Entries Tagged 'Downtown Sioux Falls' ↓

Best BBQ in town?

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Just a couple of thighs you don’t have to propose to.

Okay, I haven’t obsessed about this much, but after getting home today and smelling my chicken smoked filled t-shirt, I kind of flipped. I tried Mr. Ryan’s BBQ ribs a few weeks ago at Bro’s (it is a Sunday Night deal) Best smoked meat in town. I obviously will eat most anything, at least once, but his ribs were perfectly cooked, fall off the bone, and on top of that, no sauce required, even though he makes his own sauce that is fantastic, and the red cabbage slaw is to die for.

Is the City of Sioux Falls having a change of heart about ‘Washington Square’?

Not sure, but this press conference has me curious;

Come to the news conference to learn more about the Washington Square project and how City officials are proposing to support the project.

As I have said in the past, I was opposed to the massive TIF requested for this project, but I wouldn’t be opposed to something scaled back, like a low interest community development loan, financial assistance with cleaning up the alley and upgrading infrastructure in that part of Downtown, even some kind of lease agreement with the city on parking. But a large TIF for condos doesn’t float my boat.

Sioux Falls LiveWell spokesmodel, ‘Moonshine Jerry’ prefers to just be called ‘Jerry’

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After his 15 minutes of fame today in the media, ‘Moonshine Jerry’ is just going to be called ‘Jerry’. There has been numerous complaints to DTSF and the city that using 200 proof backwoods booze as a moniker for living healthy and safe in our city isn’t such a good idea. Seems ‘Moonshine Jerry’ would have been a better mascot at Van Eps park last summer then one for a PSA.

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Too bad Soda Pop wasn’t still alive, he would have ‘crushed’ this gig.

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Does the Railroad Relocation project have any value to Federal & City taxpayers?

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The (forced) announcement today, where the mayor announced NO questions from NON press. I guess we can’t ask how you are spending our money.

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The depot will remain under the poorly proposed plan

While nothing has been signed yet, the redline of the project was completed on Monday. The environmental study revealed that low levels of petroleum and lead were found at the site and 6” of brownfield will have to be removed before doing any development in the area. We will also have to put a security fence around the project while it is being prepared for development.

Where I see no value in the project is that two major RR lines will still remain downtown, which I assume will become even more busy. One of them crosses Cliff Avenue, and frankly is a pain in the ass as it is. I also don’t see the value in buying land to prepare an old RR yard for developers to buy. Then there is the relocation costs associated that we are basically giving to the RR. They are the ones moving, it shouldn’t be on the backs of taxpayers to help them with the move. While the developers will be required to do their own environmental study at the time of purchase, I still think all along this should have been a private matter between the RR and the developers. While the Feds did have to be involved, our city government should have kept its nose out a deal that is just going to cost us more money in the long run and not really solve the problems with train traffic downtown. According to the Mayor, it sounds like it is just going to be another park. Big whoop. How about cleaning up the park just 2 blocks away to the North?

The mayor, of course had to bring up the naysayers and how this project is bigger than the Events Center (thank God we are only building a fence and not siding a building). I find his ‘naysayer’ comment a bit hypocritical. I remember Huether being the biggest naysayer about this project when we were debating whether or not to build a Events Center downtown. I truly think that really put a hiccup in the process.

The city council will only approve this through a resolution on August 4th. No real discussion, no public input, no debate.

While I am happy that the tracks will be moved out of this area, this project is nothing more then another handout to the already super rich developers in our city AND it does nothing to end rail traffic downtown. Huether, Johnson, Daschle and Thune, thanks for nothing, but more federal debt. Ironic how Huether makes fun of Washington, but gladly takes money from them. He did it after the ice storm, and now with the RR relocation project.

Click to enlarge below graphic of press release;

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Railroad Relocation project announcement Wednesday?

That’s the $40 million dollar question?

Officials are expected to announce the details of the deal between the city, federal regulators, BNSF Railway and the Ellis & Eastern Railroad. Under the terms of the deal, BNSF would receive millions of dollars for giving up the use of its rail yard.

The first thought that popped into my head is how or why would we be paying the railroad for land that is technically the Feds (ours) already. This explanation is going to be an interesting one. While the land that their buildings are on could technically be sold, I thought anything with tracks laying on it are Federal right-a-way and should go back to the Feds at NO charge.

My second thought was why was the Argus briefed about this before the city council (who will get briefed in executive session today after the informational, probably about the project). If the press conference is supposed to happen Wednesday, why is the administration waiting less then 24 hours to tell council? When I talked to council chair Kenny Anderson about this a few weeks ago, he said that the lawyers were mulling through the deal and it would be announced soon. Then bam, out of nowhere, without council knowledge, the Argus puts it out there. Seems the Mayor’s office has a mole with loose lips.

 

Found on Facebook – write your own caption

This was taken from a roof top last night at Hot Summer Nights. Don’t have a date? Blow, blow hard.

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Is it time for a graffiti alley in Sioux Falls?

With the recent arrest of a very talented (yet criminal) graffiti artist and the great success of Rapid City’s graffiti alley, is it time to do something similar in Downtown Sioux Falls?

I have often had long discussions with artist friends on how we could do guerilla art projects downtown without damaging property. I did the photos of sculpture walk sculptures with paper bags over their heads. I have also suggested just leaving random pieces of art at places (but that would be considered littering).

I think it is time DTSF explores their own graffiti alley, and I hope to bend the ear of the new DTSF director when he takes over this month about the idea.

Going Broke, Human Rights and rounding up the homeless

A few tidbits about some of the discussions I have had over the past couple of days.

Is the city going Broke?

Many of us are beginning to get suspicious about all the proposed fee increases going on in our city. From the Events Center to the Indoor pool it seems are city finance department is scrambling to raise more revenue. Just look at the Mayor’s obsession with the 3rd Penny Tax implementation this last legislative session.

How is our NEW Human Rights Coordinator doing?

Besides her hiring announcement on CityLink and on Stormland TV on March 16, I have heard nothing about what Vandhana Baireddy has been up to. In fact, I haven’t seen her since on the local media or at public meetings. Does she still work for the city?

The Herding of the Homeless?

There has been a rumor floating around that the SFPD has been rounding up the undesirables, the drunkards and homeless troublemakers on Friday afternoons downtown to prep the area for all the yuppies enjoying cigars, bad acoustic music and meals on the Minerva’s patio over the weekend. Not sure if it is true, but I have noticed they seem to be non-existant on the weekends. In all fairness it may be the success of the Dudley House?

FREE Youth Summer Transit program – Kickoff today!

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Image: KSFY screenshot

The kickoff is from 11 AM – 1 PM at EmBe downtown Sioux Falls today (Saturday).

(I also noticed that KSFY used a photo of the kids with the mayor in the story. A reminder that this is the 2nd or 3rd resolution that the mayor has refused to sign, which delayed the FREE ridership by one week. He deserves ZERO credit for this program being implemented. ZERO!)

Mayor Huether in a Huff?

I found this on Steve Hildebrand’s FB page;

I bet I’ve spoken to more than 100 people about this project – all who believe it’s important and a great step forward for downtown and Sioux Falls in general.

I’ve also spoken directly to Mayor Huether about it. He’s absolutely got his heels dug in on this one and says “they will not get a TIF.” When I asked him why he was opposed to a TIF for this $29 million project with tremendous economic impact for our city, he literally stormed off in a huff. Really? Seems like when a taxpayer asks a public official to explain their position, the could do just that – without getting all uptight.

For the life of me, I can understand why Mayor Huether would oppose this important project for Sioux Falls. If you believe this project is important, please call, email or talk to Mayor Huether in person. Please also share your thoughts with members of the SF Planning Commission and the City Council. We need their support to make this project possible.

 

For the record, I am against this TIF, but I am bias, I don’t believe in TIF’s. Over the past two years we have had record building permits, and NO TIF’s were granted. Are they needed? Or can private enterprise roll on it’s own? Playing the Devil’s advocate, let’s say I am for TIF’s, the biggest issue with this one is it is too large. I think if they scaled it back by 75% they would have a better chance.

As for the mayor, he doesn’t play well with others, and that is becoming more evident.