Entries Tagged 'Event Center' ↓

My REAL feelings on the Siding Settlement? A SAD EVENT.

You would think with all the contradictions in the contract and what we were told, Mayor Huether would have had better things to do yesterday besides dressing like Howdy Doody.

I have to be honest with you, when the city released the settlement yesterday, I was a little surprised. I was also surprised by how bad it was.

When I present my theories I usually give ‘worst case’ scenario. So when the truth comes out and it is worse, I’m not sure what to think. I’m still in shock.

Bruce and I have been pursuing this for over two years, and quite honestly I never expected the AL to win their case in the SD Supreme court. But I still wasn’t going to give up. Over a month ago, I reminded Bruce we need to do some more siding videos (we have lots of footage that has never been published).

I still think someday it will need to be repaired, sooner rather than later.

But in some ways, this wasn’t about the siding (or the roof) it was about the administration, lying again. I have been pointing out for over seven years the lies that come from the administration, so when you have vindication like this, it’s shocking, like I have already mentioned.

But I still am not in ‘celebration’ mode. Even when Bruce shook my hand last night congratulating us on this, I still have a lump in my stomach over it. Over the past three days I have had a sense of sadness. Pity not only for the taxpayers of Sioux Falls, the Media and the Council, but for the mayor. I don’t take much joy in this. I just wish at least our local elected officials and the public employees who work for them would use a little integrity, honesty and common sense. This did not take place. It is a very low point in Sioux Falls city government, and I’m sure once the contractors start talking, this is going to get a whole lot messier.

So what do I think should happen? Well barring the mayor is not willing to admit guilt and apologize, I think he should resign and take any public employee involved with this with him. As we know, his head is so large, it probably won’t happen.

But that won’t stop ethics complaints. Either way, any political capital the Mayor thinks he might have all got flushed down the toilet on Thursday. It’s probably best if he just holed himself up at his swamp cabin until May.

Why didn’t Garth & Trisha spend this last week in Sioux Falls?

In all fairness, we knew from the beginning they weren’t going to spend the week here, but it seems Bruno Mars was more important;

The country star turned 53 on Tuesday, and in honor of her special day, her husband, Garth Brooks, adorably surprised her with a trip to Louisville, Kentucky (to see Bruno Mars).

So I guess our town is good enough to suck $7.5 million dollars out of, but not quite nice enough to spend your 53rd birthday in.

UPDATE: Events Center Settlement Released

9/22/2017 – 1ST POST: 1:30 pm, 1ST UPDATE: 2:29 PM, 2ND UPDATE: 3:01 PM, 3RD UPDATE 4:03 PM

I just did a quick read of the settlement, because I was a little surprised it was released this early. (FULL DOC: Events-Center-Settlement-Agreement).

My  impressions by a NON-LAWYER, Speed Read of the document is;

  • If the siding ever goes bad, we can never go back and sue any of these parties for the repair. The taxpayers of Sioux Falls will be fully responsible moving forward with the repair UNLESS it refers to the general warranties (of materials) that were set in place before the settlement.
  • As I predicted last night, about half of the settlement (coming from Mortenson) is money coming from the constingency fund that Mortenson planned to keep for a bonus. There promised portion of the contingency fund was SHORTED to $514,996 and Mortenson had to pay a $160K settlement.
  • MJ Dalsin was actually fined/agreed to settle more for a roofing issue than the siding. It had to do with a new membrane on the Convention Center and connecting the roof of the EC to the CC. In return of paying their settlement* of $125K, they received full payment on the work they did on the EC/CC and the Liens against them were dropped. *As I understand it, Dalsin’s insurer actually paid the settlement, not Dalsin.
  • The rest of the settlement was paid for by architects and suppliers.
  • McGrath (who I think actually installed the panels) was at no fault. Mortenson assumed responsibility for their work.

As you can see from a quick look, the taxpayers were poorly represented on this. We really only got about $444K which doesn’t even come close to an amount to fix the siding if it were to leak and needed repaired. The ‘Good Folks’ of Sioux Falls were left in the dark on this settlement, because quite frankly, we got SCREWED!

I find it a little strange that a man who says he ‘Gets things Done’ and calls himself a leader has made NO statement about the settlement. That figures.

So what do the actual numbers look like? Besides the fact this seems to be about a roofing project/disagreement and NOT about botched siding, it seems we didn’t even get half of the million dollars.

IMETCO (siding OR roofing provider?) paid $40K

Dalsin (actually their insurer) paid $125

SCD (Sink Combs Dethlefs)/Koch Hazard paid $118,719

Mortenson paid $160,000 (not from contingency fund)

Total of $443,719

Mortenson did pay $160K from pocket but they were ALSO actually SHORTED on the contingency fund balance which was $1,071,277. Mortenson was shorted $556,281 of that fund to make up the $1 million dollar settlement balance and still received the remainder in that fund of $514,996 (That is if you do the math, because none of this is laid out in the settlement agreement).

As you can see, we never really got the entire $1 million, and the settlement wasn’t even about siding. And you wonder why they wanted to keep this secret?

This of course is still developing and I hope to give you a better idea over the weekend. **As a disclaimer, these are my educated guesses on the figures since many of the figures were left out on the remaining balance.

UPDATE: Siding Settlement Decision; How did we get here?

While I would love to be chugging vodka tonics right now until I forget my name, I’m afraid the celebration won’t be for awhile. I don’t expect to see the secret settlement anytime soon. The city has many options. At the earliest they could delay this for 90 days while considering an appeal to the Federal Supreme Court (I don’t think they would go that far). They could also ask for a reconsideration from the SD Supreme Court, which could take several months. I’m also sure there is a whole other bag of tricks they could pull out. Unfortunately they are using our tax dollars to keep secrets about our tax dollars secret.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone, as we all know, the Mayor’s administration is anti-transparency, and it has been getting worse. The majority of the city council is no longer let in on RFP and BID negotiations, not even in executive session. Many are asking how are they supposed to vote on projects like Tuesday’s UPTOWN II when have no idea what the other proposals were.

UPDATE: Theresa said it best on Stormland TV last night;

Stehly hopes this decision leads to more transparency in local government in the future.

“It’s problematic when we have the media being left out, the citizens being left out, and the city council being left out. Who’s running the show?”

Would you like me to answer that question? Probably NOT. Props to Mallory and his videographer  for the great camera work on the story and all the close ups of the siding. I think when people look at the siding at a distance, they really don’t comprehend how bad it is until you get up close and see all the gaps, holes and rust stains.

So how did we get here?

Bruce Danielson (South DaCola’s cameraman) actually mentioned to me that he was concerned about how they were installing the siding around the curved part of the Denty. He was concerned about the Tyvek application and wondered also why they were installing the siding from the top going downward. I went out and looked at it to, and it seemed strange. As some time went by after the installation, we both got a closer look and were not impressed with the bulging and ripples. At that point we were just asking question amongst ourselves, independent engineers and construction folks.

Than councilor Rex Rolfing opened his big fat mouth.

One afternoon I was watching the city council meeting informational and during open discussion Rex Rolfing said that constituents (his golf buddies) had been mentioning to him they were concerned about the dented appearance of the siding.

I quickly asked Danielson if he heard what Rex had said, and at that point we knew we had to go forward with taking a closer look.

At first SF media ignored us, including the Argus Leader. There was so much anticipation at that point for the grand opening, no one wanted to rock the boat. Luckily we had councilor Staggers on the council at the time to ask more questions of staff.

Once the media got more involved and you could tell just by looking at the siding itself, something wasn’t right. The city started to pay attention and put several different plans in place which resulted in many empty promises and ultimately the secret settlement. I’m glad the AL is owned by a multi-billion dollar corporation that can afford to take these cases to court. The public would have been screwed without the lawsuit. I would also like to thank Ellis, Albrecht, Lalley, Hult and Sneve for listening to us. My poor little blog could not have done this on it’s own, though Bruce and I had several lonely nights trying to convince people this deal stunk.

What is most likely in the contract?

I have worked out several scenarios in my head, I’m not going to list them all, they would just baffle you even more. My best educated guess is that there never really was a settlement except on paper. We think there was $1 million left over in constingency funds (We borrowed that money with the EC construction bond). My guess is that instead of the money going to Mortenson as a bonus at the end, Mortenson just let the city keep it. And since this was money that was already borrowed, the city couldn’t just give the million back to the bonds as a early principal payment. In other words, Mortenson let us keep a million of our own money.

So why do I think this is the most likely scenario? Because many of the people listed in the settlement had little to nothing to do with the installation of the siding on the curved portion of the Denty. This has been verified to me by several people. Why would anyone pay a (cash) settlement out for a job they didn’t botch? So why were they listed on the settlement than? As I understand it, because they AGREED to NOT do the work. I know, sounds just as bizarre as Bruce being incarcerated for 6 hours on a penny bond over a stack of shingles in his backyard, the same night he was set to do a major public input presentation on the EC siding.

Of course, this is all pure speculation, because up until this point, the settlement is still secret, and I guarantee the Mayor will fight tooth and nail to keep it that way. No worries, I’ll keep my vodka bottle(s) on ice.

Will we ever really know what happened with the siding on the Denty?

Well it was good news today for those us that fight for transparency at city hall;

The city of Sioux Falls must make public a contract that it negotiated over repairs on the Denny Sanford Premier Center, the South Dakota Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

Sioux Falls officials have refused to release the contract, which reimbursed the city $1 million after warping was discovered on the exterior metal panels on the most expensive project in city history. After the defects were noticed, city officials negotiated a settlement with contractors who worked on the project, but they refused to release the details to the taxpayers who paid for the $180 million event center.

After talking to some people from the media and an elected official, it looks like we may see the contract as early as today. It sounds like the city attorney’s office is in meetings this morning trying to figure out how to release it to the public (that worries me). I also understand that the city’s lead attorney is out on leave, so this ought to be an interesting release. Hopefully we will see it in it’s entirety and we can finally put to bed all of the conspiracy theories on both sides. All I have ever asked for is the truth in the matter, no matter how much this has cost the taxpayers.

As we know, this all came about when Councilor Rex Rolfing asked about the bends and dents in the siding at a council informational meeting. Which got myself and cameraman Bruce to start looking into it, and the next thing you know the media was involved.

Like I said, this contract may NEVER show us everything, but least we may finally see who did the botched siding job (it wasn’t MJ Dalsin) and how they came up with the $1 million dollar figure when the siding job is actually valued at around $3 million.

Here is a handy PLAYLIST of all the Denty’s siding troubles.

Weird ‘1984’ Recording about security measures greets Garth fans at the Denty

Creepers? Right? It’s like something from a movie about security measures.

The Economic Impact tales begin over the Garth concerts

Remember the $17 million dollar impact promised by the CVB for the soccer tournaments which was closer to $3-4 million. Well they are at it again, pulling numbers straight from their rearends;

When Garth Brooks takes over the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center the next two weekends, he’ll bring with him a $12.5 million dollar direct economic impact according to the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau.

I will have to give the EC credit for telling part of the story . . .

Semrau says if the 11,000 people attending each show spend at least $10 on food, beverages or memorabilia, that’s roughly $1 million in taxable sales alone.

. . . if you do the math, that is $35,ooo in tax revenue (3.5 pennies), and $1 million straight in the pockets of SMG and straight out the door of Sioux Falls into their shareholders bank account.

But it gets even better, because the $12.5 million number reported last night jumped to $36 million according to the Stormland-TV reporter this afternoon.

I guess if you have a rearend and you can pull large numbers from it, you can work for the CVB. And do it with a straight face.

More ‘after market’ expenses at The Denty

Funny how this works, we get The Denty under a certain price tag to build it than the add ons come only a couple of years after it has been built;

The City of Sioux Falls, SD, requests formal bids for the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center Seating Addition.

First is was the dented up cheap siding job that will never be replaced. Than it was more beer coolers, removable seating, lighting upgrades, restroom upgrades and now seating. I wonder how many millions we have spent with upgrades to The Denty since it’s supposed completion?

Oh, and BTW, I saw Denny at Germanfest last night, and for those who don’t think the statues of him are in proportion, you have never met him in person. Just sayin.

Did we get screwed in the secret siding settlement?

I still think if we would have put the siding issue out in the open on The Denty and had a transparent settlement we would have gotten the issue fixed like in Minnesota;

The $1.1 billion stadium in downtown Minneapolis was completed more than a year ago, but workers are still fixing panels in about half a dozen spots.

About 10 percent of zinc panels covering the outside of the stadium are being repaired. The work is expected to wrap up next month.

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority says the repairs are covered under warranty, and there is no cost to taxpayers.

Notice due to a ‘warranty’ Mortenson is fixing the panels at no cost. Makes you wonder what kind of warranty we had with the EC and if the siding could have been fixed? Also wondering when the SD Supreme Court will rule on the siding case, seems to be dragging out for a long time now.

More ‘Reruns’ at The Denty

Besides Garth doing 8 reruns of his show within a couple of weeks, it seems the reruns are starting to rear their head at The Denty;

Country singer Shania Twain will be returning to Sioux Falls during her 2018 “Now” tour.

Hey, I don’t have an issue with this, I mean, people still go to SkyForce games. Right? If it weren’t for Bill Cosby coming back to the Pavilion a dozen times or so, it may never had made a buck . . . wait, has it?

But honestly, I would like to see some more diverse entertainment. I just bought my first ticket to a show at The Denty, The Foo Fighters, and it was because a friend had an extra one to sell (I hate arena shows, but I don’t think the Foo Fighters are playing the Icon anytime soon).

I take issue with subsidizing the mortgage and maintenance on this building anyway, but if we are going to only use it for a large Grand Ole Opry it’s time we had a chat with management.