Entries Tagged 'Developers' ↓

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!


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.

Huether’s Hypocrisy of Audits

After listening to Mike’s temper tantrums this week, especially about monitoring these numbers like a hawk, and the lies from his finance office, his hypocrisy is beginning to show.

His comments yesterday about audits and the CVB Bid tax weren’t even close to reality. He wants to audit a $2.9 million dollar tax so he can get a million of it for what? Cheerleading & Dart tournaments?

This is were his hypocrisy kicks in. He wants to audit such a minute amount of money (that is apparently working as it should) but hasn’t let the public see any expenses or audits when it comes to the Events Center. Finance Director Tracy Turbak even admitted on Tuesday that he doesn’t even know if he has change order files but knows what the subcontractors were paid, maybe. How is that? You don’t know what the change orders are, and you have no idea how much money Mortenson made, but he can get you that information, as long as the Argus wasn’t suing for it.

I agree with you Mayor Huether, let’s audit the CVB, and let’s release that audit the same day as the EC building expense and siding settlement audits get released. We could throw one big audit party. I’ll drive the black Mariah.
But all this audit and tax talk has also got me thinking about the mayor’s possible opposition to the car rental fees for the development foundation. While we may both agree on this, I have a feeling the Mayor opposes it for two reasons. First off because he wants it all for the city and secondly he was pretty much left out of the negotiations when it came to Foundation Park and the GOED. As the rumor goes, “Foundation Park is moving forward in spite of Mayor Huether”.

Seems there is a lot of things that are moving forward these days ‘in spite’ of Mayor Huether

The city needs to eliminate TIF funding in 2016, once and for all

Isn’t it ironic while the school district asks for higher teacher pay, the city screams for another penny in sales taxes, and the county, well the county is just flat broke, they have no issue with handing out millions in TIF funding this past year.

You can’t help to notice in the news this week the city is boasting about $675 million in record building permits, and every developer, banker and his cousin are bragging up the record construction.

Which is all very fantastic, while my wallet size remains the same as my property taxes go up.

Doesn’t it seem pretty obvious with record construction (99.99% of it without TIF funding) and the need for additional property tax revenue, the time is now to put an end to TIFs? What is there purpose anymore? To spur development? To clean up blight? To help affordable housing options? Well the last two TIF’s were for luxury condos and workforce housing downtown (which is code for NOT affordable housing, but cheap enough for a working stiff to afford rent, paycheck to paycheck).

There may have been a time and space that TIF’s were needed to spur growth and development in this town, but at this point, it just seems like extreme overkill and corporate/developer welfare.

The developers will be just fine, have them experience the free market like the rest of us working stiffs, and pull the TIF funding program from the city’s charter once and for all.


Sioux Falls Zoning Board of Adjustment, Dec 21,2015

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You never know what the Cracker Jack Sioux Falls City Attorney’s office will do next to their legal opponents. In this video we see what last minute legal jurisdiction claims and strange emails do to billboard applications.

Why does the city of Sioux Falls legal team and staff always seem to “find” new favorable evidence / documentation just before or during a court proceeding? Is the city of Sioux Falls document data storage system so bad documents get lost constantly? Didn’t the city get their hands slapped by the SD Supreme Court in the Dan Daily ruling overturning the administrative fine processes declaring them unconstitutional?

So we ask why the crucial data continues to be found at the last minute. As you will see in this video, the assistant city attorney and the code enforcement official pull important “NEW” evidence and jurisdiction issues at the hearing.

The high price outside consulting attorney was not at this hearing, the city’s floodplain expert who made the ruling against Lamar was missing and to top it off the city’s Director of Planning & Building Services was a no show. Each of these people could have been at Carnegie Town Hall on December 21, 2015 because they set the schedules and plan the events. There was no excuse, none. This was pathetic gamesmanship.

YES! It was a waste of money!

Once again, the high and mighty over at the Planning Office in Sioux Falls decided to spend our money on studies to hoodwink a neighborhood into more rules and regulations and then make them jump through a bunch of BS hoops to stop something they didn’t ask for in the first place;

“I was upset with the process and we played their crooked game and we beat them at it,” Hurly said.

Now the City admits in hindsight that the neighbors should have been asked first.

City Planner Mike Cooper: “That’s kind of a lesson learned that we’ve gone through now with this process.”
Angela Kennecke: “So was it a waste of $30,000?”
Cooper: “Well we still have a lot of data we can use for the neighborhood.”

Hurly believes the whole thing was just a waste of time and taxpayer dollars.


This is the kind of ‘planning’ that is going on in Sioux Falls. An elitist asks officials to do something to benefit them (tax rebates and grants) while screwing their neighbors over with more regulations and rules.

They should all be fired.

Instead of fixing the crappy drainage, the city prefers to just bulldoze the neighborhood

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Curious if the Sioux Falls City Council is authorizing these home purchases or if once again, the city planning and public works office is ‘going rogue’. Heck, I even wonder if the city council knows about it at all?

After heavy rains in August flooded a central Sioux Falls neighborhood, city officials are looking for a permanent way to stem flooding.

Homes along the west side of South Covell Avenue between 28th and 33rd Streets could be torn down to create a green space.

Several homeowners in the neighborhood near Augustana University have been contacted by the City of Sioux Falls with possible offers to purchase their homes.

The city is talking with neighbors first, before releasing a finalized plan. Environmental and Storm Water Manager Andrew Berg said it is a voluntary buyout, and no one will be forced to sell to the city.

And that’s the Huether way, instead of fixing the infrastructure in the modest neighborhoods in Sioux Falls, we prefer to just bulldoze them. Now that’s progress and getting things done! I wonder if this will make MMM’s list of ‘Top 10 Wins of 2015’?

Should ‘Public Projects’ be included in building permit record?

This year the city of Sioux Falls is claiming we broke a building permit record again. Like last year (with the Denny Dome) there are several public projects on the docket. This year there is over $60 million in local tax dollars being spent on these projects. And while they will not put in one single penny to property taxes they somehow are included on the permit valuations. While technically they should be included in the raw numbers, I think it is deceptive to include them in the record since they are not commercial projects that bring in revenue. If anything, all of these public projects will cost taxpayers millions in subsidies, hardly something to brag about.


Another Record in Sioux Falls

Yeah! The rich developers are making loads of money (while we give them tax rebates)! The elected officials are spending our money on entertainment palaces! Yet the homeless rates, violent crime, hungry children and the under employed continue to grow in our community. But that’s all negative, so let’s not talk about it;

Sioux Falls City officials today announced a third record-breaking year of construction values. The construction valuation for building permits issued by Building Services in 2015 reached $619,862,799 million this morning. Last year’s record (2014) was $619.5 million, and the previous record set in 2013 was $588.2 million.

I actually believe that ‘public’ projects should not be included in these numbers, IMO. Always amazed how our mayor can spin all the positive in this community around a dollar amount while many are suffering in this community. Yet, councilor Kenny Anderson said on SuFuStu’s show today that the mayor is more transparent then mayor Munson was with working with the council. While I wouldn’t want to get into a grading system on how well either did on that issue, I will say this. THEY BOTH SUCKED!

Parking Rate hikes just don’t add up

The more I think about this proposal, the more I question this increase;

“Our system is more than 90 percent full. It will be 100 percent full most likely in the next two years before we can open a new parking ramp,” said Darrin Smith, Sioux Falls Community Development Director.

Projects like the new ramp cost money. That’s why the city is proposing a rate change in Downtown Sioux Falls.

WOW! Where do we begin?

• We tear down a parking ramp that was useful and sell it for $1.

• We are going to be 100% full in two years yet the parking ramp the city is paying for is for a private hotel and apartments, with only about 3-5% useable by the public.

• The city will be leasing the parking ramp to these private entities. Shouldn’t that lease payment cover the bond payments? If not, why not? What is the benefit to the public to build a private parking ramp that the public can’t use most of the time and make us take care of the short fall on the bond payments?

This whole thing stinks to high Heaven, and I hope the council removes their heads from their asses and votes this increase down and demands the parking department adjust the lease payments to cover the bonds, or better yet, make the PRIVATE development build their own damn parking ramp. Let free enterprise work for itself, otherwise it’s just parking socialism. Maybe we should call it ‘Obama-park’?