We have a few questions to ask, see how many you can answer.
If someone goes to building code enforcement and files a concern, why does no one follow-up?
Do building and code enforcement only show up to arrest someone for having a pile of shingles in the wrong spot?
What are building permits good for?
If you have a building permit, does it allow you to do what you want?
Why do we need this parking ramp so badly?
If a building falls down, are we allowed to ask why?
Should we care?
If there is a death, shouldn’t someone from the county/state investigate?
Isn’t it strange there has been no grand jury convened to find out why a tragedy happened?
What does a contract allow you to do?
Where were the engineered drawings and permits to allow a load bearing wall to be taken out?
The Copper lounge collapse in downtown Sioux Falls leaves the public with so many questions. Scott Ehrisman asked many during the Sioux Falls City Council Public Input on February 14, 2017.
When you are done with the video, write down your questions and maybe send a few of them to the Minnehaha County State Attorney. Maybe he can help us get answers.
“Your parking meters may need to be in effect until 7 or 8:00 at night, rather than 5:00. They should probably be in effect on Saturday. This is the only city I’ve ever seen where you have free parking on Saturday,” Gibbs said.
I don’t agree with that. I have often suggested that we should only charge for the on-street parking and the ramps should be free and charge more for the meters. I think the times are fine. There is nothing that pisses me off more then parking in a larger city like Minneapolis and having to pay for parking 24/7. It doesn’t encourage tourism.
Gibbs also thinks the streets should be narrower, and the traffic should go slower.
“I was almost hit by cars two times,” Gibbs said.
He believes the city should eliminate the one-way streets in the downtown area.
I agree 100%. The one-way’s Downtown are a pain in the ass and actually make finding parking time consuming and difficult. I also agree with the safety factor for peds.
Gibbs says the downtown area could be three or four times the size it currently is.
He is right. Ft. Collins downtown is much larger and they have the same population as Sioux Falls. They also have more entertainment/hospitality and less dress and cupcake stores.
Sometimes people present the obvious to us without realizing it. Many people in the community are concerned about Legacy being chosen to build a publicly funded parking ramp DT after their involvement with the Copper Lounge building collapse. Maybe Mr. Drake has a solution;
“I’m not going to address any questions about that site and the events that have taken place,” Drake said. “It’s an ongoing investigation, and until all the facts come out and are determined, we don’t feel like it’s prudent to make additional assumptions at any point there.”
I agree 100%. And until assumptions are turned into facts or falsehoods, we should hold off determining you are the correct choice for the project. I encourage the city council to hold the brakes on this project until the results of the investigation have been presented, or pick another contractor.
I don’t have all the details yet. But I’m sure there is going to be a lot of questions why a company that was invested in Hultgren Construction, a company that is being investigated for an accidental death, was chosen to work on a tax payer project. I hope we learned our lesson from Mortenson and the ramshackle job they did on the EC and the council REJECTS any funding for a parking ramp that is being built by a company being investigated by OSHA.
I can’t believe the administration would be so brazen to even suggest such a partnership. So idiotic.
While the mayor was touting building a $25 million dollar building downtown today (that we don’t need) over on Phillips Avenue they were trying to prop up PAVE. Of course the OSHA findings could take months and there could be a lot of closed door settlements with insurance companies.
But this question was posed to me today; is Hultgren Construction still around? I guess I am not sure, but the word coming back to me is that many of the projects they were working on around town have halted. Is it a precautionary measure to freeze their assets or to liquidate them?
Funny how when this all happened every TV station in town sprouted an investigative reporter as if a college professor was getting arrested for sexual assault. Now we hear NO followup with the building collapse. Maybe they found another mysterious white truck driving through Platte, SD in the middle of the night?
Washington Square will feature 22 luxury condos, 7-thousand square feet of retail space, 22-thousand square feet of office space and nearly 200 additional public parking spots.
The city administration building is $25 million;
The city this week unveiled details surrounding a proposed 79,000-square-foot city administration building in downtown Sioux Falls that would include three stories and a basement level featuring 34 underground parking spaces.
I guess if I was comparing apples to apples, Washington Square is getting more bang for the buck.
ArtMaze, one of the better parts of Sioux Falls life in 2016
2016 has been a rough year for citizen activism. While it has been up and down here in Sioux Falls with many successes and failures to boot, it seems Washington DC has gone into full collapse as we allowed racist, sexist, hillbillies to elect our president.
But locally there were three things that stood out;
• Governor Daugaard claiming that voters were ‘hoodwinked’ into voting for IM 22, then getting the Pierre (in)justice system to go along with it. Funny how for over 40 years voters have been voting his party into power, and no word about ‘hoodwinking’ but once that corrupt power will be challenged, all the voters are idiots. As one official told me that used to work for Dennis, it’s not the public that are idiots, it’s Dennis. And his idiocy has been shining through.
• The South Dakota Democratic Party’s bottom completely fell out, and the people in charge patted themselves on the back. Insanity I tell you! Insanity!
• But one of the greatest achievements of the year is the Sioux Falls City Council’s change of power. The four new councilors have been flexing their muscles with a little help from Councilor Erickson, and while they have had a few missteps to start out, they have been learning from the battle scars. While ‘leadership’ of the council (Rolfing and Kiley) seem to be on a two man mission to rubberstamp all things Huether, shut down public input, and concoct false ethics charges against a fellow councilor (until they got caught lying like the snakes they are) they are becoming more and more in check. The city council has many big plans for 2017, and I have a feeling their agenda will push through easily as our lame duck mayor melts.
Let’s take a look at some the finer high and low points of 2016;
• The Huether Tennis center continues to block parking from other event attendees at the Sanford Sports complex though they basically stole $500K from taxpayers for the facility. Throughout the year there was several reports on cones and signs blocking the lot with not cars in it. But hey Mike’s Bride won an award this year and seemed surprised she did, without commenting that her check to the organization that gave the award wasn’t returned.
• The Sioux Falls City Council leadership and mayor’s HR department pulled a military retiree out of their asses for city clerk, a person who will be in charge of our city elections and hasn’t been registered to vote for years. He also proved his knowledge of official stamps when he stamped a petition without even bothering to read it. While Mr. Greco has gotten better over the year, the city clerk position should not be a $80K+ a year job as an apprentice, sadly being trained by one of his assistant clerks who has ten times the qualifications and applied for the position but was turned down. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the council chair’s view of women in the work place.
• Speaking of letting the mayor’s HR department and Leadership’s Mutt and Jeff pick the next internal auditor, the council barked loud enough that they did not want another ‘Greco’ pick. Not sure if the barking worked, but the person who was set to take the job saw the writing on the wall and turned it down. Hopefully the person who ultimately gets the position won’t be turned down because they shave their legs.
• The city continues to blow money on the Winter Wonderland Display, but the way the mayor has been cutting budgets these days, I expect next year’s display to be a couple of homeless barrel fire pits, sponsored by the Dudley House of course.
• After posting about the ridiculous corporate like raises the mayor has been giving to his management team, he turns around and still screws the minions with dismal raises again this year. I think in a special note to the city employees on their Christmas paystub he wrote, “I don’t care.”
• The city continues the FREE condom distribution program at area bars, and for some reason Monk’s is always emptied the quickest. Coincidence that is also a favorite watering hole of city managers . . .
• The Tuthill shooting case becomes ‘inactive’ and a tree branch shadow gets off scott free.
• The Erp wrongfully calls out local massage therapists as prejudice because they pointed out the ‘shower massages’ that were taking place around town. Apparently someone got a bad fortune cookie that day.
• The car rental tax and BID tax grabby-grabby fails in Sioux Falls, but the state legislature passes one of the most idiotic tax increases ever so our teachers are now just tied for last instead of dead last in pay. Out hoodwinking governor already has plans to rob the pot only one year after its passage.
• Hartford’s city government was in a state of collapse. Who really cares?
• The Levitt Pavilion is moving forward in Sioux Falls. It will be nice watching outdoor concerts sitting in the grass while battery acid is boiling beneath our asses.
• The Boulevard ordinance changes went into effect. Now stop worrying about rocks and plant a garden.
• The Washington Pavilion got a change of leadership after Darrin Smith takes over as President. So far he has only eliminated one director, but I hear the blood-letting has just begun. Now let’s throw another couple of million at the place to fix the poor construction to begin with. That will never happen with the Events Center . . .
• The Events Center cracks down on outside snacks and guns at events. We are all now safe from cheap fat people shooting us, but not in the parking lot.
• The Pottie Room war starts in Pierre and is guaranteed to return in 2017.
• A city council candidate throws a hissy fit over a post I wrote about his wife’s involvement with the Jesus plows and after threats to my employer I pull the post. He ends up taking last place in the at-large race. How’s Jesus working out for you now?
• Due to health reasons, Kermit Staggers decides not to run for a 4th term on the city council. His endorsement of Stehly puts her over the top.
• One of the youngest candidates in city history runs for city council. I apologize to Briggs for all the shitty things I said about him during the campaign.
• The Argus Leader sues the city for the details in the secret events center siding settlement. The Argus loses the first round but it is headed to the SD Supreme Court.
• On a similar note, the SON neighborhood is also awaiting a judgement in their Walmart suit with the SD Supreme Court.
• The Mayor and Q-Tip Smith screwup the DT parking ramp development by flapping their traps to soon, and the council later on in the year returns the favor and defunds the ramp all together for 2017. I still think the fiasco is what got Smith to seek refuge at the Pavilion.
• City officials throw a hissy-fit over Bruce’s camera at a city meeting we were invited to by then city councilor Kenny Anderson. Looking back on it now, I just chuckle.
• Bruce and I do a presentation on voter turnout in Sioux Falls at Democratic Forum and one of the mayor’s buddy developers in Sioux Falls tries to shut us down. When he fails, he walks out. Another casualty to transparency.
I’ve been told over the years that I am hard on developers in Sioux Falls, and not all of them are bad guys. Okay, I’ll take the bait. I believe it.
I will be honest with you though. I hate urban sprawl, I believe in rebuilding our core and bringing current infrastructure up to par. I am also a big proponent of property rights, especially residential and I think the FREE market should determine what development is necessary. I don’t believe in TIF’s and think if something is needed, it will succeed on its own in that FREE market.
Okay, back to the press conference. I think the ‘good guys’ in the development business in Sioux Falls should have a joint press conference to talk about integrity in development, hiring safe construction companies to do that work, and the future of Downtown Sioux Falls after the building collapse.
Some might say it is too soon to say something until OSHA and other investigations are closed. I don’t believe it is ever too soon to talk about transparency, integrity and safety in the development and construction business.
It’s obvious corners were cut, we already have previous evidence through multiple complaints.
I believe that this message should come from the private sector of development alone. I think if the city, state, attorney general or OSHA want to hold their own press conferences, that’s fine. I think it’s important that these ‘good guys’ in the development business come out on their own instead of being pressured by government and regulation.
Why is this important? I think it is important for responsible developers in this community to separate themselves from the irresponsible, and show that safety and integrity can exist with profits and progress in the free market.
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