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Mitchell City Council to receive first look at Lake Mitchell dredging design

Among the things that the first phase of the dredging design will provide city leaders are recommendations on whether to dredge the lake mechanical or hydraulically

Lake Mitchell area
This aerial photograph from 2009 shows Lake Mitchell. More than a year prior, the area was pitched to the governor's office as a possible location for a new state park, but the idea has gotten little traction since then.
Mitchell Republic file photo
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MITCHELL — A team of engineers will unveil the Lake Mitchell dredging design on Monday in front of the Mitchell City Council.

After working on the dredging design over the past year, officials with Barr Engineering are set to present the design that Mitchell Mayor Bob Everson says would serve as a road map for a future lake dredging project.

In April 2021, the city council tabbed Minnesota-based Barr Engineering to complete the preliminary design at a cost of $339,000 after interviewing three engineering firms that pitched proposals to lead the project. Since then, city leaders have met on a bi-weekly basis with the engineering firm to receive updates on the project.

The first phase of the dredging design that will be presented at 5:30 p.m. on Monday will delve into the methods being recommended to dredge the sediment from the lake bottom — whether hydraulic or mechanical. In addition, the first phase of the design will identify a spoil site where the dredged sediment and dirt is disposed of.

Everson said project leaders recently identified a rough cost of dredging the lake, which came in at around $15 million. Everson previously told the Mitchell Republic that the price tag is “within reach” for the city to take on.

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The city recently turned its focus toward dredging the lake as an approach to restore the algae-laden water that’s been hampering Lake Mitchell for several decades.

As dredging talks heat up, the city is also working to reduce the phosphorus and sediment up stream along Firesteel Creek, where crews are inching closer to beginning the construction of a wetland filled with cattails aimed at reducing runoff flowing into the lake.

Now that the first phase of the dredging design project is wrapping up, city officials have already allocated $665,000 in the city’s budget for the second phase of the design work to be completed.

While the council has yet to officially approve the second phase of the dredging design project, the council’s approval to earmark money for the final dredge design is a big indicator that a future lake dredging project is likely on the horizon.

Consent agenda

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

  • Approve the minutes and reports from the following meetings: Feb. 22 City Council meeting; Feb. 14 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
  • Approve $2,400 donation to be used for floating islands in Lake Mitchell.
  • Approve $10,000 in grants for the Mitchell Recreation Center. United Way and Medica Foundation both provided the grants.
  • Approve authorizing purchase of boom mower through Sourcewell contract.
  • Approve special event permit for First Fridays on Main events in downtown Mitchell.
  • Approve the following raffle permits: 40&8 Veterans group with the drawing to be held on April 16, 2022; Fusion Church with the drawing to be held on May 15, 2022.
  • Approve change order No. 4 to t&R Contracting Inc. for South Burr Utility Improvement project No. 206-26A.
  • Set the date for the following bid opening on Mar. 15: Bid opening for Ninth and Fifth reconstruction, project No. 2021-7.
  • Set the date for the following bid opening on Mar. 15: Bid opening for Dry Run Creek Lighting, project No. 2022-33.
  • Set the date for the following bid opening on Mar. 22: Bid opening for WWTF Headworks Improvements project No. 2021-31.
  • Set the date for the following bid opening on Mar. 23: Bid opening for petroleum products project No. 2021-13.
  • Set the date for the following bid opening on Mar. 23: Bid opening for rock chips project No. 2022-10.
  • Approve Mar. 7 pay estimates.

Other business

  • Recite pledge of allegiance and receive invocation from Resurrection Lutheran church.
  • Hear citizens input.
  • Meet as Board of Adjustment.
  • Set the date for the following hearing: Carey and Darlene Buhler’s application for a variance for an attached garage and accessory building combination of 2,160 square feet vs. 2,000 square feet and maximum height for an accessory building of 30 feet vs. 22 feet; located at 600 Greenridge Lane, legally described as lot 3, block 2, Greenridge Addition, in the city of Mitchell. The said real property is zoned R1 Single Family Residential District.
  • Set the date for the following medical marijuana variances: Mar. 21, Donald Livesay Jr., LLC’s application for a variance of approximately 448 feet vs. 1,000 feet to be from another cannabis dispensary, located at 501 E. Juniper Ave., legally described as lot S-3A Ex. E 63’ in the replat of lot S in the northwest quarter of section 27, township 103 north, range 60 west of the fifth prime meridian, in the city of Mitchell. The property is zoned HB Highway Business District; Mar. 21, Genesis Farms LLC’s application for a Conditional Use Permit to operate a medical cannabis dispensary; located at 106 W. Fifth Ave., legally described as Lot S-3A Ex E 63’ in the replat of lot S in the northwest quarter of Section 27, township 103 north, range 60 west of the fifth prime meridian, in the city of Mitchell. The property is zoned CB Central Business District; Mar. 21, Genesis Farms LLC’s application for a variance of 0 feet vs. 300 feet as required to be from a religious institution; located at 106 W. Fifth Ave., legally described as Lot S-3A Ex E 63’ in the replat of lot S in the northwest quarter of section 27, township 103 north, range 60 west of the fifth prime meridian, in the city of Mitchell. The property is zoned in a Central Business District.
  • Reconvene as City Council.
  • Approve volunteer member to the consolidated Board of Equalization.
  • Approve special event permit for Horses for Heroes 5K run and walk on April 9, 2022.
  • Approve amendment to an agreement for west side water tower improvements with SPN and Associates, project No. 2021-3.
  • Approve agreement for Foster Street bridge improvement project with Brosz Engineering, project No. 2021-2.
  • Award bid for west side water tower improvement project to Maguire Iron, Inc. and H&W Contracting. Maguire Iron would be tasked with the first phase of the project, while H&W Contracting would take on the second phase. 
  • Approve resolution No. R2022-07, a resolution of intent to codify and amend provisions relating to BID 2. 
  • Hold second reading on Ordinance No. O2022-02, a request from Jeremy Jensen to rezone a portion of land near Interstate 90 from Urban Development to Industrial District. The land is located to the east of AKG. Jensen Design Build is seeking to move its operations to the land.
  • Approve second reading of an ordinance to amend the wards for City Council elections. 
  • Approve first reading on Ordinance No. O2022-03, rezoning of lot 1, block 1 of Fullerton Properties Second Addition, a subdivision of the north half of section 16, and a portion of previously platted outlot B-2, a subdivision of outlot B, section 16, all In township 103 north range 60 west of the fifth prime meridian, in the city of Mitchell, from PL Public Lands District to R3 Medium Density Residential District.
  • Entertain motion to enter executive session, citing legal discussion.
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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