News Column

Mitchell City Council rejects Sunday off-sale liquor

August 5, 2014

By Chris Mueller, The Daily Republic, Mitchell, S.D.

Aug. 05--The Mitchell City Council rejected a proposal to expand Sunday off-sale alcohol sales in the city.

The proposed ordinance would amend an existing ordinance that, for the moment, allows the holders of off-sale liquor licenses in the city to sell only malt beverages on Sundays. If approved by the council, the amended ordinance would allow all types of alcohol to be sold in the city on Sundays. The term off-sale means alcohol bought for consumption off the premises of the business where it's purchased.

With a 4-3 vote at a meeting Monday in Council Chambers at City Hall, the council denied the ordinance a second reading, effectively rejecting the ordinance. Dave Tronnes, Randy Doescher, Dan Allen and Mel Olson voted against the expansion of Sunday off-sale alcohol sales. Jeff Smith, Marty Barington and Steve Rice voted in favor of the proposal.

Councilwoman Susan Tjarks was absent from Monday night's meeting.

At its last regular meeting July 21, the council voted 4-3 in favor of amending the current ordinance.

In 2010, voters defeated, 56 to 44 percent, a similar proposal to allow Sunday off-sale liquor sales in the city.

"To me, this vote isn't about alcohol. This is about our integrity in the electoral process," Olson said. "This is really about respecting the people who went out and gathered petitions, and the people who went out and voted."

The Rev. Carroll Torberson, of Grace Baptist Church, addressed the council at Monday night's meeting, and spoke against the proposal.

"Don't be overtaken by alcohol, because you'll damage your community," Torberson said.

Torberson also attended and spoke at the council's last regular meeting, when a representative of the South Dakota Retailers Association asked the council to consider approving the proposal.

Joanne Geraets, of Mitchell, told the council she carried petitions the last time the issue was referred to public vote, and said she was shocked to learn the issue had resurfaced.

"You've got to remember you're working for the commoners, who are the vast majority of the city," she said.

Councilman Barington, who was a vocal supporter of the proposal at the council's last meeting, said fewer people showed up to oppose the proposal at Monday night's meeting than did about four years ago, when the council last considered the issue.

Councilman Doescher said those who support the proposal should be the ones who work to put the issue to a public vote, not the opponents who circulated petitions on the issue about four years ago.

"If the people really want to sell it, let them go out and get petitions," he said.

Consent Agenda

Council members plan to approved the following items as part of a consent agenda:

--The agenda, minutes from prior council meetings and minutes from various committee meetings.

--The appointment of Brad Zimmerman to the Corn Palace Committee.

--A raffle request from Dakota Wesleyan Football, with the drawings to be held during home football games.

--An Aug. 18 date for a hearing on the application of Blarney's Sports Bar and Grill for a special event malt beverage and wine license for Holiday Spirit on Dec. 5 at the Highland Mall.

--The application of Dakota Wesleyan University's student activity board for a noise permit for Aug. 30 for Student's Welcome Back Week at Jackson Plaza, 1200 West University Ave.

--The application to transfer a retail on-sale liquor license from Par Tee Bar, 2410 Quiett Lane, to D&E Music and Vending, 117 S. Lawler St.

--An automatic supplement of $28,333 to the culture and recreation portion of the general fund for a side dump semi trailer from an insurance claim reimbursement.

--An Aug. 25 date to receive and consider bids for a side dump semi trailer, at 1:30 p.m. in Council Chambers.

--Gas and diesel bids.

--A list of pay estimates.

--Bills, payroll, salary adjustments and new employee hires, and authorization for payment of recurring and other expenses in advance as approved by the finance officer.

Other business

In scheduled business Monday, council members:

--Sat as the board of adjustment and set an Aug. 18 date for a hearing to consider the application of Santel Communications for a conditional use permit to erect a 190-foot telecommunications tower in the 1801-1901 block of W. Cedar Ave.; set an Aug. 18 date for a hearing on the application of Dwayne Erickson for a backyard variance of 17 feet rather than 25 feet for an addition to his residence at 714 Mitchell Blvd.; and set an Aug. 18 date for a hearing on the application of Jason and Melissa Seppala for a sideyard on a corner variance of 12 feet rather than 20 feet and a backyard variance of 14 feet rather than 25 feet for an addition and for an attached garage at 700 S. Iowa St.; approved the application of Kayla Lux for a conditional use permit to operate a family day care in her home at 516 N. Edmunds St.; and approved the application of Shannon Jones for a conditional use permit to operate a family day care in her home at 518 W. Fifth Ave.

--Awarded a bid for a rock salt project to Meridian Grain, of Freeman, for $59 per ton.

--Approved a resolution for the plat of Lot 1, Enemy Creek Estates, a subdivision in the northeast one-fourth of Section 14, Township 102 North, Range 60 west of the fifth P.M., Davison County.

--Approved a resolution for the plat of Lots 2A and 2B, Block 2 of B and J, Devries First Addition in the northeast one-fourth of Section 31, Township 104 North, Range 60 west of the fifth P.M., Davison County.

--Approved a resolution for the plat of Lots 4 and 5, Block 8 of CJM Second Addition, and a portion of Livesay Lane and a portion of Jamaicas Avenue, in the northwest one-fourth of Section 32, Township 104 North, Range 60 west of fifth P.M., Davison County.

--Conducted the second of two required readings and adopted an ordinance to amend Chapter 9-1 of the Mitchell City Code by adopting the 2012 edition of the International Fire Code, and making other amendments as necessary to reflect the adoption of the code.

--Conducted the second of two required readings and adopted an ordinance rezoning property at 301 E. Hanson Ave.

--Conducted the second of two required readings and adopted an ordinance rezoning property within Westwood First Addition and Pheasant Street from Transportation, Warehousing and Commercial District to High Density Residential District.

--Conducted the second of two required readings and adopted an ordinance to supplement the cemetery portion of the general fund with $3,200 from the general fund cash balance for a security system; the TIF No. 17, Woods Addition, portion of the debt service fund with $30,000 for bond principal and $10,000 for bond interest, both from property tax revenue; the water distribution portion of the enterprise fund with $31,735 from the water fund cash balance for Spruce Street utilities and $115,000 from the general fund reserve account for shoreline repair; the sewer collection portion of the enterprise fund with $13,295 from the sewer fund cash balance for Spruce Street utilities, and the golf portion of the enterprise fund with $11,000 for repair and maintenance and $3,000 for a security system, both from the golf course fund cash balance.

--Conducted the first of two required readings of an ordinance to supplement the street portion of the general fund with $19,000 from the general fund cash balance for a side dump semi trailer.

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(c)2014 The Daily Republic (Mitchell, S.D.)

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