- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) - Some officials are condemning the decision to keep murals made of corn on the exterior of Mitchell’s signature tourist attraction for two years instead of one.

The nine murals alongside the walls of the city’s Corn Palace stayed on for an extra year as part of a cost-saving trial run led by Mayor Jerry Toomey, the Daily Republic (https://bit.ly/2kKi7tb ) reported. The last time the building’s exterior was redecorated was in 2015, when the city spent about $157,000.

The kernels have been picked off some of the murals by animals, and corn cobs have fallen from the walls.

Corn Palace Director Scott Schmidt and Councilman Marty Barington agreed the murals should be replaced every year.

“It’s an iconic structure, it’s a centerpiece of our community, and I believe that’s one area that you’ve got to keep on investing some of the taxpayers’ money to make our city look good when we have all these tourists coming on in town,” Barington said.

Schmidt said noted that “the murals just aren’t looking the best.”

“We’ve had a lot of corn fall off, I wouldn’t say it’s been a relatively horrible winter, but it’s been a tough winter, so we weren’t really sure what to expect with this,” he said.

The newly formed Corn Palace Operational Committee is expected to meet this week to offer a recommendation on the murals’ future.

The murals currently display a “Rock of Ages” theme, which is expected to be replaced after the corn for the murals is harvested. Schmidt said the city will use the South Dakota seasons theme.


Information from: The Daily Republic, https://www.mitchellrepublic.com

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