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Preliminary study saves Mitchell $30K on park project

Mitchell taxpayers are in for some good news regarding the Sixth Avenue park project. According to Mitchell Public Works Director Tim McGannon, the city will save approximately $30,000 on infrastructure work at the site of the park project. McGan...

A conceptual design of the first phase of Mitchell's Sixth Avenue park project, which is being designed by landscape architect Confluence. (Photo courtesy the city of Mitchell)
A conceptual design of the first phase of Mitchell's Sixth Avenue park project, which is being designed by landscape architect Confluence. (Photo courtesy the city of Mitchell)

Mitchell taxpayers are in for some good news regarding the Sixth Avenue park project.

According to Mitchell Public Works Director Tim McGannon, the city will save approximately $30,000 on infrastructure work at the site of the park project. McGannon said the city was able to pinpoint specific water and sewer lines no longer used in the area, meaning the lines will not need to be replaced before the Sixth Avenue park project kicks off.

"What we've done in the end is eliminated around 450 feet or more of pipe that we were thinking we were going to have to replace," McGannon told The Daily Republic last week. "Probably closer to 500 feet, so what we've been doing last week is really saving about $30,000 in otherwise construction costs we would have spent."

But it's not all good news for the park project. Although the city was able to save an estimated $30,000 in infrastructure costs, the groundbreaking on the project may not come until 2017.

"Well, I think we're getting late in the year now," McGannon said. "We had a contractor lined up for a while, but when we decided it might be better just to do this work, maybe we can save some money. And that worked out real well for us."

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More than $426,000 was set aside by the Mitchell City Council to spend on the project in 2016. According to McGannon, the first phase of the project will likely include replacement of some water and sewer lines, curb and gutter, drainage and some sidewalk. It will also include the installation of walkways and grassy areas, but the larger structures - like the band shell and shade structure - are not expected to be included in the project's first phase.

But, McGannon said, the project could go out to bid in 2016, even if construction doesn't start.

"I guess sometimes we set optimistic goals and then look bad, but I'd rather have an optimistic goal," McGannon said. "So we may be able to do it yet this winter, get it bid."

Sixth Avenue between Lawler and Main streets has been closed permanently, and will serve as the home to the new park. The Sixth Avenue park will be one of two new additions on Main Street, with a second park project planned for the northwestern corner of Main Street and First Avenue.

The Sixth Avenue project is being designed by landscape architect Confluence, a company which has visited Mitchell on multiple occasions to hear citizen input about the proposed park. During a City Council discussion in July, council members discussed tree placement to allow for clear sightlines of the neighboring Corn Palace's signature murals and the possible future inclusion of wireless internet access and a possible outdoor video board in the park.

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