Entries Tagged 'Foundation Park' ↓

Annexation Fairness

As a longtime reader of DaCola pointed out a few days ago;

Warren Phear;

Speaking of foundation park. Something I would love to see the Argus follow up on. This I know. 820 acres were purchased by whoever for $24,000 an acre. The anchor tenant just bought 54 acres for $106,000 an acre. How did this land come to be worth so much? It came to be worth so much on the backs of SF water users. Getting the needed infrastructure to foundation is costing tens of millions of dollars. To pay for water and sewer to foundation the city raised those rates. Not once, but each year. The gift that keeps on giving. In the 2018 CIP the city allocated $29,000,000 to just get sewer to foundation. Stop and think about it. That is more than the admin building. 5 million more than the indoor pool. All for what? So somebody, don’t know who for sure, can make $80,000 an acre in profit. For 820 acres. Not a bad deal, once you consider who made that land worth that much.

I’ve been following the Annexation study group meetings lately, and one of the main points of the people that may be affected is, “How will this benefit me?”

As you can see from Warren’s comments, annexation was essential to launching Flopdation Park, and the benefits are numerous. The park is receiving millions in corporate welfare in the form of city infrastructure. Of course, the city ‘thinks’ they will recoup these costs in property tax revenue and platting fees. There is also the economic impact and job growth. I don’t think those costs will be recouped for decades, if ever.

So why would we charge annexation neighborhoods directly for these same kind of infrastructure upgrades? Shouldn’t the city just absorb these costs since they would essentially recoup some of this with new frontage fees and property taxes? While I am on the fence whether to NOT charge them nothing, I don’t think the current proposals are equitable, especially for properties that are older. I think maybe an additional fee of $500 a year for the next 20 years may be more palatable, or less.

But there is the bigger question here. If the city feels that they would have to charge homeowners directly for the annexation upgrades, is the annexation even worth it to the city coffers? I guess what I am trying to say is if the city can’t just absorb these costs equitably, is it really worth annexing them? Show to me that it will make our city stronger financially by annexing these islands than I would be all for it, if not, like Flopdation Park, it’s just a handout that benefits no one, and maybe that is why they think they should charge for the upgrades upfront. Now if we could only apply that philosophy to tax dodging Iowa ice cream makers.

We all Scream for Ice Cream

You were probably asking the same question I was. Why on earth would Sioux Falls build a blast freeze refrigerate warehouse at Flopdation Park when our main industries are Banking and Healthcare?

Remember, we are spending over $50 million of Sioux Falls and South Dakota taxpayer’s money on infrastructure at Flopdation Park. Please tell me how a big refrigerator that may produce a handful of warehouse jobs is getting value for our expense?

Oh, and it gets better when you find out who might be using this big fridge.

Look no further than Iowa. I guess one of the nation’s largest ice cream makers has been facing a ‘space’ problem. So instead of building more warehouse space in their own state, taking on the capital expense and HIGH property taxes, why not ship it all to Sioux Falls and lease cheap space in South Dakota.

Once again we are a place to avoid taxes for the rich while spending the people’s meager tax funds.

The Iowan ice cream makers, the investors, the developers, the contractors and the bankers all cash in on the taxpayer’s investment, and what do we get? about 3 dozen warehouse jobs.

Sounds like a good trade off to me.

Is Legacy so intertwined with government we can’t boot them from the parking ramp project?

First Fiddle-Faddle does his best bang-up cracker-jack job of defending their investors;

Pfeifle said another protection the city has against improper investors is inherent in how the project will be financed. It’s assumed Legacy Developments will be financing at least a portion of the construction costs. Ignoring a state law barring the improper investing in a project, Pfeifle said, could jeopardize it and void it entirely, preventing the financier from getting its money back.

Yeah, we don’t need to see the investor list, we can just ASSUME they are doing the right thing.

Then I also see Legacy has their fingers in the newly announced Win Chill warehouse at Flopdation Park;

Win Chill, a refrigerated food storage and distribution center facility, will be built on a 54-acre parcel at Foundation Park. Legacy Development CEO Norman Drake said the facility will provide cold-storage for food companies in order to ship products to and from Sioux Falls and surrounding areas.

Besides the fact that we are allowing a development company that may be sued over the Copper Lounge collapse to build our DT parking ramp, and now benefit from over $30 million in infrastructure from taxpayers, Mayor Huether went on to say at the press conference reveal that this warehouse will produce good paying jobs.

Nothing wrong with warehouse work, it’s an honest living, but I would be shocked to see if they pay forklift operators $18-20 per hour. Even if it did, I’m not sure spending $30 million in infrastructure is worth the 35 or so jobs this place will produce.

Once again, our state and city leadership, in partnership with some questionable developers (who don’t use union labor for their projects) suckered the taxpayers out of millions for some corporate pigs benefit.

Another Bar Napkin contract OR the real deal this time?

Rumor has it they have an actual committed tenant for Flopdation Park. Hopefully they have an actual signed purchase agreement this time, instead of a handshake and a wink;

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation will make what it’s calling a major announcement Friday involving Foundation Park.

Remember, as of right now, South Dakota and Sioux Falls taxpayers have committed over $30 million to this project so far in infrastructure costs. We have a stake in this process. Will the Development Foundation deliver this time? And if they secured a new business for the area, will it provide over 50-100, living wage jobs?

Sioux Falls Bankers prepared to prop up FLOPdation Park

It’s nice to see someone cares after South Dakota taxpayers dumped over $25 million into an industrial park with ZERO tenants and ZERO prospects;

Eight Sioux Falls banks have come together to create a $16 million financing package to help get land ready for new businesses at Foundation Park in northwest Sioux Falls.

“This financing package allows us to react to infrastructure needs required by our prospects,” said Slater Barr, president of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. “With the unique size and scope of Foundation Park, it’s not feasible to make every site in the 820-acre park completely build-ready. But with the participation of the banking consortium, we can move fast to add streets, water, sewer — even rail connections — to meet the needs of any company that is ready to build on a Foundation Park site.”

Well, well, well, it’s about time the private sector of the community decided to invest (our private) money into this project.

While I applaud the effort, like the public investment of infrastructure, all of these ducks SHOULD have been in a row before we annexed the land, and better yet, we should have had at least 2-3 purchase agreements also signed before the annexation, not a plan on a torn bar napkin. FLOPdation Park looks more and more like Amateur Hour over at the Development Foundation, and the rest of us are paying for it.