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Mitchell’s mayoral candidates are committed to city growth and solutions for Lake Mitchell

MITCHELL, SD (Dakota News Now) – It was a close race for the three mayoral candidates in the city of Mitchell.

One of the biggest problems for voters participating in the elections is how to maintain steady growth. Current Mitchell Mayor Bob Everson said Mitchell is the slowest growing first-class municipality in South Dakota. Mayoral candidates Jordan Hanson and Terry Sabers are trying to build momentum for the city.

“I was with Muth Electric as a leader for 45 years,” Sabers explains. “I’ve helped them grow from 10 employees to 400. I’d like to bring more of that to Mitchell because we need to grow and we need to grow by adding more young people and more people to our workforce.”

One of the ways Sabers said he would bring young people to the city would be to get people with vested interests aligned and work together to create more affordable places to live. He said teamwork and better communication can bring the city together to provide the shops, restaurants and housing residents want to see.

“The city of Mitchell can work with our developers to help them build more housing,” Sabers said. “As a retiree, I founded Mitchell Area Housing two years ago. Mitchell Area Housing aims to renovate homes in the city center and also build cheaper starter homes. Last year we built three, this year we will build four and from next year we will open up two developments and build ten to twelve so that we can attract young workers.”

Jordan Hanson emphasized activities as a way to retain and attract residents and grow the community.

“Right now, it’s a little bit stagnant,” Hanson said. “We’re in a bit of a rut. We have more things to do for everyone. “I’m not saying the city should pay for all those things, but we just need better communication and incentives because a lot of people are moving out of our city because they say there’s nothing to do.”

Hanson said that as mayor he would work to “remove roadblocks” for businesses in the city and foster an environment where growth can occur.

“Government and bureaucracy often make it very difficult to get things done,” Hanson said. “I would like to be the guy who is the home base for if you have any questions or concerns, how to get over those hurdles and remove those obstacles so that our city can finally be revitalized.”

Mayor Everson said work is already being done to prepare the city for future growth. He listed examples such as a soybean factory coming to town and bringing workers, and a new city water source that will double the city’s water supply and lay the groundwork for more development. He also wants to continue working with the city council to upgrade the Corn Palace to host more events and bring more visitors to Mitchell.

“To make it more suitable for the city of Mitchell it would be nice to do a major renovation of that building and create more space for vendors,” Everson said. “It would include camping shows, farm shows, sports shows and big things like dart tournaments and pool tournaments that the state of South Dakota puts on.”

Perhaps the biggest issue for the candidates is what to do with Lake Mitchell. The high phosphorus levels and algae blooms prompted the city to hire professionals to find a solution. The investigation ended when the city proposed an expensive mechanical dredging project that polarized residents and each candidate.

“We have to work in the watershed,” Sabers said. “Mitchell has a 350,000-acre watershed and I don’t think we have worked fast enough to build a filtration system to keep sediment and nutrients from entering the lake. I want to push that even harder. We have to do something on the lake. At this point, Mitchell voters must decide if this is the right project. I plan on voting for it, but I understand that people may or may not approve of it, and if they don’t approve of it, we need to get to work and figure out what we can do in the lake while we’re working upstream. the same time.”

“We can’t put on the lake and expect good water,” Everson said. “We can’t go into the creek and expect good water. We have to do both, I said that, so what I’ve done over the last six years is we can do that without any impact on property taxes, and do it with our current revenue stream. We work in the watershed. We are doing a 37-acre wetland project west of Lake Mitchell on land that the city purchased. We do what we can. The rest are in Lake Mitchell. We interviewed, I believe, six engineering firms and ended up with Barr Engineering out of Minneapolis to do a dredge design. They went there with the idea of ​​hydraulic dredging and came back and said the best bang for your buck is to dredge this lake mechanically. Some people running for mayor think there are other, cheaper ways to do so. My position is that two professionals told us what to do and we have that method to proceed.

“I was actually quite supportive of the dredging project before it was voted down by the City Council last (last) June,” Hanson recalled. “When that failed, they said there’s no way our lake can be repaired in the next 10 years. I read through all 500 pages of research that we had spent a lot of money on over the last twenty years and from what I had read, dredging was really not the best option. After reading everything and traveling to other states and looking at some of the major lake restoration companies, the more I look at the plan, the more holes there are in it and the worse it seems to me.

The election that will decide who will sit in the mayor’s office for the next three years and the fate of Lake Mitchell is Tuesday, June 4. Stay with Dakota News Now for updates on election results.

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