At least one mayoral candidate agrees, too much money going out the door from The Denty

Listen to what Jolene says about the EC and it’s visitors;

Maximize Our Investment

A full house for our City of HOPportunity: Jolene Loetscher for Mayor event! Tonight, believers in tomorrow from across Sioux Falls came together to learn about our plan and vision for the future of our city, including maximizing our investment in the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center to build an entertainment district and utilizing housing solutions to build stronger neighborhoods. This is the Sioux Falls of tomorrow. A city of solutions, innovation and opportunity for all.Special thanks to the incredible Maddie Todd for performing!#letsgojo #siouxfalls #cityofopportunity #mayor2018

Posted by Jolene Loetscher – Sioux Falls Mayor 2018 on Wednesday, November 15, 2017

I have been saying for awhile, besides the tax revenue from ticket sales, the Events Center is acting as a vacuum with money going out of our city.

Speaking of Jolene, here is a fundraiser she is having;

Cautiously Optimistic

The city has announced they have found a firm to inspect the Events Center siding.

I am optimistic for a few reasons;

In addition to a review of the exterior metal wall panel system, the consultant will also review the air and moisture barrier system behind the metal wall panel system.

I have never been to concerned about the structural soundness, the moisture issue concerns me the most, so I was glad to see they are looking at it.

The firm they are using (Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.) has a tremendous reputation as an industry leader in what they do.

Jeff Kreiter, the Sioux Falls citizen who sat on the RFP committee, has a great resume making him suitable for the selection committee.

The contract will be on the City Council consent agenda for their approval on Tuesday, November 21, 2017. The intent is to have the study complete by December 31. A report will be presented to the public in 2018.

Not sure what the report will cost, but my guess with travel expenses, etc., it will probably be around $30-$60,000.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

UPDATE: Guest on KSOO AM 1000 today, 4:15

I will be talking about loads of city business, tune in to find out. REPLAY HERE.

Art museums are supposed to be ‘Art’ friendly NOT ‘Kid’ friendly

Should have seen this coming a mile away when you put a youth pastor cartoonist in charge of a fine arts center. To that in a moment.

Last night at the council meeting they only had three resolutions on the agenda. It was 5 year contract renewals for SMG, Ovations & the Washington Pavilion.

I suggested that SMG promote more of their own shows to make the city coffers a little money. After the meeting, Argus Leader reporter Joe Sneve told me it may be difficult for the Denty to promote their own shows because they signed a contract with Live Nation. I said, “Well that was stupid.” Joe then asked Turbak who was standing there if that was true and like the grump toad mayor he just stood there and glared at me. Joe said to me, “You just aren’t happy about anything Scott” and chuckled. I responded, “We are running a concert hall not a church hall.”

When the resolution for the Pavilion came up, I suggested to the council that they look at audits and financials more thoroughly before okaying these contracts. I also suggested they amend the contract so that the visual arts center is free to all for local and regional exhibits. Councilor Starr called up Darrin Smith and asked him about the VAC. Smith said they are going to be making ‘great changes’ over the next couple of years in the VAC to make it better, including making the arts center more ‘kid’ friendly.


Arts centers should concentrate on ART. Visual art no matter the style has a wide appeal to all ages, that’s what makes it great. If there is a challenging exhibit to younger tikes – this is a great opportunity for parents to talk to their young ins about the topic and start a conversation. Art museums are not playlands, they are there to inspire emotion, influence creativity and are supposed to make you think. If kids want to play, they can play in the Science Center.

As for the VAC being FREE, there are two reasons why it is important. First off, it brings people into the Pavilion that normally wouldn’t visit an arts center, but more importantly it is a nice service to the public who help fund the facility. The city subsidizes the Pavilion for over a million a year. Besides FREE Tuesdays and First Fridays, the only other thing in the entire building that is FREE is the Sioux Falls black history cases (that few people know about because it is buried on a back hallway.)

Just another facility the taxpayers subsidize and still have to pay to walk through it’s doors. The Pavilion for years has tried to shake off the stigma they are only for the elite in Sioux Falls, I guess they have just given up that fight and accepted it. Sad.

Airport plans to build 2021 Modern Parking Ramp for half the cost of the DTSF ramp

This was from a March 24, 2017 presentation Dan Letellier did at Democratic Forum (FF: 26:00 in the below video).

Notice they are getting 1,100 parking stalls for about $20-22,000 per stall. The Downtown parking ramp is proposing 525 stalls (over a 100 will be leased privately and not for public use) for $40,500 per stall.

Now if the DT ramp’s cost was even just a little bit more, I wouldn’t balk, but the proposed DT ramp is TWICE as much per stall than the airport.

As I have said, industry standard for building parking ramps is about $25,000 per stall. When this high cost for the stalls was brought up to the Community Development manager Daren Ketchum yesterday, he blew it off and said that he wasn’t concerned about the ‘stall’ cost. WHAT!?

It is pretty common in the parking ramp construction business to price parking ramps per stall. That’s just how it is done. Secondly the airport ramp is a very fair comparison because both ramps are being built on land that is already owned by the builder and the airport authority will be paying down the bonds using user fees. It is apples to apples.

Where this deal gets even more curious is that the developer of the hotel will be paying a one-time 80 year lease to the city of $1 million. This comes to about $1,042 per month for a 120 room, 13 story hotel. You can’t get a decent downtown loft for $1,000 a month.

So why so much? Well let’s start with the obvious. This is a taxpayer subsidized welfare to a developer, and mind you, a developer who was involved with the Copper Lounge collapse, which OSHA is still pending their investigation.

So why an extra $10 million to build this parking ramp compared to the airport ramp? Besides the obvious welfare, I speculate, it is because the ramp is on the bottom of the structure and will have to be extra reinforced to support the PRIVATE hotel construction. In other words we are subsidizing the hotel construction by $10 million.

I support downtown growth and a parking ramp. I do NOT support getting hosed by a private developer. The city needs to build this ramp for $10 million or build a ramp twice the size at a different location.

UPDATE: Mayor Grump Toad presides over the city council meeting

After several homeless advocates and homeless people showed up for public input tonight, it seemed MMM was not in the mood for Bruce and I. After cutting off one of the homeless fellars he introduced Bruce (seen above) in a cocky manner and later cut him off before the time was up. When a couple of us in the crowd protested councilor Kiley motioned to the security.

They never did anything, but I have a feeling they have been talked to.

The mayor wants to destroy public input before leaving office.

The battle lines were drawn tonight.

UPDATE: KELO AM even noticed the drama last night;

The vitriol did end there. Scott Ehrisman ended his input by saying, “a lot of us come up here and talk every week, we don’t come up here to entertain you, we come up here to inform you.” That comment was a reference to another comment made by Huether during a previous public input session, when in between speakers the Mayor asked “would anyone else like to entertain the Council?”

Railyard Photos of the Past (Charles Luden) Part III

Here are photos I shot in 1964 of the downtown Sioux Falls rail yard.  I was in 9th grade at the time.  These were shot with a Kodak Brownie Starflash 127 so the resolution is not real good.  The rail yard was a busy place in those days.  Watching the action was exciting. At this time there was only the 10th street viaduct.  – Charles Luden

Janet Brekke formerly announces at-large council run

Former City Attorney, Janet Brekke, is inviting the media and public to a press conference kicking off her 2018 campaign for Sioux Falls City Council At Large.

The press conference will be Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at the downtown Siouxland Public Library, Conference Room B (200 N. Dakota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD).

“I have had the rare honor and privilege of serving this great city under five mayors operating under three different forms of City government and I believe my unique background in law, business and government will help move the City forward” Brekke said.

At the press conference she plans to give her reasons for running, her vision for the City and will take questions from the media on her ideas for a positive Sioux Falls future.

Brekke also states:  “When I am part of the policy making or legislative branch of Sioux Falls government, we will work together to advance the interests of our neighbors.  Our current mayor/council form of government is not as effective as it should be.  Having strong leadership on the Council establishes a much more proactive policy initiative role for the City.  My experience as both a successful businesswoman and the attorney who helped shape our form city government, I will move the City Council to better utilize the powers it has and improve the role it plays in City government.”

In asking the public to join her campaign she adds, “This is a critical time for Sioux Falls and us.  There are numerous issues and opportunities facing our city.  This is the time for our City government to map out a solid future for our children and grandchildren!”

Janet Brekke filed her Statement of Organization with the Sioux Falls City Clerk’s Office on Thursday, November 9, 2017 officially declaring her intent to run for City Council At Large Position A.

John ‘Vague’ Paulson wants to win this time . . .

The problem is he using the same old fundraising letter where he explains everything he wants to do but offers few solutions. Maybe he has a magic wand?

City asking taxpayers to pay $40,570 per parking spot in proposed ramp

While it is fine to get excited about a new $50 million dollar, 120 room, 13 story hotel downtown, that excitement quickly deflates when you consider the private developer is asking taxpayers to pony up $21.3 million toward that figure for 525 public parking spots.

While there is nothing wrong with a public/private partnership, we are definitely getting hosed.

Stalls in a typical parking ramp range in value from $20-25,000. Paying $40,570 per stall is freaking ridiculous if not ALMOST criminal. The airport recently proposed a parking ramp in front of their terminal that came in at that $25,000 stall range.

I’m curious if we are paying for a parking ramp or a hotel? This wreaks of corruption from the developer who toppled the Copper Lounge.