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Mitchell awarded $1M grant for Lake Mitchell jetty project aimed at enhancing recreation

This EDA investment in Mitchell is an excellent opportunity to leverage a regional asset and build greater economic resiliency in the region’s growing outdoor recreation and tourism industry,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said.

Shown here is the design of the jetty and boat dock along the west side of Lake Mitchell that was recently completed.
(Photo courtesy of city of Mitchell)
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MITCHELL — The city of Mitchell secured a $1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to help fund a public boat dock and jetty at Lake Mitchell.

City officials applied for the grant to help fund a jetty and public boat dock project that’s been discussed along the west side of the lake near the boat ramp. The concept of constructing a jetty — which is a long, narrow strip of earthwork surrounded by riprap or stone to block wind for boats docking — developed through a North Dakota State University-led Lake Mitchell recreation study that recommended the city build a marina, public boat dock and jetty.

The $1 million grant has city leaders eager to advance their plans to enhance the recreation opportunities along the lake. A press release from the U.S. Department of Commerce says Mitchell will be contributing $937,677 in local funds to the project and is expected to create 20 jobs, according to grantee estimates.

"This is great news. The boat dock and jetty is a big part of our overall plan to improve Lake Mitchell and make it even more accessible for recreation," City Administrator Stephanie Ellwein said Tuesday. "It's great to see Mitchell compete for a national grant and receive the large amount of funds from the grant."

The boat dock and jetty project is estimated to cost $1.9 million. With the $1 million grant that the city is matching, Ellwein said it would help the city fund roughly half of the project costs.


According to Gina Raimondo, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, the $1 million grant will “support outdoor recreation and boost the local tourism industry” by adding more outdoor opportunities for tourists to trek to Mitchell. The grant funds are backed by President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that was rolled out in March 2021 to help municipalities across the country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This project will boost tourism and outdoor recreation in Mitchell and attract visitors to existing tourist attractions. This EDA investment in Mitchell is an excellent opportunity to leverage a regional asset and build greater economic resiliency in the region’s growing outdoor recreation and tourism industry,” Raimondo said in a press release.

Considering a marina would be a multimillion-dollar project, city leaders shifted their focus on building a public boat dock and jetty roughly a year ago.

Prior to being awarded the $1 million EDA grant, the Mitchell City Council approved a $35,000 design to for a future boat dock and jetty on the west side of the lake. The design entailed a 62-slip boat dock surrounded by a roughly 530-foot L-shaped jetty.

Mayor Bob Everson said the grant for the boat dock and jetty project adds more momentum to the city's lake improvement efforts.

"We're excited to be able to get this big project going for the west side of the lake," he said. "A public boat dock has been something people have wanted to see out there."

The $1 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant comes at a critical time for the city and Lake Mitchell, as officials have been investing time and money into creating a wetland along Firesteel Creek to reduce the algal blooms that have been hampering the city-owned lake for decades. Plans of dredging the lake have also heated up over the past year.

Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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