Will the developers ever be putting forth their fair share for arterial roads?

As you can see from this graphic, developers haven’t even come close to chipping in 50% for arterial road development as they promised (several posts about the tax increase and lies from the developers) They would when we increased the second penny .02%. They have been good at blaming everything from the economy to the way the wind blows. Ironically any platting fees that they ultimately chip in for arterial roads probably is a wash because of all the TIF’s they are receiving lately.

Sioux Falls is slowly becoming a corporate welfare city, and this graphic is further proof of it. Whatever happened to the business model of ‘sink or swim’? Now it seems anytime a developer can’t afford something they just go running to the city for a lifesaver, and the planning commission, city council and Community Development office concedes. It’s time for the city council to put their foot down and say “Developers haven’t held up their end of the deal – so you are not getting this arterial street money.” Of course when you have several councilors and the mayor* investing in development in Sioux Falls, what else would you expect out of their self servitude. My suggestion would be to transfer that .02% into road maintenance and upgrades, and once the developers show us 50% we will put in our 50%.

*The mayor granted a TIF in the Whittier neighborhood for an apartment building his wife is investing in and councilor Jamison’s company did the facade remodel on Sid’s Liquor which received a facade easement grant from the city.

7 comments ↓

#1 Detroit Lewis on 11.20.12 at 10:15 am

From my email box;

“I’d like to offer another story about arterial roads: I attend a church on Highway 11. Here’s my disclaimer: I don’t know all the details about what we agreed to in the past, or exactly what we’ve gotten for future consideration. I do know that we’re about to lose our driveway on Highway 11 to expansion of Highway 11 to 4-lanes, and are going to be required to access our church from 33rd Street going east off Highway 11 — a street that does not yet exist but is being built, on a driveway that does not yet exist but is being built. Apparently we are being required to pay for a significant part of the new 33rd Street and all of our new driveway, even though the primary beneficiary of that road will be VanBuskirk Company — which is continuing to develop all that property in the quadrant east of Highway 11 and south of 26th street. Our church fathers are now on a new special contribution campaign, to pay for 33rd Street. I offer this up to you as another example of the baloney that developers get away with, relying not just on government but other unwitting entities to fund their profitable enterprises.”

And this has often been my problem with giving tax dollars to developers, they are FOR PROFIT businesses. If they have a solid business model, they will profit on their own, and they can pass the extra cost on to their consumer, instead of the taxpayer.

#2 Pathloss on 11.20.12 at 11:21 am

If you’re a real estate developer and not one of the 3 amigo developers or the mayor’s wife, you have no business investing in Sioux Falls. If you’re small scale and do not pay bribes, there’s no chance for profit. The mayor has a 330 million budget with a base of 150k taxpayers. The objective is to filter at least 10% into his pocket and 40% to the insider syndicate. Much of the rest goes to lucrative city employee salaries and benefits. Some reaches the general population but hardly 20%.

#3 Detroit Lewis on 11.20.12 at 12:29 pm

You may not be to far off PL. When you add up with what we spend on ‘Professional Services’ (Private attorney fees, bond interest payments and ‘other’ contractural obligations, makes you wonder how much is really spent on us.

#4 John on 11.20.12 at 1:48 pm

“slowly becoming a corporate welfare city” – be still my heart; say it ain’t so . . .

The sad truth is that “development” never pays for itself.

It is a successful enterprise because it’s arranged to strip out the profits for private enterprise and socialize the bulk of the costs to the people individually or to their government.

#5 Detroit Lewis on 11.20.12 at 9:04 pm

. . . pretty much.

#6 Detroit Lewis on 11.20.12 at 11:03 pm

I watched the city meetings tonight, now the arterial road break is 30/70. 30 for developers. This has turned into a real BS.

#7 Detroit Lewis on 11.22.12 at 10:04 pm

Ironically, towards the end of the council meeting, when this topic came up, Staggers pretty much says that developers should pay for these roads themselves. Then Entenman gets on his soapbox and defends developers and says (sic) “They really put their necks out there.” and this bonus rhetoric, in which he says to Staggers about what Staggers thinks and what ‘others’ are saying about this handout, “I think it is a load of BS!”.

It sure is Jim.

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