Mitchell committee to seek changes for downtown area

The Nile Theater next to an empty business on Center Ave. A committee is soon to be formed in Mitchell to try to repair places and attract businesses to Mitchell.

MITCHELL — Shane Reinpold, president of the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce, came to the Mitchell City Council Meeting on March 7 with an idea to put together a problem resolution team.

He and owners of 15 other businesses have been meeting to try to do something about the buildings in Mitchell. He decided to put together a plan to make a difference about the amount of businesses in Mitchell.

Reinpold said they have seen issues with some of the buildings downtown and would like to see the city work with them so Mitchell can be a more pleasant place to not only do business but to live.

He said there is an apartment building sitting vacant with siding falling off, a building on Main Street with a tree growing in the middle of it. Another building which he said would be good to fix up is right across from the city offices.

He said in the last month or two there were several different places around town identified that could be repaired or rebuilt. Many buildings need be torn down or rebuilt but he said if they are tore down it would leave an empty downtown.

“There is just a lot of things I think we can do,” Reinpold said. “The first benefit is to change downtown. Make it more appealing to businesses moving to relocate to Mitchell.”

He said there is no downfall to doing something like the problem resolution team committee.

As a group they would like to work with Twin Cities Development and Panhandle Area Development District for grants to get different projects done and take care of things.

Twin Cities Development has been contacted for assistance and would like to get involved with PADD for resources with grants and resources for different plans. He would also like to work with city to make the committee happen.

He said there have been a lot of people talking about changes but not a whole lot really happens with the plans. He decided to get the city behind the plans to make something happen.

Brian Taylor, mayor of Mitchell, said what Reinpold is proposing is right on target but he said there are a couple of alternatives to what Reinpold proposed.

“I think we have a better chance to work with the owners of the property and maybe get their cooperation instead of just trying to get in and raise Cain with everybody,” Taylor said.

Taylor said all of it is still pretty fresh but the idea is to work with property owners to clean up property and make it usable.

Reinpold said it will also give them a chance to change some of the building codes.

He said he would like to work with the city to bring buildings up to code and eventually get the team together to take the building down across the street and getting something over there.

“I think if we brought up downtown and residential areas we can bring people to Mitchell,” Reinpold said.

Taylor looks forward to working with Reinpold and hoping they are on the same page.

Taylor said they need to take one property and start there. If everybody sees it starting, it will snowball into other ones.

Years ago there was a committee like the one mentioned which is going to be formed but ran into some problems, Taylor said.

“They attacked it in a different way and found people were not willing to work with them,” Taylor said.

He said the other committee worked hard to get people involved and hopefully there will be a different result this time.

“We’re not giving up. We’ll continue to work with it. It’s too nice of a town not to keep trying,” Taylor said.

The results from the Mitchell City Council meeting on March 7 was for the City of Mitchell to come up with guidelines to create a problem resolution team committee.

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