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Mitchell City Council to consider agreement for construction management of Firesteel Creek area wetland

The wetlands and silt ponds aiming to reduce the phosphorus and sediment flowing into Lake Mitchell will cover roughly 37 acres of land along Firesteel Creek.

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Shown here is a large portion of the land that the city purchased in 2019 along Firesteel Creek to create a wetland aimed at improving nearby Lake Mitchell. The wetland project is now inching closer to the construction phase.
Matt Gade / Republic
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The construction phase of the city’s wetland project near Lake Mitchell is on the horizon.

On Monday, April 18, the Mitchell City Council will consider approving a $50,000 agreement for construction oversight and bidding services with Ducks Unlimited.

According to Public Works Director Joe Schroeder’s memo to the council, the agreement with Ducks Unlimited will provide final bidding documents, construction staking, and construction management services to “ensure the project is being constructed in accordance with the plans and specifications.”

The wetlands and silt ponds will cover roughly 37 acres of land along Firesteel Creek, Schroeder noted. The wetlands are proposed to be built on a portion of the city’s 371 acres of land that it purchased from the Kelley family in 2019 as part of a $4.1 million land deal that came with a multimillion-dollar home.

With the high amount of phosphorus and sediment flowing into Lake Mitchell through Firesteel Creek, Mayor Bob Everson said the wetlands will aim to drastically reduce the phosphorus and sediment loads that are known to cause algal blooms in the lake.

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During the city’s most recent discussion on the wetland project, Schroeder said cattails will be planted throughout the wetland area. The cattails would serve as natural filters collecting phosphorus and sediment flowing along the creek.

According to Schroeder, some of the construction work for the wetland will entail excavating large areas of dirt near the creek. The council has yet to open bids for the construction phase, but the agreement on Monday’s docket will bring the city closer to beginning accepting bids.

Previous time lines of the project indicated construction could begin as early as this spring.

The wetland project, including the construction work and designing, is being funded in full by nonpoint source grants through the State Revolving Fund (SRF) that's available for communities taking on projects to improve wastewater, stormwater and drinking water projects. For the wetland project, the city has secured roughly $1.1 million in nonpoint source grants.

Consent agenda

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

  • Approve the minutes and reports from the following meetings: April 4 City Council meeting; Mar. 28 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
  • Hear Mitchell Area Development Corporation’s quarterly report.
  • Approve special event permit for Dakota Wesleyan University’s graduation reception on May 8, 2022.
  • Approve raffle permit for Mitchell Friends of NRA with the drawing to be held on Sept. 10.
  • Approve application for Land Water Conservation Fund grant to develop pickleball courts. 
  • Set the date for the following bid opening: April 27, 2022 for Mitchell landfill cell construction. 
  • Set the date for the following alcohol license hearings to take place May 4: An application of Big Friend Little Friend of the Mitchell Area for a Special Event Liquor/Malt Beverage License, located on Main Street, for May 28, 2022 Memorial Weekend in Mitchell; An application of Jlin Crafts LLC doing business as Board & Brush, 405 N. Main St., in Mitchell, for a new Retail (On-Off Sale) Malt Beverage and SD Farm Wine license (does not include video lottery); An application of Jlin Crafts LLC doing business as Board & Brush, 405 N. Main St., in Mitchell, for a new Retail (On-Off Sale) Wine and Cider license (does not include video lottery); An application to transfer RL-5757 Retail (On-Sale) Liquor License from Fredericksen Restaurant LLC doing business as Chef Louie’s, 601 E. Havens Ave., in Mitchell, to Austen LLC doing business as Corn Palace Inn, 1001 S. Burr St., in Mitchell; An application to transfer RW-7501 Retail (On-Off Sale) Wine and Cider license from Fredericksen Restaurant LLC doing business as Chef Louie’s, 601 E. Havens Ave., in Mitchell, to Austen LLC doing business as Corn Palace Inn, 1001 S. Burr St., in Mitchell (Includes Lottery).
  • Approve gas and fuel quotes. 
  • Approve April 18 pay estimates.
  • Approve bills, payroll, salary adjustments, new employee hires, authorization of recurring payments and other expenses.

Other business

  • Recite pledge of allegiance and receive invocation from Mitchell Word of Life Church.
  • Hear citizens input.
  • Meet as Board of Adjustment.
  • Hold hearings on the following applications: Amy Hotz’s application for a conditional use permit to operate a Family Residential Daycare, located at 708 E. Second Ave., legally described as Lot 9, Block 16, FM Greene Addition, in the city of Mitchell. The property is zoned in an R2 Single-Family Residential District; Jasmyn Lang’s application for a conditional use permit to operate a Family Residential Daycare, located at 717 W. Ash Ave., legally described as Lot 12, Block 10, Railroad Addition, in the city of Mitchell. The property is zoned in an R2 Single-Family Residential District; Mike Hauser’s application for a variance for a combination of attached and detached accessory buildings of 3,270 square feet vs. 2,000 square feet and a height variance of 24 feet vs. 22 feet for a new accessory building, located at 2021 W. 23rd Ave., legally described as Lot A of Mason’s Addition in the NE quarter of Section 17, township 103 north, range 60 west of the fifth prime meridian, in Davison County. The property is zoned in an R4 High Density Residential District; Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village’s application for a variance for a minimum front yard setback for a historic site building of 22 feet vs. 30 feet, located at 3200 Indian Village Road, legally described as Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village site in the northeast quarter of Section 9, township 103 north, range 60 west of the fifth prime meridian, in Davison County. The property is zoned in a PL Public Lands District.
  • Set the date for the following hearing: May 2, Stephen Laughlin’s application for a variance to build an accessory building, located in the front yard at 925 E. Seventh Ave., legally described as lot 4, block 6, F.M. Greene Addition, in the city of Mitchell. The property is zoned R2 Single Family Residential District.
  • Reconvene as city council.
  • Hold hearing on the Corn Palace Shrine Club’s special event liquor license for April 30 at the Masonic Hall. 
  • Approve awarding bid for East 10th Ave. utility upgrade project. 
  • Approve special event application for Beers and Gears Mountain Bike Race on July 16.
  • Approve grant from SD DOt for vehicle cameras. 
  • Approve design of Qunice, Miller and Wisconsin streets project with SPN and Associates. 
  • Approve construction phase services for the wetland project with Ducks Unlimited.
  • Approve Resolution No. R2022-19, a plat of lot 1 of Moore’s Addition in the southeast quarter of section 9, township 104 north, range 60, west of the fifth prime meridian, as requested by Ashton Connell.
  • Approve second reading on Ordinance No. O2022-06, amending Ethan Co-op Lumber’s Woodland Heights Planned Development. 
  • Approve second reading on Ordinance No. O2022-07. Supplemental appropriations.
  • Approve designation funds in general fund reserves.
  • Hold hearing of first reading on Ordinance No. O2022-05, codifying and amending hotel BID tax 2.
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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The agenda does not include a set time limit for the duration of the public hearing, nor does it specify for how long a member of the public can voice their concerns.