Entries Tagged 'Floods' ↓

Hey Stormland TV. Doesn’t this frickin’ story ever get old?

Yes. Life is so damn boring in Sioux Falls, we wait for torrential rains or spring floods so we can go to Falls Park and watch the water go over the rocks;

The rushing water of Falls Park had visitors rushing to get a good view. The park filled up with sightseers Friday who wanted to check out the cascading current.

I guess it is a change of pace from our normal leisurely activities in Sux Falls; eating $8 dollar steaks at Applebees and watching NASCAR.

Isn’t reckless, fast, over development great?

Great for developers who made a quick buck, not so great for residents. I’ve said all along that Sioux Falls’ unchecked over development was going to bite us in the ass eventually;

Long and other homeowners argued that development has filled in wetlands and forced all the runoff into their neighborhoods. Smith said they’ve studied those issues.

“The drainage in those areas from development they do their drainage studies to size them,” Smith said.

“Guess what, they didn’t work. July 29th and 30th their studies didn’t work. You can throw them out the window,” Long replied.

What Smith fails to mention is that Lincoln County probably doesn’t have the money to fix the problem.

The real reason the levees had to be raised in Sioux Falls

As I said all along, this is the REAL reason the levees had to be raised;

Once the flood-control measures are in place, probably by the end of next year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will redo its flood-plain maps and. In turn, fewer properties will be in the flood plain – saving money for property owners.

Walmart, Sam’s Club, The Empire Mall, Target are some of the businesses” that will be taken out of the flood plain, said project manager Tom Berkland.

Instead of worrying about the 1% chance that Walfart might get flooded we should have been more concerned about all the poopy in people’s basements. And isn’t that the crux of it all? While we received record rains, besides a little street flooding, no where along the river (within Sioux Falls) there was flooding. Imagine that!?

It’s not only a state policy but a city policy;

“Big Business first, citizens second.”

Sioux Falls taxpayer’s to subsidize the Federal government

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Only in Sioux Falls would our city officials make it’s residents pay for something the Feds are responsible for. I am amazed how the city will bully it’s citizens into paying higher taxes, higher rates and turned the city into practically a police state with their code enforcement, but when the Feds tell them NO, they roll over like a dog and play dead.

Sioux Falls officials are moving ahead with plans to issue bonds for a major flood control project, two months after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to fund its share of the project.

This is silly for many reasons. 1) The levees are Federal property and the responsibility of the Federal government not the city of Sioux Falls. 2) FEMA, a Federal agency, created this bogus floodplain, they should be responsible for fixing it 3) Only 11% of the Federal stimulus has been distributed. Who knows, we may still get the money.

The amount of the bond is calculated at $29.4 million, which would include the Corps’ share as well as about $12 million for the city to reconstruct the 41st Street Bridge. It could be the last major bond issue for Mayor Dave Munson, who leaves office next year.

Yes, as a city we are responsible for fixing the bridge, the bike trails and landscaping, but that’s it. But there is more to the story;

The bonds were sold competitively and garnered five bids. The winning bid had a 4.13 interest rate on the life of the bonds – much lower than officials expected. The difference between the low bid and high bid amounted to $1.4 million in interest costs.

Hmmmm. 4.13% interest rate? Boy I wish I could get that for my mortgage. Kind of sounds like the hub-bub about our tax petition drive affecting interest rates for bonds was COMPLETE BULLSHIT! Just another fear and smear tactic by the misleader in Chief, King Dave.

The success of Tuesday’s bond, as well as the potential for low borrowing costs on the upcoming flood control bonds, rests in part with the high credit rating issued to the city by Moody’s Investors Service, a credit rating agency.

In a report issued Monday, Moody’s indicated that Sioux Falls is likely to “continue solid growth over the long run after emerging from its mild recession, fueled by above-average population growth,” low business taxes and “high-wage employment opportunities.” The report noted that unemployment remains low when compared to the national level.

Don’t you mean NO BUSINESS TAXES and LOW-WAGE opportunities? Apparently Schwan is working her magic with Moody’s to. But I found this next piece of info interesting;

“Restructuring of John Morrell’s operations nationally is a risk,” the report said, as well as uncertainties in the city’s financial services industry.

Gee, haven’t heard anything from City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce or the Development Foundation about how they are going to try to keep JM’s here. Typical of supposed leaders in our community, “Just ignore the problem and it will go away.”

Jessica Cameron, a senior management consultant with The PFM Group in Minneapolis said, “Sioux Falls is considered by the rating agencies to be very vibrant.”

 

Cameron, who is serving as the city’s financial adviser, said there hasn’t been a date set for the flood control bonds.

Well Jessica ‘too good to drive to Sioux Falls so I take a plane on taxpayer’s dime everytime I come here’ Cameron, isn’t it your job to promote vibrancy in our city? Isn’t that what we pay you for? And while we are on that subject, why do we need to pay a financial advisor when we have 22 people working in our finance office?

Officials are eager to get started. But before they can, the Corps must sign an agreement that allows Sioux Falls to advance it money, Public Works Director Mark Cotter said. That agreement, after making the rounds at various offices, is at Corps headquarters in Washington.

 

“They have up to 60 days to review it,” Cotter said. “We’re hoping to cut that down to two weeks if they’ll do it.”

No, let’s hope they decide to fix what they own with their money, not ours.

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Now Thune is getting talking points from rappers?

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Temporarily closing the city bike trail may save us from the Apocalypse

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Apparently the Four Horseman could be riding in on the Big Sioux Creek, but don’t expect them to be on bikes.

I see city officials are sharing talking points when it comes to levees, floods, and spending Federal money;

Sam Trebilcock, a city transportation planner, said the trail will close from 49th Street to the dam just north of where the river and creek meet northeast of 26th Street for a city flood control project to raise the levees by 5 feet and build a dam.

“You know very well what happens in the news if we don’t do that,” Trebilcock said. “Grand Forks happens. What happened in huge catastrophic (quantities) in New Orleans happens if you don’t have a good levee system.”

First off, Sammy, Sioux Falls isn’t a soup bowl sitting below sea level. In fact you and I both know the real reason why the levees are getting built; an overly paranoid FEMA after Katrina started running around the country like a chicken with their heads cut off. Secondly, several studies have shown Sioux Falls is experiencing a moderate drought, and everyone knows we have low water tables here. I find it ironic that the same city that is begging the Feds for money to build the Lewis and Clark water pipeline (That we have borrowed millions to build, well because, we don’t have much water in Sioux Falls) would be going to the same Feds to ask for money for our levees.

Does Sioux Falls have the potential to flood? Sure, and precautions should be taken, but don’t act like it is the end of the world and cut the crap.

So how much did the levee circus cost Sioux Falls taxpayers?

I guess it never really crossed my mind until yesterday when Quen Be De praised Northside Davey in the informational meeting, “I just think Dave has done a great job of working with our Washington delegation in getting us funds for our projects in Sioux Falls during his administration. I just hope the next three mayors can even come close to what he has been able to accomplish.” (paraphrasing). After I puked in my garbage can I started thinking about that statement. First off, we still are waiting for Lewis & Clark and railroad relocation funds from the Feds, something Dave has not accomplished. Also, they are still in discussions with the Corp of Engineers as to how much money we are gonna get for the levees. And lastly the only reason the levee bonds were called off was because FEMA said that people in the affected area don’t have to buy flood insurance. Go figure. This was all about saving business men and developers insurance premiums not about our safety, because if they were really concerned about our safety, the project would still be moving forward.

Business as usual in city hall.

But how much did this runaround cost us, even if we ditched the bonds? Last Fall councilor Staggers asked the city to give him a list of consulting fees paid out in 2009. He still has not received the list and they continue to deny (a sitting councilor) the numbers. They say he wants to use it for political reasons. My guess is that the amount is so high, that it will for sure become a political issue if it is released. If I had to ballpark it, I would guess the city probably spend close to $12-15 million a year on consulting fees, which includes legal advice.

This has gotten me wondering how much it cost taxpayers to explore the bonds to begin with (including flying a consultant in from Minneapolis in an attempt to scare off our tax initiative petition drive). Just because we only took out a portion of the bonds for the bridge, doesn’t mean they weren’t charging us by the hour. Ironically, the bridge could have been paid for out of the CIP budget, so no consulting fees or interest would have been paid at all.

Why all the secrecy around consulting fees? Because I have a feeling if we knew the real numbers we would have to clean our drawers. I hope the next three mayors aren’t even close to accomplishing what Munson has done, in fact, I hope they go in a completely different direction.

REAL PEOPLE DIE IN FLOODS (but not in South Dakota)

Another beautiful spring in Sioux Falls!

Good thing we are getting a jump on those levees, we don’ts have the time to wait round for no stinkin’ corp or engineers!