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Mitchell poised to ban texting and driving

Mitchell could become the next South Dakota city to outlaw texting and driving when the City Council brings the issue to a final vote tonight. The council will hold the second reading of Ordinance 2433, which would ban texting with a wireless com...

Mayor Ken Tracy
Mayor Ken Tracy

Mitchell could become the next South Dakota city to outlaw texting and driving when the City Council brings the issue to a final vote tonight.

The council will hold the second reading of Ordinance 2433, which would ban texting with a wireless communication device while driving in the city, and then hold a vote on whether to adopt the ordinance.

Mitchell Mayor Ken Tracy said in an interview Sunday with The Daily Republic that, based on the council's past discussions, he anticipates the proposed texting ban to pass.

The first reading of the ordinance passed on a 5-3 vote at the last regular council meeting. Council President Jeff Smith, Vice President Dan Allen and council members Randy Doescher, Susan Tjarks and Mel Olson all voted in favor of the ban on first reading. Council members Phil Carlson, Marty Barington and Steve Rice voted in opposition.

"I'm glad to see that we're going to get it put in place and in effect in Mitchell," Tracy said.

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If the council does pass the ban, Mitchell will join Sioux Falls, Brookings, Watertown, Huron and Vermillion as South Dakota cities that have banned texting and driving.

Tracy first introduced the idea of a texting-and-driving ban last September, but, after much discussion, the city decided to wait to see if the Legislature and Gov. Dennis Daugaard would approve a statewide ban.

Legislation to do that, introduced earlier this year by state Sen. Mike Vehle, R-Mitchell, passed in the Senate but then failed to make it out of the House Judiciary Committee.

Tracy, who said Sunday he would still prefer a statewide ban on texting and driving, was still pleased the council seems ready to pass a citywide ban.

"We'll have something in place in Mitchell," he said. "Hopefully the Legislature will eventually get around to passing something."

How effective the ban will be in actually preventing drivers from texting is yet to be seen, Tracy said.

"I think people will be more aware of it in Mitchell once there is a law in effect and hopefully that will deter some from texting," Tracy said.

The council meets at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall Council Chambers, 612 N. Main St.

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In other agenda items, the council will:

  • Set a May 6 date to consider the application of Imagine Guild Inc. to hold a concert on May 25 and to obtain consumption, noise permits and a special event alcoholic beverage license.
  • Set a May 14 date to receive and consider bids for Sanborn Street Panels-Phase III Project #2013-22 at 1:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers.
  • Award a bid for Curb and Gutter Project 2013-14.
  • Award a bid for Playground Surfacing Tiles Project 2013-32.
  • Consider adopting Resolution 3086, adoption of the safety manual.
  • Consider adopting Resolution 3090, confirming bid of Deryk Thomsen on public sale of municipal real property.
  • Consider adopting Resolution 3091, confirming bid of Dean Robideau on public sale of municipal real property.
  • Consider adopting Resolution 3092, authorize and execute deed for Lot Six (6), Block Nine (9), Fullerton Properties First Addition to the Mitchell Area Development Corporation.
  • Consider adopting Resolution 3093, quit claim deed of Barbara J. Nash.
  • Hold first reading of Ordinance 2434, supplemental appropriations.
  • Consider approval of an engineering agreement with SPN for Norway Avenue Lift Station Project 2012-33.
  • Consider approval of the purchase of excess property from the South Dakota Department of Transportation in the amount of $100.
  • Consider approval of an automatic supplement to the Enterprise Fund-Corn Palace in the amount of $2,100 from a donation of funds to purchase a corn grinding mill for tourist attraction edutainment.
  • Consider approval of an automatic supplement to the Special Revenue Fund-Parks and Recreation in the amount of $49,950 from an insurance claim reimbursement for roof damage repair.
  • Consider approval of a raffle request for Family Child Care Professionals of South Dakota, Inc., with the drawing to be held May 4.
  • Consider approval of a raffle request for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mitchell Area with the drawing to be held Aug. 21.
  • Consider approval of a raffle request for Prairie Stitchers with the drawing to be held Sept. 29.
  • Abatement of taxes in the amount of $8,115.86 to Klas LLC (Stifel Nicolaus and Company) for Lot 4, Scovilles Addition Southwest (10) for discretionary formula not applied to new building.
  • Set a May 20 date for collection of special assessment roll for 2012 construction projects and 2012 nuisance abatements.

Pay the following estimates:

  • Queen of Peace Storm Drainage Project 2012-2 contracted to SPN & Associates. Pay estimate 4 in the amount of $23,250.
  • Water Meters Project 2012-11 contracted to HD Supply. Pay estimate 13 in the amount of $121,000.
  • Curb and Gutter-Schedule "B" Project 2012-14B contracted to Rexwinkle Concrete. Pay estimate 6 in the amount of $7,800.
  • Norway Lift Station Project 2012-33 contracted to American Technical Services Inc. Pay estimate 1 in the amount of $2,500.
  • Demolition of Longhorn Bar Project 2012-36 contracted to Ironman Construction. Change order 1, which increases the contract amount by $33,156.80 for a contracted total of $142,715.80.
  • East Spruce Street/East Burr Add Lane Project 2012-37 contracted to Infrastructure Design Group Inc. Pay estimate 1-Final in the amount of $1,630.
  • Misc. Hazardous Sidewalk Project 2013-4D contracted to Colwell Concrete Inc. Pay estimate 1 in the amount of $919.74.
  • Capital Street Utilities and Street Project 2013-6 contracted to SPN & Associates. Pay estimate 5 in the amount of $2,500.
  • Gabion Rip Rap Repair North Side of Spillway Project 2013-27 contracted to SPN & Associates. Pay estimate 2 in the amount of $7,200.
  • Fifth Street Utility Relocation Project 2014-1 contracted to SPN & Associates. Pay estimate 1 in the amount of $8,000.
  • Approve department, division and committee reports, including March reports from the Mitchell Police Division, Mitchell Fire Division, Mitchell Regional Ambulance, Building Permits Department, Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, Water Department, Airport, Golf and Cemetery Department, and Palace Transit; February reports from the Airport Board and Palace Transit; and a Public Properties Committee report.
  • Hear an invocation from a Salvation Army representative.

Sit as the Board of Adjustment to:

  • Set a May 6 date for a hearing on the application of Robert and Tammy Fuerst for a backyard variance of 22 feet versus 25 feet to construct an addition to their garage, located at 1519 Augusta Ave., legally described as Lot 5, Block 4, Lakeview First Addition, to the city of Mitchell, Davison County, South Dakota.
  • Set a May 6 date for a hearing on the application of Ken and Harriet Baldwin for a sideyard corner variance of 1 feet versus 20 feet and a backyard variance of 2 feet versus 5 feet to replace an accessory building located at 801 E. Fifth Ave., legally described as West 34 feet of Lot 5 and all of Lot 6, Block 11, FM Greene Addition, to the city of Mitchell, Davison County, South Dakota.
  • Set a May 6 date for a hearing on the application of Stephanie Smith for a conditional use permit to operate a childcare center in her home, located at 25050 Alex Court, legally described as Lot 4, Block 3, Circle K Ranch Second Addition, South East 1/4 Section 6, Township 103 North, Range 60 West Davison County, South Dakota.
  • Hold a hearing on the application of CJM Consulting Inc., and applicant, Eagle Construction Inc., for a conditional use permit to build two multifamily dwellings with 64 units in each building, located in the 1301-1401 blocks of West 23rd Avenue, legally described as the North 600 feet of that portion of Block 4, Westwood First Addition lying adjacent to and between Lot 1, Apostolic First Addition North Commerce Street, all in the Northwest 1/4 of Section 16, Township 103 North Range 60 West of the Fifth P.M., City of Mitchell, Davison County, South Dakota, tabled from the April 1 City Council meeting.

The Traffic Committee will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall to:

  • Consider a request from Mike Hale of the Outkast Car Club to close Main Street from First Avenue to Ninth Avenue, and the half-block of all side streets excluding First Avenue, Fifth Avenue and Seventh Avenue, for the Outkasts Cruise In & Car Show to be held on Sept. 21. The street closures would begin at 4:30 a.m. on Sept. 21. At 4:30 p.m., the streets will be opened except in the 600 block of North Main Street and the 100 block of East Sixth Avenue, which would remain closed until the end of the dance.
  • Consider a request from the James Valley Cycle Club for a parade permit on behalf of the March of Dimes Poker Run to begin at noon on May 4. The route will begin at South Main Street at The Depot and will travel north on Main Street and continue straight out of town to the north on Highway 37.
  • Consider a request from Scott Morgan to close 2100 Highland Way between Quizno's and Blarney's on July 13 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for Blarney's Fifth Annual 3-on-3 Post High School Basketball Tournament.
  • Consider a request from Imagine Guild Inc., to close Main Street from Railroad Street to Sixth Avenue, excluding First Avenue, and a half block east and west off Main Street on Second Avenue, Third Avenue, Fourth Avenue and Fifth Avenue. Street closures are requested to begin at 5 a.m. May 25 and reopen at 12 a.m. on May 26. It is also requested that the Fifth and Main parking lot, and both parking lots in the 100 block of south Main Street be closed for this event. Contingent on the approval of the special event permit by the City Council.

Consider a request for crosswalks to be installed on Second Avenue and Lawler Street, and Third Avenue and Lawler Street.
The Finance Committee will meet at 7:15 p.m. at City Hall to:

  • Review cash statements for the fiscal year that ended Dec. 31.
  • Review sales tax collections for the first quarter of 2013.
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