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A mix of clouds and sun. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 87F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph..
Partly cloudy skies. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low 66F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph.
Updated: July 2, 2022 @ 5:00 am
The Yankton City Commission continued discussion on the possibility of developing a 7.57 acre tract of land along Broadway Avenue during its regular meeting Monday.

The Yankton City Commission continued discussion on the possibility of developing a 7.57 acre tract of land along Broadway Avenue during its regular meeting Monday.
The city is looking at a long-term discussion of what to do with more than seven acres of undeveloped land along Broadway Avenue.
During its regular meeting Monday, the Yankton City Commission included a discussion item of a draft request for proposals (RFP) and general conditions for purchase and development of 7.57 acres of land on the east side of the 2500 and 2600 blocks of Broadway Avenue adjacent to the Yankton Cemetery. 
City Manager Amy Leon said at the meeting Monday that interest has grown in the property as Yankton’s northward expansion has long bypassed the vacant land.
“This is a parcel of land that’s come up a number of times throughout Yankton’s history,” she said. “It’s something that people have expressed interest in development of. I think the last time there was a lot of conversation was about the time Fire Station No. 2 was being proposed and a location was sought for Fire Station No. 2. Since that time, there have been requests periodically about that parcel of land, and those have, in recent years, become more active in our community.”
Leon told the Press & Dakotan Wednesday that it seems the commission is in favor of moving forward.
“The commission is still interested in exploring what development proposals might be out there for that property,” she said.
However, there are some that are skeptical about the idea.
“I wouldn’t say that was a unanimous discussion,” Leon said. “There is a little trepidation on some of the commissioners’ behalf. Overall, it sounded to me like they wanted us to continue to pursue finding out what interest there is in the property.”
Community & Economic Development Director Dave Mingo pointed out that, even if an RFP is issued, a proposal doesn’t have to be accepted if the commission doesn’t wish to.
“This isn’t like awarding a bid where the low bidder gets awarded; this is a proposal,” he said. “You can accept or reject. It could be rejected for no cause.”
Commissioner Ben Brunick said it’s critical to have the insight of area residents as the process potentially moves toward potential designs.
“I think it’s important, like we did with the pool, to potentially have that input,” he said. “That may or may not change how things look there, but I still think it’s important to have that public input on what that might look like.”
Former Commissioner Charlie Gross said he’s opposed to the prospect of adding development so close to the cemetery.
“Go to the cemetery, stand at the top of the hill and tell me why you would want to create a commercial zone at the bottom of the hill,” he said. “I really struggle with that. Right now, you’ve got a historic cemetery. It’s a unique situation where you have green space. What’re you doing at Westside Park? You’re expanding the green space. Why would we take this green space and destroy it? I don’t understand that.”
He added that there are other tracts of open land still available for development.
“If you go across the street, you’ve got land south of the Holiday Inn (Express) that’s available,” he said. “On the north side of the Holiday Inn Express, that’s available. We’ve got 30 acres out at the HSC grounds that’s available. We still have land in front of Menard’s that’s available. It can’t be that development is driving this. We’ve got way too much available land as it is.”
Commissioner Tony Maibaum said he favors moving forward.
“I’m in agreement that it’s important for us to follow through on the RFP,” he said. “I think it’s respectfully written — that’s the first word that comes to mind for me — and we just don’t know what level of interest is out there. We may all be surprised. Constituents of ours may even be surprised at the level of interest that we get that is also potentially very considerate of who their neighbors are going to be to the east. That would be great to see.”
However, Commissioner Amy Miner was less certain about the idea.
“I know we’ve got all the ducks in a row,” she said. “I really am struggling to envision a project. I can’t see in my own head something that I can get behind. I start reading about how we’re going to have to hide the dumpsters and the air conditioning and stuff — it just doesn’t sit right.”
Brunick said he’s in favor of keeping the conversation going and figuring out something to be done with the space.
“It’s important that we have the conversation,” he said. “That was one of the things about putting this together — basically, to force the conversation, talk about it, put the proposal together and see what that does. I think it’s important that we do something with that property. … Right now, it’s just been a spot that Chris Bornitz mows on a big mower. I know it’s a green space — I agree with that and I’m not for filling in every green space — but I am for utilizing green spaces and I don’t think it’s being utilized right now. It’s a large, mowed area.”
Since Monday’s agenda item on the draft RFP and direction of the commission was simply a discussion item, no vote was taken.
And Leon said it could be quite some time before any votes are taken on the matter.
“This month happens to be really busy for us because of the budget — we have to submit the budget by Aug. 1,” she said. “We’re not going to do anything for the moment. We want to have time for more discussion and conversation to take place. I want to go through the developer agreement again to see if there’s anything I heard from the commission that would suggest any kind of change to the development agreement.”
She said she anticipates late summer at the earliest before the commission discusses it again, with any formal action taking place late in the year.
“We’re not in a big hurry,” she said.
In other business Monday, the board:
• Approved two funding requests submitted to Business Improvement District No. 1.
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[thumbdown] Keep it green space! It’s really a nice area to go through the cemetery and maybe sit up there looking down toward Broadway and to reflect! Don’t take that away from the people! And the history that goes along with it! If anything, maybe some sort of public park!
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