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Mayor hopes to learn from Sioux Falls pool project

For the second straight day, Mayor Jerry Toomey is leaving Mitchell in search of answers. Toomey said he will be joined by City Administrator Stephanie Ellwein and Public Works Director Tim McGannon for a trip Friday to Sioux Falls to speak with ...

For the second straight day, Mayor Jerry Toomey is leaving Mitchell in search of answers.

Toomey said he will be joined by City Administrator Stephanie Ellwein and Public Works Director Tim McGannon for a trip Friday to Sioux Falls to speak with local officials about the Midco Aquatic Center currently being built at Spellerberg Park.

While the scope of the Midco Center is significantly larger than Mitchell's voter-approved $8 million project, at a projected cost of more than $24 million, Toomey hopes to learn some lessons from the Sioux Falls project in preparation for the work on his city's aquatics facility.

"We just want to ask them how things are going," Toomey said. "Is everything going smooth, what's going good and what's going bad?"

Toomey makes the trip one day after visiting Carter Lake, Iowa, in preparation for a potential lake restoration project. But unlike the lake trip, the pool project has already been approved.

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Following the Sioux Falls trip, Toomey expects to host the first meeting of a pool committee he assembled in an effort to discuss potential pool designs. Toomey expects the committee will consider the findings of the pool trip at a meeting next week.

During the committee meetings, Toomey said the city will meet with project architect MSH Architects to review construction timelines and other information about the facility. On Wednesday, Toomey said he would like to see the pool project construction start next spring and come to a close by the fall of 2017.

Based on the items included in the aquatic facility referendum approved voters, the new addition to the Mitchell Recreation Center will include a competitive lap pool, leisure pool and play equipment. But Toomey said the pool committee meetings will offer the public a chance to add some insight into what else could possibly be included in the project.

"I just think it would be a good idea because there were a lot of people that complained that there was no public input," Toomey said. "So if there was no public input, and that's what people think, maybe we should open it up to the public and have them come, because they're paying for it-why in the h--- shouldn't they be here to voice their concern?"

While visiting the Midco Aquatic Center, Mitchell city officials will also get a first-hand look at the work of Confluence, the landscape architect hired to design the Sixth Avenue Plaza next to the Corn Palace.

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