Mitchell City Council to sort through 'trimmed' 2023 budget, hear from nonprofits about subsidy requests

Estimated $30 million upgrade to the south wastewater treatment plant and $16 million groundwater storage tank project are among some notable infrastructure projects in the proposed 2023 budget.

City of Mitchell workers lay down sewer drainage pipes along Pheasant Street in this 2015 photo in Mitchell. Wastewater projects are a priority for municipalities around South Dakota, but paying for them has proven to be much tougher. (Republic file photo)
City of Mitchell workers lay down sewer drainage pipes along Pheasant Street in this 2015 photo in Mitchell.
Republic file photo
We are part of The Trust Project.

The Mitchell City Council will dive into the 2023 budget on Monday and discuss an increase in subsidy requests that nonprofit organizations are seeking to receive from the city.

A large swath of costly infrastructure projects like the south wastewater treatment plant upgrades and groundwater storage tank addition have the 2023 proposed expenditure budget $41.5 million higher than the 2022 budget.

The proposed expenditure budget for 2023 came in at $114.6 million, marking a 55% increase from 2022. Among the projects driving the increase in expenditures is the estimated $30 million south wastewater treatment plant project upgrades, the groundwater storage tank project that’s estimated to cost roughly $16 million and over $3 million in lift station improvements.

As talks of dredging Lake Mitchell have heated up among city leaders, which have advanced to design stages, the Lake Mitchell fund is proposed to increase its expenditures in 2023 to $6.4 million.

The council will discuss the 2023 budget at 5:30 p.m. during the work session.


Nonprofit subsidy applications

A total of $682,250 in subsidy requests were submitted to the city this year, marking an increase of $121,960 from last year’s amount.

Just as city departments shaved their budgets and saw some projects get shelved, the committee is planning to trim about $136,000 of the combined subsidy amount requested.

City officials provided further information at the Sep. 12 meeting about why the committee decided to reduce some nonprofit organization’s subsidy requests and not others. According to city officials, several of the nonprofits that asked for subsidies saw significant growth in their cash fund balances in recent years.

Among some of the nonprofits that are proposed to be reduced are Dakota Counseling, Mitchell Area Development Corporation, CASA, the Prehistoric Indian Village and the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) that’s led by the Mitchell Chamber of Commerce.

For Dakota Counseling, the committee pointed to the Mitchell-based counseling group’s cash balance that grew by almost $2 million from 2019 to 2020 as a reason they are proposing to trim the $26,250 down to $13,000. CASA’s fund balance also grew $171,000 in 2021, according to city officials, which also led the committee to recommend denying the organization’s $4,000 subsidy request.

The council will provide nonprofit organizations with an opportunity to speak about their subsidy requests during Monday’s budgeting work session.

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.
What To Read Next
Breaking News
Plans do not include athletic facility upgrades, bond issue to complete project to be discussed
The organization's board of directors announced the hire on Tuesday afternoon.
Special meeting to cover base bids and alternatives
Members Only
During the sentencing hearing, the judge presiding over the child pornography case that implicated David Suarez, 24, called it "unusual" and "unique."