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Mitchell City Council to consider doubling monthly fines for residents still lacking smart water meter

The council previously discussed raising the fine for residents lacking a smart water meter in December 2021 as a way to encourage residents to install the meters.

Water
A water sprinkler sprays a lawn last week in Mitchell. The city council will consider raising monthly fines for residents who do not have smart water meters that calculate monthly water usage.
Mitchell Republic file photo
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MITCHELL — With a handful of Mitchell residents still without a smart meter for water usage tracking, the Mitchell City Council will consider Monday raising those respective residents’ monthly fines to $400.

The devices allow the city to electronically track daily and monthly water usage of each residence using city water services. The council previously discussed raising the fine for residents lacking a smart water meter in December 2021 as a way to encourage residents to install the meters.

City officials have highlighted the process of calculating monthly water usage at homes without smart meters is a time-consuming process. Public Works Director Joe Schroeder said a city worker is sent to each of those homes monthly to check their water usage and calculate billing amounts.

“There is also one meter where the remote that we have to go to the residence and read is not working, and we cannot gain access to the house or shut the water off,” Schroeder said during the December 2021 council meeting when the discussion to increase the fines first surfaced.

Residents without a smart meter are currently fined $200 per month, but Monday’s meeting at City Hall will include discussion and consideration of doubling the fine to $400 per month.

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As of December 2021, there were 10 Mitchell residences without smart meters.

City officials have noted another key benefit of smart meters is their ability to detect possible leaks or pipe breaks. However, Schroeder said the process of pinpointing leaks and pipe breaks is complex and challenging.

Costs to install smart water meters hover around $150 to $300, depending on the make and model of the device.

Consent agenda

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

  • Approve the minutes and reports from the following meetings: May 16 City Council meeting; May 9 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
  • Approve department reports. 
  • Approve accepting a $12.7 million grant from the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The grant funds will be used for five city projects. 
  • Approve accepting a $1.5 million grant from the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The grant funds will be used for the south wastewater treatment facility improvement project.
  • Approve appointing the following board members: Reappoint Mark Graham to the Golf & Cemetery Board for a term to run July 2022 - June 2025; Reappoint Lynette Shattuck to the Golf & Cemetery Board for a term to run July 2022 - June 2025; Reappoint Joe Schlimgen to the Golf & Cemetery Board for a term to run July 2022 - June 2025; Reappoint Emma Devos to the Mitchell Library Board of Trustees for a term to run July 2022 - June 2025; Reappoint Dianna Goldhammer to the Mitchell Library Board of Trustees for a term to run July 2022 - June 2025; Reappoint Andy Jerke to the Parks & Recreation Board for a term to run July 2022 - June 2025; Reappoint Larry Jirsa to the Planning & Zoning Commission for a term to run July 2022 - June 2027; Appoint Jon Schmitz to the Planning & Zoning Commission for a term to run July 2022 - June 2027; Appoint Al Jacklin to the Community Services Advisory Board (JVCC) for a term to run July 2022 - June 2025.
  • Approve change order No. 3 to Top Grade Concrete for concrete bid schedule A project. 
  • Set the date for the following alcohol license hearings on June 21: Palace City Lions Club’s application for a Special Event Liquor License, located at the Horseman’s Sports Arena for the July 14, 15, 16 & 17, 2022 Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo; Exchange Club of Mitchell’s application for a Special Event Liquor License, located at Cadwell Park, for  the State Amateur Baseball Tournament from Aug. 3 - 14.
  • Approve June 6 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 Assembly of God Church.
  • Hear citizens input.
  • Meet as Board of Adjustment.
  • Hold hearing on the following application: Tara Volesky’s application for a front yard setback variance of 19 feet vs. 25 feet for a front porch addition, located at 409 E. Seventh Ave., legally described as lot 4, block 4, Burrs Addition, in the city of Mitchell. The property is zoned in a R-2 Single Family Residential District.
  • Set the date for the following hearings to take place June 21: Jason Bates’ application for a variance for maximum lot coverage of 50% vs. 45% to construct a detached garage, located at 1112 N. Rowley St., legally described as lot 16, block 4, D.A. Scott’s Addition, in the city of Mitchell. The property is zoned in a R2 Single Family Residential District; DAK Properties LLC’s application for a variance for side corner yard setback of 12 feet vs. 20 feet to construct an unattached 24-by-24-foot garage on a 43-foot wide lot, located at 1001 E. Fourth Ave., legally described as the west 7.5 feet of lot 9 and all of lot 10, block 9, Gleeson’s Addition, in the city of Mitchell. The property is zoned in a R2 Single Family Residential District; Thiesse Chiropractic’s application for a Conditional Use Permit for a Parking Facility located at 317 W. 13th Ave., legally described as lot 5, block 27, Capital Addition, in the city of Mitchell. The property is zoned in a R4 High Density Residential District; Maxwell Rysdon’s, on behalf of Krall Eye Clinic, application for a conditional use permit to install and operate a electric message center in a residential district located at 1415 N. Sanborn Blvd., legally described as lots 1 through 6 and east half of vacated Edmunds Street, block 12, Capital Addition, in the city of Mitchell.  The property is zoned in a R2 Single Family Residential District and R4 High Density Residential District.
  • Reconvene as city council.
  • Hold hearings on the following alcohol license applications: 2nd & Lawler Co., doing business as Main Street Mercantile, located 615 N. Main St., is applying for a new Retail (On-Off Sale) Malt Beverage & SD Farm Wine (does not include video lottery) that would be effective on July 1, 2022; 2nd & Lawler Co., doing business as Main Street Mercantile, located at 615 North Main Street, is applying for a new Retail (On-Off Sale) Wine and Cider (does not include video lottery) that would be effective July 1, 2022.
  • Approve renewal of alcohol licenses.
  • Approve noise permit for Brian and Chris Hildebrandt’s private party slated for June 17 along Lake Mitchell. The noise permit would be in effect on June 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at 2957 Dailey Drive. 
  • Approve application for a local freight truck rebate program with DANR.
  • Approve stormwater discharge and pipeline license with BNSF.
  • Approve bid authorization to replace one patrol car. 
  • Approve awarding quote for Rowley Street water main project. 
  • Approve bid for paving and overlay project.
  • Approve bid for nuisance mowing project. 
  • Approve agreement amendment for the Dailey Drive Lift Station project. 
  • Approve NAWCA grant cooperation agreement with Matt and Michaela Doerr.
  • Approve developer’s agreement for Tax Increment District No. 27, an affordable housing development.
  • Approve agreement amending the city’s 2022 compensation plan.
  • Approve postponing transfer of vacant lot on the corner of 15th Avenue and Minnesota Street to allow other offers for the lot.
  • Action To Approve Resolution No. R2022-31, a plat of NCBC tract 2 in the southwest quarter of Section 13, township 104 north, range 61 west of the fifth prime meridian, in Davison County, as requested by Gregory Plamp.
  • Approve first reading on Ordinance No. O2022-08, amending Mitchell City Code regarding animals at large. 
  • Approve first reading on Ordinance No. O2022-09, amending Mitchell City Code regarding vicious animals. 
  • Consider entering into executive session, citing employee negotiations.
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.