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Mitchell City Council rubber-stamps liquor license for event venue at former Kelley property

The council’s unanimous approval of the liquor license was met with no discussion at Thursday’s meeting, indicating trust in alcohol being safely sold and monitored at the Kelley property.

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The front entrance of the former Kelley house that a pair of Mitchell businessmen are transforming into a wedding venue.
Sam Fosness / Mitchell Republic
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MITCHELL — A pair of Mitchell businessmen who bought the former Kelley property from the city with the goal of turning it into a wedding and event venue have secured a liquor license.

During Thursday’s council meeting, Austen Iverson and J.R. Heidinger’s application for a liquor license at the former Kelley property was unanimously approved by the Mitchell City Council. The council was scheduled to meet Monday, but the two-day snow storm that brought nearly 2 feet of snow to Mitchell to start the week forced the meeting to be rescheduled to Thursday.

The liquor license will allow on site alcohol sales and consumption at the property where Iverson and Heidinger are gearing up to host weddings and events.

Although several nearby residents have raised concerns about alcohol being allowed at the venue – which sits roughly 2 miles west of Lake Mitchell near residential homes – city public safety officials did not recommend against the license and noted there are no issues with the property acquiring a liquor license.

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Traffic concerns, noise and increased dust from vehicles were several concerns that nearby property owners had over the buyer behind the $1.59 million approved offer of the former Kelley home.

Iverson previously emphasized the venue will be tightly secured and stressed his commitment to be “great neighbors.”

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“We understand the neighbors’ concerns they voiced, and we assure them we will be great, amicable neighbors. We will make ourselves available to discuss things with the neighbors,” Iverson said in an interview with the Mitchell Republic following the $1.59 million purchase.

The council’s unanimous approval of the liquor license was met with no discussion at Thursday’s meeting, indicating trust in alcohol being safely sold and monitored.

Iverson explained at a recent city Planning and Zoning Commission meeting that security services would be utilized to safely manage alcohol sales and consumption at the venue.

After Iverson and Heidinger bought the property from the city in the fall, the local entrepreneurs began the process of securing licenses and permits needed to operate the event hall. Obtaining a liquor license was a critical element for their future plans at the property, which came with an immaculate 10,095-square-foot home, a large multi-use building, fish ponds and around a dozen acres of land overlooking Firesteel Creek.

According to Iverson, the goal is to have the venue up and running as early as this year.

“We see that when things happen in the coastal areas, a few years later, they start trending toward the Midwest,” said Rep. Ben Krohmer, serving his first term in the House.
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