The mayor plans to sign the MOU for the RR yard purchase Friday

Okay, the memorandum of understanding is not a final binding purchase agreement, but wouldn’t it be nice if the city’s MOST TRANSPARENT politician would show the public the document before signing it?

The Argus Leader has not yet received a copy of the draft memorandum, but Cotter said Wednesday he would check with the project team about sending one this week.

So are you going to send this out before or after the mayor signs it? Funny how we had to hold off the snowgate election for another year because the council needed to ‘gather more information’ but it seems when it comes to the purchase of the railyard, that information is buried in some dark chasm of Mark Cotter’s office.


#1 Detroit Lewis on 01.03.13 at 10:55 pm

I love how Sue Egguilar tried to claim this was a ‘confidential document’ and should not be shared.

Sue, Sue, Sue. Anytime a document is drawn up by employees that are paid by taxpayers, that makes it a VERY public document, also, it is taxpayer money that will be spent, that also makes it ‘public’. Now I know you and others have buried all kinds of ‘shit’ during the EC debate, but people are watching now. Now, if you and your buddies want to start a private company that will purchase the railyard, go for it, you can keep as many secrets as you want to, but when you are spending my money, YOU WILL make these documents public.

Gawd these people don’t get it!

#2 Tom H. on 01.04.13 at 12:51 pm

So, the new plan is for the City to buy up the rail yard and BNSF will move operations elsewhere. How many people work at the switching yard now? How many jobs will be moved elsewhere (judging by the BNSF system map, it seems likely the switching operations will be moved to Mitchell, Sioux City, or Willmar)?

At best, we appear to be swapping industrial jobs for real estate development. It should be clear who has the Mayor in their pockets.

#3 Detroit Lewis on 01.04.13 at 1:20 pm

Tom, interesting spin, never thought about that.

#4 cr on 01.04.13 at 7:02 pm

Is there anyone else besides myself who thinks that spending 35 million TAX DOLLARS for NINE acres of land is completely insane!!??!!!!

All in the name of Economic Development……

Let’s call this federal earmark what it really is……

A PORK BARREL project…….meaning a government project or appropriation yielding rich patronage benefits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sioux Falls, let’s take the “high road” and decline the 35 million dollar earmark!

#5 Detroit Lewis on 01.05.13 at 12:03 pm

CR – I agree. The worst part about this is that it will actually make rail traffic worse DT. Someone needs to give the water fountains at city hall a UA.

#6 pathloss on 01.06.13 at 4:41 pm

If this was the site for an events center then it’s a bargain. I have a feeling it’s for indoor tennis tournaments. Lloyd would build it and it’s beside his hotel. Who appraised it? Where are the comparable propetties? Downtown is still a retail hole. There’s no access. The neighborhoods around it are crack houses. They ran out of things to buy using events center bonds. Watch, there’ll be new bonds for 50 mil when the events center isn’t finished.

#7 Detroit Lewis on 01.06.13 at 11:30 pm

“The neighborhoods around it are crack houses. ”

I would agree. DTSF biggest problem. But Munson and past mayors for years ignored DT neighborhoods and while they handout TIFs to Lloydham they give none to people who want to fix up those neighborhoods. I will admit community development helped me, but it was a loan, not a handout or tax incentive.

#8 Tom H. on 01.08.13 at 9:24 am

The MOU is now available on the SIRE site. A few interesting tidbits:

* Future tenants / landowners on the site must sign an easement allowing some railroad operations on their land.
* Apparently, the Ellis & Eastern railroad has the right of first refusal on the railyard property.
* BNSF must be leased back the property for 2 years to allow them time to adjust their operations. The City is on the hook for environmental remediation and building demolition. Looks like it could be many years before the site is available for development (2016?).
* The target date to complete the sale is before Dec. 31, 2013.

#9 Tom H. on 01.09.13 at 10:06 am

I was kind of bored this morning, so I made a Google maps mock-up of what a potential east-bank redevelopment plan could look like. I don’t expect anything like this to happen (this is Sioux Falls, after all) — probably more hulks like CNA and Cherapa with huge parking lots — but it’s useful to dream sometimes.


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