Entries Tagged 'Developers' ↓
May 23rd, 2013 — Developers, Sioux Falls
Of course, Council Anderson reminds Huwe that there was a ‘soft’ agreement (Item C – PDF DOC: platting). I also remember a city funded website that Munson had put up to sell the public on the idea. The Developers promised they would put in 50%, and when that didn’t happen, they blamed the economy (Taxpayers have put in about 5x more then developers, not quite a 50/50 split.
The reality of all this is that the city will NEVER get 50% from the developers. Why? As I was reminded yesterday,
1) Sanford and Avera are paying NO platting fees on redevelopment, and they are some of the biggest developers in SF, who also got to attend the arterial street meetings. So I guess they get to have a say, but don’t have to pay for it. Hmm.
2) We hand out more property tax breaks (TIF’s) to developers then what we collect on platting.
As I told someone yesterday, not only are the developers running this town, they are robbing the taxpayers blind (TIF’s, arterial roads, Greenway landscaping for private hotel) and Mayor Huether and Darrin Smith are driving the getaway car. But hey, we better cut funding to Paratransit.
February 2nd, 2013 — Developers, Development, Sioux Falls
I had a nice little surprise last night getting home from work. The water main was broke right in front of my house. Nothing like your house rattling like chattering teeth at 5 AM in the morning due to a dirt tamping device. I guess there was also a water main break last week to in central Sioux Falls. Surprised that Stormland TV wasn’t in my neighborhood wondering how I would take a shower before I went to bed, doing a team report about how I may have to wash my bed sheets in the morning due to my griminess, but how was I going to do that also? Dumb. In fact, I didn’t see one single reporter or anything in the news about it. Apparently since I didn’t have a threat of my bagged frozen gravy thawing out, it wasn’t news.
Which brings me to a bigger story our supposed media in town should be covering;
“How bad is the infrastructure Downtown and in surrounding neighborhoods?”
Developer and Human Key to the city (or at least to the cash box), Craig Lloyd has often contended that he can’t develop Downtown without TIF’s do to old infrastructure and hazardous conditions. He may be right, afterall, even though I still think he should fund his own FOR PROFIT developments.
So when is our MSM going to stop worrying about what their co-workers think about them while showering with them, and dig into the deeper story? Maybe Mr. Lloyd would like to do an exclusive interview with Detroit Lewis talking about all the exploding transformers, water pipes and melting gravy.
November 19th, 2012 — Developers, Development, Sioux Falls
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.
August 28th, 2012 — Developers, Development, Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
Not only are taxpayers subsidizing the landscaping and spray park along the river for a privately developed hotel the developers got a TIF to boot. And who approved this project before it went on to the city council? The parks board of course in which the wife and co-owner of the development company building the hotel belongs as a board member.
But hey, there is no conflicts of interest here, move along, nothing to see.
June 4th, 2012 — Developers, Sioux Falls
Guest Poster found this from 3 years ago;
When the city council decided to raise our taxes last Semptember they promised two things. 1) That the extra revenue of .08% would go into a special fund that would only be spent on arterial roads 2) That the developers would be paying 50% of that tab through platting fees. Even with the economy down and the city not being able to raise $10 million for the roads doesn’t mean that developers should be off the hook for their half of the bargain. But it seems like they think they are, and the city isn’t doing a damn thing about it.
If you look at the April financial report you will find that platting fees are still dismal: april-finance
While the platting fees are pretty measly when compared to the $15 million contributed by taxpayers, I am wondering what (Contributions/Other) is? If you follow the numbers across, you will see that it looks like the (.92) is contributing to the (.08) fund. Interesting.
Guest Poster had this to say;
I know this is an oldie but there is still the question about the need for the 69th St viaduct, roundabout and 4 lane highway in front of the 2 ‘Christian’ run businesses called schools.
There still is no need for this expenditure. If WalMart would have been able to be built on this street, we the taxpayers would have been able to start recouping some of the costs. As of now, the only traffic for this multimillion dollar street extension are TeaBaggers paying to send their children to private church schools. If I mistaken, these ‘church’ schools are tax free and as such do not pay any taxes or street upkeep.
The funds should have been used to build a much needed 26th street / Southeastern / Sioux River, or Cliff Avenue bridge or both. The traffic jams at both of these intersections has been needing attention for 20+ years.
No matter what or how the downtown rail yard discussion plays out, infrastructure changes need to be made in the core of town. Trains are still going to be traveling on these tracks, in fact we recently learned BNSF is planning more trains per week. What is the city’s plan?
Why doesn’t the developers look at a development plan to actually consider the railroad a tourist attraction? Travel the roads of America and see how railroads have been a must see thing. I have been very happy with the city’s failure with the railroad. If the developers want to rework the railyard for their profits, let them pay for the costs.
Just because developers keep stretching out the the town’s boundarys doesn’t mean, we the citizens must pay for their ability to make more money on the taxpayer’s backs.
We are getting tired of socialism for costs and privatized capitalism of profits.
January 12th, 2012 — Developers, Development, Sioux Falls
Need Cash from the city? If you are developer in SF, you may be able to get drive up service at city hall.
A South DaCola foot soldier attended the city council working session yesterday, and was surprised to hear the city was considering ‘cash incentives’ besides TIF’s to developers. What a slippery slope! They told me this about the meeting;
The room was packed with developers (invited by Darrin Smith). I sat next to a developer and a prominent city director. The developer kept making the remark ad naseum that he came to the meeting because he heard that they were handing out free money! He was giddy! After he had said the same thing over and over, the city director that was sitting next to him said,
“Yeah, maybe we should just have a drive-up?”
I already think it is a farce we give TIF’s to developers to re-develop older neighborhoods when we don’t give it to residents who buy older homes and fix them up (though community development does a nice job with low-interest equity loans and grants). But I draw the line at cash incentives. How does a tax payer benefit from giving a direct payment to a private business without receiving a service? We don’t.
And secondly, how dare a city director joke about it.
January 3rd, 2010 — Developers, Sioux Falls
That is the best description I can give to the lastest from Sioux Falls city hall. I helped break this story, I first pressured Stormland TV news to do a story about it and they did their usual 5 minutes of digging. I want to applaud Ellis for taking a few months on this story to get it right;
Almost a year into the deal, developers had paid $301,000 in fees through November, or only 5 percent of what officials estimated they would pay into the arterial streets program this year. Through November, taxpayers had contributed $2.5 million to the program.
Oh, but it gets better;
What happened? Bad timing played a part. On Sept. 15, 2008, the same day the council voted on the tax and fee increases, Wall Street investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, sending the nation’s financial system barreling off a cliff. Banks clamped down on lending, and development screeched to a halt.
Ironically, Lehman’s bankruptcy was brought up the night of the vote by a citizen, but apparently the 4 councilors and mayor that voted for the tax increase were too busy watching TV to listen (councilor Quen Be De Knudson, who consistently brags about how hard she works was busted watching the Olympics during public testimony).
“The developers,” City Finance Director Eugene Rowenhorst said, “are not doing that much nowadays.”
Thanks for the observation, short-timer.
But officials say there are other reasons for the big drop-off in development fees. Builders rushed to get land platted or replatted ahead of Jan. 1, 2009, when the new fees kicked in.
Imagine that, they promoted the new plan, then gamed the system. Maybe I should have bought all of my groceries for 2009 on December 31, 2008. Golly, I feel really stupid now.
But behind the scenes, some builders were upset with the city. Sioux Falls, they argued, was not moving fast enough to upgrade roads and utilities in areas primed for development. The lack of basic infrastructure was slowing growth.
Then pony up. If the city isn’t building a new road to your new development, build it yourself, or STFU. It’s not the ‘City’s money’ that builds new roads, it’s ‘My money’ that builds new roads.
Throughout much of 2007 and part of 2008, a group of developers met regularly with city officials to hash out a plan that would allow the city to spend more money on arterial roads and basic infrastructure.
This is news to me, but no surprise. As usual, joe-six-pack doesn’t have a say in the matter.
The first attempt at raising the sales tax failed in May 2008 on a 5-3 vote. Undeterred, city officials brought the package back a few months later. This time the council split 4-4, allowing Munson to cast the deciding vote.
Munson just couldn’t let it die, he just had to have that extra .08%. I betcha he lost sleep over the fact that he wasn’t charging the citizens of this city the maximum amount he could.
Munson said he would do it again. The tax increase and platting fees are in place and will begin generating more revenue when the economy picks up.
“You make decisions with the best information you have,” he said. “You don’t look at that vote of raising the second penny as immediate. It really was presented as a long-term solution.”
Where’s my f’ing shovel? The information you had was this; Major financial institutions were failing, development was down, the economy was down. This had nothing to do with roads, this had to do with your GREED!
Scott Ehrisman, a Sioux Falls resident who opposed the tax increase, said he’s not surprised the deal hasn’t worked as advertised. The city put up a Web site promoting the idea that taxpayers and developers would work together to pay for growth. Ehrisman calls that a ruse by city officials who wanted to raise taxes to their maximum.
Ehrisman notes that the city tried to raise the same tax in 2005 to pay for a recreation center, but the voters said no. This time, the voters didn’t have a say.
“I don’t believe the tax increase had anything to do with arterial roads,” he said. “They were planning on building those arterial roads with or without that tax increase.”
Ehrisman said the .08 percent increase should be rescinded until the development community has recovered enough to begin paying what the city promised it would pay.
“Developers have a choice,” he said. “They don’t have to build. They don’t have to pay the fees. But we have to pay the taxes.”
I also told Ellis that I believe someone ‘lied’ along the way. Don’t know who, but this was a freaking boondoggle from the beginning.
“I believe eventually we’ll get back to those historical growth rates that we had estimated to make this 60-40 split work,” Munson said.
Yeah, Dave, and Vernon Brown will be mayor, and the Unicorn Rainbow park will be built, the calendar will turn back to 1955 and monkeys will fly out of my ass. Do you really think people believe your bullshit? I know you are a self processed tea-toddler but I’m starting to wonder.
Long term, when the industry recovers, the split between taxpayers and developers will even out, predicts Chuck Point, a vice president with Ronning Cos.
“The market goes up and down,” he said. “The estimates of what the city might pay and what the developers might pay were just that – estimates. They were brought forth by the city, not the developers.”
Yeah, Chuck, because everything the developers have presented so far has been rock solid . . . . and BTW, if these were just ‘estimates’ can I tell a store clerk the next time I buy something, “I know I owe you an extra 8 cents, but I don’t have it, so let’s consider this close enough, because, yah know, this tax increase was just based on ‘estimates’.”
Some developers have tried to avoid the fees by claiming their changes are “minor plats,” which are not subject to the new fees.
“We’re trying to redefine our definition more clearly of what is a minor plat,” Huwe said. “Now, everybody comes in and says, ‘Here’s my minor plat.’ And we say, ‘No, it’s not.’ “
You tell em’ Huwe. “Because, like, we have to start cracking down on you fellas since this story is in the newspaper and all.”
November 22nd, 2009 — Developers, Development, Sioux Falls
The Gargoyle Leader’s editorial board never ceases to astonish me. Today they wrote an editorial reminding citizens who should set policy in Sioux Falls;
More importantly, though, city leaders – not local developers – need to be driving policy decisions on whether to adjust the hookup fees.
No shit sherlock. This editorial should have been written seven years ago. Citizens elect the council and mayor to vote for their best interests, but it seems this current council and mayor do the bidding of the big developers, time and time again.
October 15th, 2009 — Developers, Road Funding, Sioux Falls
Just another boondoggle in the making.
I noticed that Item #25 of the city council meeting was a resolution approving the arterial street development schedule for 2010.
A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING THE PRIORITY ORDER OF PROJECTS TO BE CONSTRUCTED IN 2010 UTILIZING THE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM’S ARTERIAL STREET EXPANSION (DEVELOPMENT DRIVEN STREET) PROJECTS.
I find this quite sad and comical considering that we were told when our taxes were increased to pay for these roads that developers would be putting in 50%. Kind of wonder where that 50% will be coming from considering as of August the financial numbers were (page 2);
From the .08 cent increase; $1,815,000
From platting fees; $116,000
But even if you want to get technical, if you want to take the ‘Total’ of the entire second penny, it does not get much better;
From the .92 cent tax; $27,000,000
From platting fees; $434,000
The crux of all this, according to councilor Costello, is that we are $137 million dollars behind on road maintenance in Sioux Falls. Why would we be building NEW streets for developers (who are not ponying up their share) instead of fixing what we have first? Once the developers put in their 50% and we are caught up reasonably on maintenance, then let’s talk building roads outside of Tea, SD.
Once again, the public was lied to, and we will end up picking up the tab for the special interests. Pathetic.
July 25th, 2009 — Developers, Development, Sioux Falls
This sign has been sitting along Phillips to the Falls for quite awhile. While advertising property for lease is perfectly legal I question whether these developers and realtors can advertise property THEY DO NOT OWN. I’m sure they worked out some deal with the city (The city owns the property), but I still think it is bologna that they can advertise land THAT WE AS TAXPAYERS OWN. Wanna lease the property? Then buy it already and put it on the taxrolls. It would be like me running a classified in the paper for a car I have for sale, but I don’t own it. Then once I find a buyer, I go buy the car and resell it. Since when are taxpayer’s a bank? It seems in this town that’s how it works.