchell will provide stronger water pressure on the south side of the city and add water capacity for the community.

“It will totally change the pressures on the south side of town, which we hear a lot about,” Johnson said.

Johnson said water for Mitchell is currently diverted to the east around the city to the water treatment plant. By changing that and moving the water from south to north, rather than north to south, Mitchell will redistribute the water more efficiently and from the higher-elevation end of the city to lower parts, meaning there will be less pumps and energy used to move the water.

“This is all planning for the future,” Johnson said. “We’re glad to find property here. This was our No. 1 choice."

The land for the tank is in the city’s extra-territorial jurisdiction, which means that it is within the city’s zoning jurisdiction but within 3 miles of the city limits, requiring Davison County to hear the proposal.

Another perk to the new tank is that the city will have more reserve in case there’s a need for the city.

“If there’s ever a break with B-Y Water, we’ll have a little bit more time to get it fixed,” he said.

Johnson said the current water treatment plant likely won’t be torn down, but will be used for city storage. He said retrofitting it for some other purpose would be difficult because of the large tanks in the building.