Entries Tagged 'Downtown Sioux Falls' ↓

Falls Safety Review – You Can’t fix stupid

There was some glaring remarks in the Report; Falls-Safety-Review

A couple that stuck out to me were the stairs to nowhere, how the signage is NOT working and mostly adults are the ones climbing around on the wet rocks.

I also hope we didn’t pay to much for this report, a 6 page report with about 2 1/2 pages of type.

I have said all along a couple things that would deter more people to stay away from the water would be a sign that talks about the high toxicity of the water and ‘Why Die’ signs at places where people drown.

I’m not sure more railings and big rocks would stop many people from walking around on the rocks. Some times people lack common sense, not sure how you can fix that?

Was the RR Relocation project really the biggest accomplishment of the last mayor?

As we have been seeing, there have been some kinks in process. The only prospect to bid on the property so far is having issues with the quartzite and may either pull out all together or drastically change the project.

I have NO information on either.

But recently it has come to light that Bucktooth & Bowlcut may have killed it all together by asking for impossible demands from the Railroad. Of course, as I am finding out, the RR does whatever they want to.

The project was pretty much dead until some other big shots intervened and all the demands were dropped.

Maybe B & B getting the project totally killed would not have been so bad after all? Nothing really has changed for DTSF residents. Still tons of train traffic and noise and questionable storage of cars by the river and parks.

I still maintain that the RR Relocation project was one of the worst negotiated projects in the history of our city.

Is Jodi Schwan working for the City again?

So I’m reading the latest update about the private/public partnership, Village on the River;

Journey’s work has been a “key, pivotal piece” of making the project happen, said Erica Beck, chief of staff for Mayor Paul TenHaken.

“They have excellent professionalism. They’ve done a great job of creating a safe site within an urban area, which is incredibly important,” she said. “We’ve received a lot of positive comments about that – it’s a safe site and a screened site, and it’s been well-received by the public.”

So why was I not reading this on the city’s website or watching it at an informational meeting presentation? Instead I got this information on Jodi’s website in which the contractor had to pay to present it.

Am I the only one that thinks it is a little odd that after the city gave over $20 million towards this project we are not being given timely updates at public meetings? Oh, that’s right, somebody may ask the ‘Legacy’ question again, and we just can’t have that in a public setting, someone may have to either answer the question or lie. Better just to pay Jodi to get it out there.

The ‘Tifilicious’ Media Tour continues

You mean when manufacturing dumps on land for over 100 years there will have to be soil cleanup? Who knew!?

And after breaking ground, Quasney said it quickly became clear why the site qualified for some assistance.

“We are probably three months behind from where we’d really like to be,” Quasney said. “Most of that was associated with site remediation specific to petroleum on the site.”

We have known for well over 15 years this area would need major cleanup. I have said all along instead of giving TIFs the city could have budgeted over the past 15 years to cleanup the site for developers and sell it as a ‘clean site’. While I think there would have been some costs for SF taxpayers, I think the city could have applied for EPA Federal grants and even state funds to clean up the site. I think in the long run we could have sold the site as a clean site ready for development and would not have had to give millions in TIF tax rebates. TIFs are a scam, and the city continues to throw theses stories out to the media to make it look like they are needed. They are NOT, there are other options.

Is it time to allow ‘Open Drinking’ Downtown?

While I’m pushing for allowing patrons to bring their own beer to Levitt concerts, I have long advocated for ‘open drinking’ Downtown similar to what Austin, TX does in their entertainment district.

This is an interesting story on what they are doing in a small town in Georgia;

Three years ago, Atlanta-based developer Vantage Realty Partners LLC proposed an open-container ordinance in Duluth, Ga., where it developed a retail and entertainment complex called Parsons Alley in a historic district downtown. The ordinance passed this year.

“Every restaurant and retailer loved it. It increases their sales. Their customers don’t have to stay confined in their premises and can walk to the town green or fountain with a drink,” said Chris Carter, co-founder of Vantage Realty.

As with the Levitt BYOB idea, I’m not saying it should not be without restrictions. I think if the Levitt does allow BYOB it should be to a restricted viewing area and you should get an ID band proving you are of age.

The open drinking downtown would be a similar concept. My idea would be to allow it the first and second Fridays/Saturdays of each month June-September. The area would be limited to. I suggest just blocking off Phillips Avenue between 9th & 10th, 10th & 11th and 11th to 12th and allow traffic to still move West to East through downtown. You could only open drink in those areas and the alcohol providers could only give you plastic cups, bottles or aluminum cans, and you would have to have a ID bracelet.

I think it is something worth looking at. I know this past summer that the sidewalks were so crammed on First Fridays you could barely walk on them. Opening up this area would help a lot and bring a lot more business downtown.

Congrats to Full Circle Book COOP on a great opening weekend

I even picked up some great books!

(Click to enlarge)

Arc of Dreams behind schedule and $1.4 million over original budget

While this isn’t a bad thing or a surprise, projects like this take a lot of time and a lot of money when businessmen cook up public art projects;

Jeff Hansen, media relations director for the SculptureWalk organization behind the project, said this week the group has commitments from donors that get the project all the way to its $2.4 million fundraising goal. Earlier this year, the group said it still had about $600,000 left to go.

“This summer we had a long way to go yet,” Hansen said. “But we hit the $2.4 million level, which pays for everything — construction and installation and the plaza area.”

While I think this project being privately funded is awesome, I question a few things.

• How did the original pricetag of $1 million suddenly jump to $2.4? Even with the design change I find it extremely fascinating that a project can be this over budget.

• One of the main arguments supporting the project is to have a tourist attraction for downtown. Really? What about Falls Park? SculptureWalk? Statue of David? All the fantastic bars and restaurants?

Like I said, I think it is great that private business people in Sioux Falls want to fund this very expensive public art project. But I still think the money is being misguided.

Instead of building one gigantic structure that is a monument to WHAT? the money could have been spent on hundreds of smaller public art projects downtown employing dozens of local artists, landscape architects and construction workers beautifying all corners of downtown with mini gardens, murals, and permanent functional sculptures and art. Instead, Arc of Dreams will occupy an area already crowded with Roman like greenway pillars and steps.

It will in turn be a monument to itself and an incredible waste of private dollars on public art. But certainly NOT a surprise in good old Sioux Falls.

Smithfield Expansion, you don’t know unless you ask

I’ve noticed that Stormland-TV has been trying to get a comment from Smithfield about their expansion and have had little luck. So with the help of Councilor Theresa Stehly and Council Operations Manager, Jim David I had them direct some of my questions to the Planning Department. Here was there response;

I have looked into your request below and have the following information;

  1. A stormwater management report was submitted to the City of Sioux Falls Engineering Department at the beginning of this year for our review prior to a permit being issued for the $12,500,000.00 hog barn expansion.  City Engineering staff reviewed the stormwater management report and found it to meet City requirements;
  2. Smithfield obtains a permit from the State of South Dakota for water discharge into the Big Sioux River because of their onsite treatment facility;
  3. A FRRP (Flood Risk Reduction Project) Alteration request was submitted to the Corps of Engineers (Omaha District) at the end of May 2018.  The request was approved by the Corps and submitted to the Environmental Engineering Team with the City;
  4. In regards to Planning Commission and City Council Review the site is zoned and has been zoned for some time I-2, Heavy industrial.  This zoning district allows a Stockyard/Slaughtering of animals as well as processing.  Therefore, additional approvals by the Planning Commission and City Council are not required.
  5. You are correct it is existing Smithfield land.  It is being constructed on the site of the old holding barn as well as some employee parking spaces.  One aspect I forgot to mention is the new building will have a concrete floor that will be washed down daily.  The old barn had a wood floor and they had to use bedding materials that generated most of the odor. 

Thanks again for your inquiry.  Smithfield met all the requirements of our ordinances; therefore, we were able to issue them a building permit.  If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to email or call.  Thanks.

Jason Bieber

Urban Planner, City of Sioux Falls

Stehly, Starr & Herseth-Sandlin bunk out in tent

 

Community leaders slept in the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House parking lot last night to raise awareness and support for the homeless.

Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin, Pat Starr and Theresa Stehly were joined by others who were willing to get a”taste” of what the homeless might experience. This event was also a fundraiser for the facility.

Fodness Family sues city & other city news

The Fodness family is suing the City of Sioux Falls for Negligence over the Copper Lounge Collapse. The suit alleges that the city’s building services who provides building permits and construction inspections failed to heed the warnings of what was going on with the construction of the Lewis Drug.

More details to come. (Filed Doc: Fodness 2018-09-18 Complaint)

LLOYD PURCHASES LACEY ESTATES?

As I understand it, Lloyd Companies ultimately purchased the property after all and after the rezone may bring in a development much different (and more detrimental) to what they proposed originally. We will be watching.

CHILLERS AT OLD ICE CENTER JUNKED OUT?

The word on the street is that since the ice chillers were not in use and not maintained since the closure they are no longer useable and have to be junked out as surplus. When the place closed I guess they were still operable and thought they could be sold eventually but it seems since they were not maintained they no longer work. More tax dollars in the burn barrel.