Entries Tagged 'Developers' ↓

Sioux Falls City Councilor Rex Rolfing still delusional about public input

Rex just doesn’t seem to get it, even when it is explained to him in simple terms. Right before the joint Minnehaha County/Sioux Falls City Council meeting, Rex and Commissioner Chair Cindy Heiberger were having a short conversation about public input before the meeting (they were unaware their microphones were hot).

 

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For the most part, well over 50% of public input deals with property and individual rights which could effect them financially and their livelihoods.

Some one really needs to sit councilor Rolfing down and explain to him that in a democracy we are all ruled equally, with no special classes. If developers, pipeline builders and railroads are allowed to talk as long as they want about their projects, Joe Smith should be allowed to talk just as long about his garage expansion. Equality is one thing that makes our country great.

Who will replace Darrin Smith? Or will there be a replacement?

While studying the city management salary increases over the past five years, we came across some interesting title changes. People were hop-scotching back and forth between the public works department and engineering. Not sure if this had to do with pay adjustments or what. It kind of looked like an accounting game.

Either way, there seems to be a discussion going on similar in the community development office. Will Darrin Smith have to be replaced or will restructuring of the department eliminate a Czar of community development?

With the new council rolling in, and the change of rules when appointing department heads (council must also approve the mayoral appointment of the director, no matter the size of the department). Could be interesting to see what kind of extra duties some of the other directors may have to take on to avoid a mayoral appointment.

Of course this wouldn’t be the first time the mayor would be playing hard and fast with the rules.

Huether is at it again, Saber rattling for another unneeded project

You would think with all the silliness going on with the administration building the last thing Huether and his minions would want to do is push for a project by claiming it is a done deal before it is;

Project backers of a $40 million hotel, retail and residential facility as well as a public parking ramp known as The Banks are no longer pursing the downtown venture, citing higher than expected construction costs. As a result, the city intends to move ahead with the parking portion of the plan – a 600 space parking garage – as a standalone project at 110 E 10th Street where a surface parking lot sits.

Except, once again they are leaving out the finer details of ‘moving ahead’ like the administration building;

The contract with the construction manager – still being negotiated – and project financing will require council approval before any work begins on the parking ramp.

That’s right, the city council still has to approve bonding from the parking’s enterprise funds before any work can start. Remember those parking rate increases passed recently? They were pushed through to pay for bond payments on a new parking ramp. Now a parking ramp we don’t need. Once again, the administration got the cart before the horse, and we are all paying for it.

We don’t need another parking ramp. We should have thought of all this before selling a fully functional one for $1.

BOOM! Plop. pfoof

Darrin Smith’s batting average lately hasn’t been to good;

The city said Thursday that private investors have backed out of a planned $40 million downtown project that would have included loft apartments, retail and a boutique hotel.

“The hotel and apartment folks have informed us recently that it’s not financially feasible for them to continue,” Sioux Falls Community Development Director Darrin Smith said.

So why in the Hell would we move forward on a $10 million dollar parking ramp without a leasing tenant? Wait until we get an interested party, then build the ramp. Or better yet, don’t build a ramp at all and let private development take care of private development, and tax dollars take care of citizen projects, like maintaining the roads.

Mike and Darrin have this great desire to spend tax money on unneeded projects. The new council is probably going to be working with smoking brakes until the end of Mike’s term.

UPDATE: Is the City of Sioux Falls set to ask for another taxpayer handout for more buildings we don’t need?

UPDATE: Imagine my shock and awe when I found out today that the city is proposing exactly what I suggested, a long term lease with a private hotel, instead of a financial partnership. But before I whistle and clap, I have a feeling this RFP changed once the city realized their borrowing power may be decreasing. Either way, we get another hotel and boring hotel restaurant on the dismal side of town.

Darrin Tiffilicious is set to ask for more taxpayer money tomorrow for another private entity, I’m guessing;

A hotel and restaurant are soon to be built on the southeast side of Elmwood Golf Course. Come to this news conference to learn the franchise of the hotel, the brand of the restaurant, and to see renderings of a development ready to break ground this year.

A few years ago when this plan was first hatched, it was mentioned that taxpayers would be fronting the money for a hotel on city land by Elmwood golf course. I’m guessing this has not changed. While I agree we probably could use another hotel in that area, I question the past proposed plan where we would be asking taxpayers to build the hotel then share revenue with a private management partner. I think a more prudent plan would be for a private partner to build their own hotel, and lease the property from the city, keeping taxpayers off the hook for profit and loss and paying for the structure.

I guess we will have to wait and see the details tomorrow, but like the half built aquatic center and the proposed administration building, I’m guessing taxpayers will be asked to bond for this project also. I think this kind of partnership goes to far and I hope the new council rejects any plans to fleece taxpayers for a private project like this. Indoor public pools are one thing, but publicly subsidized hotels goes to far, especially when this city lags in affordable housing.

Like I said though, the devil is in the details.

I wouldn’t want either across the street from me

Some times you have to make sacrifices if you want to live in a certain part of town, or should you? I live in the landing flight pass of the airport, 2 blocks from where hospital helicopter takes off from, 4 railroad tracks, several bars and casinos and a busy arterial street. But I like my location and my mortgage payment, so I drown out the noise.

These neighbors seem to be arguing over whether they want a plastic or metal trash can next to their homes;

A Sioux Falls man says his business neighbor is in clear violation of city zoning rules.

Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. is a salvage yard, Bernie Schmidt says, an industrial-grade business that doesn’t belong next to a residential neighborhood.

The city says the 11-acre business is a “vehicle storage and auction facility,” fully compliant with rules for a light industrial zone and capable of harmonious coexistence with residential neighbors.

The distinction is important: Salvage yards aren’t permitted in light industrial zones. Wholesaling and manufacturing facilities are.

Kind of sounds like they are splitting hairs. Inoperable vehicles sitting in a ‘yard’ kind of makes it a ‘salvage’ yard. Either way, I wouldn’t want to live door to neither.

But the interesting part of the story is how the county and city look at things differently;

City officials say Tiede’s ruling isn’t binding for the city, which uses different zoning language than the county.

This happens quite often, and the city often bucks the county to get their way. I wish the neighbors luck.

Councilor Jamison was only $2.1 million off the mark when it comes to the new city admin building

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Remember when Greg threw out a ‘hypothetical’ number;

Imagine my surprise (as well as the mayor’s) when councilor Jamison threw the $24 Million number out there last night at the city council meeting (FF to the construction manager at risk discussion towards the end). It was pretty obvious from the Mayor’s reaction (he literally flipped out on councilor Jamison for putting it out there) that Greg may not be to far off the mark, or someone within the city or private development gave him the numbers.

Well the hammer dropped on the actual cost of the building today at the informational, without a lot of explanation as to why we need it (and underground parking).

While I have still been seething about the ignorant Republicans and cowardice Democrats for voting for a sales tax increase (then turning around and voting for another possible one on municipalities) in the state legislature, I am still baffled why this building is needed. Well let the SF Twitter feed explain;

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Apparently the City’s Fleet Vehicles drive themselves?

Is the city of Sioux Falls proposing Platting fee increases?

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I have to admit, when I saw this proposal (DOC: Platt-fee-increase) I wondered what city I was living in. After all the lies we were told several years ago about how the developers were going to kick in 50% or more while increasing our taxes, I am still skeptical about what is up.

Stay Tuned.

Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!

Mayor Huether must not get out much or read state news, it seems development is popping all over the state;

BOOM! In Yankton!

BOOM! In Rapid City!

BOOM! In Mitchell!

BOOM! In Spearfish!

BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The High Cost of Growth

While we can talk about crime rates going up, traffic issues and lack of affordable housing in Sioux Falls and the MSA, we can also expect the price tag of public projects are going to rise as we continue to have record growth.

Last year the Top 20 building permit projects cost $240 million. Over 25% of those projects ($66.5 million) were public projects mostly paid for through fees and taxes.

We can brag about record building permits all we want, but let’s face the facts, this kind of record growth costs a lot of money.