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Joint-use recreation agreement approved by council

Mitchell's recreation enthusiasts now have the opportunity to get a little more bang for their buck. Mitchell's City Council unanimously approved a joint-use agreement to allow Lakeview Golf Course, the Mitchell Recreation Center and the Village ...

Mitchell's recreation enthusiasts now have the opportunity to get a little more bang for their buck.

Mitchell's City Council unanimously approved a joint-use agreement to allow Lakeview Golf Course, the Mitchell Recreation Center and the Village Bowl bowling center to offer those with an "executive membership" to city facilities access to all three establishments.

The city's Golf and Cemetery Director Kevin Thurman and Village Bowl Vice President and General Manager Steve Brinkman were bombarded with questions from the curious council about the potential benefits and reasoning behind the proposed agreement, but all seven council members in attendance ended the discussion with a vote supporting the project.

Thurman told the council the agreement will allow Mitchell residents to take advantage of another local attraction, potentially keeping more dollars in the Mitchell economy. Memberships to the Recreation Center and the golf course will still be available, but the executive membership package will offer citizens access to both city-owned facilities and the Village Bowl.

The executive memberships will be available at $100.30 per month for access to the Recreation Center, the Lakeview Golf Course with cart rental and the bowling center for a single adult. The cost rises to $125.31 monthly for a couple and $145.36 monthly for a family membership.

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A "Full Family Package" will also be available, allowing access to the city's Recreation Center, Mitchell Activities Center ice rink, the Mitchell Outdoor Aquatic Center, Lakeview Golf Course with cart use and the Village Bowl for $153.08 per month.

A third package will be available called the "Fun Package," which offers access to the Mitchell Outdoor Aquatic Facility, Mitchell Activities Center ice rink, Lakeview Golf Course and the Village Bowl. Single memberships for the "Fun Package" will cost $48.29 monthly, couple membership will be $66.34 per month and families will pay $78.94 per month.

By adding bowling center access in the executive membership, the city will pay Village Bowl $2,500 per year, a number which Councilman Mel Olson found shockingly low.

"I've got to tell you, I honestly thought the $2,500 was a misprint," Olson said to Brinkman.

Brinkman, who approached the city with the agreement that sparked the special session on Thursday at City Hall, said Village Bowl will benefit from the agreement despite the minimal investment from the city.

"It's all about exposure," Brinkman said. "This really doesn't cost me a lot."

Through the agreement, Brinkman hopes to attract more Mitchell residents to bowling, bringing more people in the Village Bowl's doors and potentially increasing bowling league interest.

Multiple council questions stemmed from public concerns about creating competition with local fitness centers, but no members of the public spoke publicly against the agreement. Despite these concerns, the agreement drew support from the entire council. Councilman Marty Barington did not attend the meeting.

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Another question from Olson focused on lane availability at the Village Bowl. According to the agreement, those with city recreation memberships will have access to the Village Bowl during normal business hours from April 15 to Sept. 1, or non-league season.

During league season, or from Sept. 2 to April 14, availability restrictions are established. From Monday to Thursday, the bowling center will be open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and after 9 p.m., on Friday it will be accessible from 12 p.m. to closing time, Saturday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 6 p.m. until doors close.

Olson asked what would happen what circumstances the Village Bowl could block the city recreation members from a round of bowling. Brinkman said recreation members won't be kicked off the lanes in favor of a paying customer, but recommended members call the Village Bowl about lane availability before arrival at the bowling center.

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