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Veterans park work waits on weather

With $244,939 in cash contributions and $105,976.02 of in-kind donations in hand, Mitchell's new veterans park is set to start construction as soon as possible.

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A preliminary design of the Mitchell Veterans Park, which will be located at the northwest corner of First Avenue and Main Street. (Photo courtesy Ciavarella Design)

With $244,939 in cash contributions and $105,976.02 of in-kind donations in hand, Mitchell's new veterans park is set to start construction as soon as possible.

At Monday's regular meeting of the Mitchell City Council, project designer Brad Ciavarella, of Ciavarella Designs, said the $360,078.22 project will likely kick off soon.

"As soon as the frost is out of the ground, we'll start," Ciavarella said.

The project-which will be built at the vacant lot on the corner of First Avenue and Main Street-will include a monument to honor veterans killed in action, a wall recognizing project donors, landscape work and a water feature. And while the city has received nearly enough funds to support the entirety of the project, Mitchell is still on the hook for $8,531.20 more than the $35,000 the council approved to contribute to the park.

The city contribution is now set for $43,531.20 due to a revenue shortfall of $9,163.20 for the project, but one of the lead fundraisers for the veterans park expects the city to receive donations to make up for the $9,163.20 revenue shortfall.

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"That should be covered," said Councilman Dan Allen, who said the city is expecting $20,000 to $25,000 in additional donations.

During Monday's meeting, the council made three actions to move forward with the project, including awarding the bids to contractors, approving contract change orders and authorizing the mayor to sign contracts for the project.

Downtown Thursdays comeback approved

Mitchell Main Street & Beyond (MMS&B) is hoping to make the Downtown Thursdays concert series bigger and better in 2017.

The council authorized MMS&B to host the Downtown Thursdays event series on the first Thursday of each month from May to September, marking a departure from the weekly Main Street event held in its inaugural and second seasons.

MMS&B Executive Director Jen Johnston hoped the downtown event could see its attendance increase from approximately 150-250 people when hosting fewer events throughout the summer.

"We're hoping that we can make a bigger impact and a bigger community event by just making it monthly," Johnston said.

Councilwoman Susan Tjarks said the shift to monthly events is similar to Sioux Falls' First Fridays, a monthly event that attempts to bring people downtown for shopping, art and entertainment.

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"This is probably more realistic and lends itself to being more successful," Tjarks said.

Consent agenda

The council approved the following consent agenda items:

• Minutes from the Feb. 21 City Council meeting, Feb. 13 Planning Commission meeting, and Feb. 21 Public Health and Safety and Traffic Commission meetings.

• The 2016 annual report.

• Set March 20 as the date to consider a special event liquor license on South Main Street from First Avenue south to Railroad, as well as the 1/2 block west of Main Street and east of Main to Lawler Street. The request is for Imagine Guild Inc.'s annual Memorial Day weekend events.

• The appointment of Larry Jirsa to the Planning Commission.

• Set March 20 as the date to consider a special event liquor license for Overtime Event Center for an April 1 birthday party.

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• Change Order No. 1 to E911 Communications System 2017-8, decreasing the contract with Sioux Falls Two Way by $22,995. The contract would be lowered to $162,822.

• Raffle permits for Dakota Wesleyan University, with the drawing to be held May 1, and Imagine Guild Inc., with the drawing to be held May 27.

• Set 1:30 p.m. on March 15 as the time and date for a bid opening for Trailer Mounted Hydroseeder City Project 2017-18.

• Pay estimates, bills, payroll, salary adjustments, new employee hires and authorize payment of recurring and other expenses in advance as approved by the finance officer.

Other business

In other business, the council:

• Called the meeting to order, conducted the Pledge of Allegiance, heard an invocation from Grace Reformed Church and conducted roll call. Council President Jeff Smith and Councilwoman Bev Robinson did not attend the meeting.

• Heard citizen input from Councilwoman Susan Tjarks, who told fellow council members viewers watching the council meeting were having trouble hearing each member when they spoke. Councilman Mel Olson then suggested department heads identify themselves before speaking.

• Met as the board of adjustment and tabled a hearing on McPeek Properties LLC's request for a conditional use permit for a parking facility at 700 N. Sanborn Blvd. The board of adjustment also tabled a request from McPeek Properties for a backyard and side yard variance.

• Appointed Councilman Dan Allen as member and Councilman Dave Tronnes as alternate to serve on the Consolidated Boards of Equalization.

• Held a discussion regarding the Airport Board. Because the Airport Board was established under a South Dakota Codified Law that has since been repealed, City Attorney Justin Johnson said the board could be made into an advisory committee that does not act on behalf of the city, could be disbanded or given authority under S.D. Codified Law 50-7. The council suggested moving forward with making the board an advisory committee, which will be considered at a later meeting.

• Approved Resolution No. R2017-15, which includes federal regulations for RSVP employee background checks in the City of Mitchell Personnel Policy Manual.

• Approved Resolution No. R2017-16, a resolution of intent regarding a James Valley Community Center kitchen lease.

• Approved Resolution R2017-17, which gives community organizations involved in the community brand process the right to use brand materials.

• Approved Agreement A2017-8, an engineering letter of agreement for a storm sewer study within the Klock Werks tax increment financing district. The proposed cost of the study is $78,000.

• Approved Agreement A2017-9, approving an engineering contract with SPN & Associates for Phase III of the forcemain project. The cost would be $36,500.

• Approved Agreement A2017-10, a temporary construction easement agreement with the Mitchell School District.

• Approved Agreement A2017-11, easements regarding storm sewer work near Firesteel Healthcare and Toshiba America Business Solutions.

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