Mitchell City Council to consider asbestos removal agreement for downtown nuisance building

For the demolition of the 124 E. First Ave. building to begin, the council will consider approving a company to remove asbestos.

Shown here is the 124 E. First Ave. building that has been deemed a nuisance and uninhabitable. The Mitchell City Council approved abating the property to allow for it to be demolished. (Sam Fosness / Republic)
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The city’s plan to demolish an “uninhabitable” property in downtown Mitchell is closer to beginning, as the Mitchell City Council will meet Monday, April 5, to consider approving the removal of asbestos inside the property.

According to City Engineering Supervisor Terry Johnson’s memo to the council, the 124 E. First Ave. building must have asbestos remediation work done prior to demolishing the corroding structure that sits on the corner of First Avenue and Lawler Street. The asbestos removal agreement will be voted on by the council during the 6 p.m. meeting on Monday at City Hall.

To remove the asbestos, the city is recommending Horsley Specialties Inc. take on the job at a cost of $15,060. Officials with the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources have found that pre-inspection of the nuisance property “is not safe,” Johnson noted in his memo.

Prior to demolition, Johnson wrote the building will need to be watered down to “keep any dust particles to a minimum.”

According to Johnson, the first phase of the asbestos removal would entail removing all white siding that has “asbestos containing materials” that need to be removed by hand. For the second phase, Johnson notes that asbestos removal would take place on site during the demolition process, as crews would remove “items that have questionable asbestos materials.”


Following the removal of the asbestos, it would be moved to a “safe location” with an excavator, Johnson wrote in his memo. The disposal of the asbestos would also hinge on a site that will accept the hazardous materials.

The city has issued the property owners of the building several “order to corrects” dating back to 2012. The most recent order to correct that was issued for the nuisance conditions include fixing the foundation, roof and siding, along with repairing the windows to prevent birds from entering the building. The violations that led the city to hand down the most recent order to correct included failure to maintain exterior, rodent issues, vermin, insects, other pests and overgrown vegetation.

City Attorney Justin Johnson previously said the building problems have led to safety concerns for the neighboring property owners. According to City Attorney Johnson, the demolition costs are estimated to hover around $25,000.

Consent agenda

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

  • Approve the minutes from the following meetings: March 15 City Council meeting; March. 8 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

  • Approve committee and department reports.

  • Approve automatic supplement to the park fund from a donation of funds.

  • Approve declaring self breathing apparatuses as surplus.

  • Approve reserved parking and noise permit for The Back 40 Third Friday Bike Night.

  • Approve Corn Palace Plaza parking lot closure.

  • Approve the following raffle permit: Palace City Lions Club with the drawing to be held on May 1, 2021; Mitchell Habitat for Humanity with the drawing to be held on June 4 and June 9; Mitchell Area Safehouse with the drawing to be held on every Friday starting April 30; Heart and Sole with the drawing to be held on July 15; Mitchell High School Football with the drawing to be held on Oct. 8; Mitchell Masonic Lodge with the drawing to be held on Oct. 19.

  • Approve April 5 pay estimates.

  • Approve bills, payroll, salary adjustments, new employee hires, authorization of recurring payments and other expenses.

Other business

  • Recite Pledge of Allegiance, hear invocation from Mitchell Wesleyan Church, roll call, hear citizens’ input.

  • Meet as Board of Adjustment.

  • Hold hearing for the following application: Ryan Kirkpatrick’s application for a side yard on a corner variance of 11 feet vs. 20 feet as required to construct a new home at 823 E. Fifth Ave., legally described as lot 1, block 11, F.M. Greene Addition, in the city of Mitchell. The property is zoned in an R2 Single Family Residential District.

  • Reconvene as City Council.

  • Approve designation of $2.5 million in the general fund reserves for community projects.

  • Hear project update on the Davison County pre-disaster mitigation plan.

  • Approve construction observation for Phase II of the East Central Drainage project, an agreement with IDG.

  • Approve tower and radio upgrades for the Mitchell Police Department.

  • Approve sewer televising project with Bender Sewer and Drain.

  • Approve authorizing agreement with the South Dakota Department of Transportation for general sidewalk projects.

  • Approve resolution to amend the 2021 compensation plan for the city of Mitchell.

  • Approve the annexation of the former Fosness property, located across the street from Kibbee Park, near Lake Mitchell, for Ethan Lumber Co-op's plan to develop 79 residential lots on the property.

  • Approve resolution for citywide spring clean up.

  • Approve first reading of supplemental appropriations ordinance.

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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