Entries Tagged 'Lewis & Clark' ↓

Is Lewis & Clark looking for another handout from the taxpayers of Sioux Falls?

Looks like Lewis & Clark is trying to hoodwink us again. I would suggest Mr. Larson buy a plane ticket to DC and start talking to them about funding his project. Sioux Falls taxpayers have already coughed up plenty for a project that we will never use to full capacity for decades. I got this update from a South DaCola foot soldier;

Troy Larson gave an update (FF 24:00).  He said that in spite of delegations from three states (SD, IA and MN)  meeting with the Feds, they had made little progress to resolve this. The remaining liability for the 20 members is 194m if the Feds are not forthcoming with what they have promised. Larson said that because of the large amount of pre-payment that the members have already made and the percentage of project completion that it has moved Lewis and Clark from 7th to 2nd on the list (?)  He did make the comment that he didn’t think that this would have much effect.

Councilor Jamison made a comment at the end about “helping out the little guys,” Troy Larson also brought up the “nuclear option“.  I have only heard him mention this one other time and I think that was several years ago when they were discussing Sioux Falls $70m pre-payment.

One of the Councilors did ask about SF’s need for additional water in 2012.  The answer was that we do not need the water, but we are obligated to buy it anyhow, something to the tune of $2m for next year alone! No wonder those “user fee/taxes” had to go up so much.

This was something that Cotter did confess to me and group who met with him earlier in the year. I seemed confused by this. Why spend $80 million for a pipeline we will only use if we need to? He did tell us it was ‘more expensive’ to use Lewis and Clark and that is why it will be for backup only.

I hope the city treads lightly this time when it comes to Lewis & Clark. We have already bought the farm on this deal, we don’t need a second plantation.

While water and sewer rates go up for new pipes and a water system we don’t need, we blow our 2nd penny money on crap like this

My number one investigative reporter (Sodapop) and I went to the ‘steps in the river’ tonight to look at the progress. It really irks me when we blow $5 million dollars on something we don’t need, or will even serve a purpose, then turn around and charge higher water rates because ‘We can’t take money out of the 2nd penny for water pipes’

Oh bullshit.

You have to remember that this project was planned during the Munson administration when there was a good possibility that the EC was going to be built next to Cherapa Place. Building this silly structure now is pointless! When the money for this was allocated by the city council, Mike Cooper was asked what the $5 million was going to be spent on, and he didn’t have a clue, because they were still planning it. Yup, that’s right, he basically was asking for a blank check. While I am all for park and bike trail upgrades, we certainly do not need an amphitheatre that goes into the river and a $700,000 pedestrian bridge (when there is two of them 1/2 block away in both directions).

This is why I question water rate increases.

THE LEWIS & CLARK PIPELINE BOONDOGGLE

And while we are on that subject, I started thinking about this post I made back in 2008 when the L & C boondoggle was approved in 2006 (see cartoon) (ignore my rant about watering parks, I found out later that they use unfiltered water from the river to water parks):

The dirty little secret about Lewis & Clark is that it still isn’t a 100% done deal, we are still waiting for Federal funding, and recently Senator Johnson commented that he was not sure when that funding would come.

This is an interesting sticking point, because what we didn’t know then was that we really didn’t need L & C. Maybe that is why the FED’s were reluctant? Cotter confirmed it with me on Monday, that L & C was an emergency water source that would not be used that much. So why would the FED’s pony up? But even a bigger question arises? Why did Munson and the council take the bait, hook, line and sinker?

I remember when the bond vote came up, I told Staggers to vote against it, in fact I think I begged him. He felt he had ‘no choice’ because the Feds were not giving them the money. And guess what. We know why!

Why is the city of Sioux Falls footing the bill for smaller communities around us on Lewis & Clark?

Maybe I didn’t catch this right in this meeting, but it kinda sounds like that Sioux Falls is paying the Lewis & Clark pipeline for construction that not only benefits us, but other communities. As I have talked about in the past, it chaps my hide that we ponied up $70 million for something we won’t have until 2012 (supposedly) but it even bothers me more that we are floating money to the smaller communities around us. Why? Sioux Falls has enough problems with their budget and spending, we don’t need to be subsidizing other communities. No wonder people live in Harrisburg, Tea and Canton, Sioux Falls is constantly bailing them out, so why live in ‘expensive’ Sioux Falls, when you can have clean ‘small town’ living that you don’t have to pay for.

Serrrrprise! Serrrrprise!

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I’ll answer that question just as soon as Cantor tells me what to say in my headphones.

What don’t you get when you have low unemployment, a strong workforce, the city of Sioux Falls having a good credit rating for borrowing and a large conservative voting block?

WASHINGTON -The Lewis & Clark Regional Water System would get only $2 million under President Obama’s record $3.6 trillion budget proposal for 2010, an amount so low that work on the massive, three-state project essentially would grind to a halt if no money were added.

I have warned the council that when you show Washington you can pay for projects on your own, they’ll let you. It seems Obama is paying attention, whether Ironic Johnny wants to admit it or not,

“The president again failed to follow the example of South Dakotans who are making prudent financial decisions by not spending beyond their means,” Republican Sen. John Thune said. “Our government cannot continue to borrow money at this pace and stick our children and grandchildren with the bill.”

Huh? Obama is making cuts, that’s why we didn’t get the money. It probably didn’t help that you keep flapping your trap on CSPAN and FOX News that Obama is a failed president (that you like to take photos of). And Johnny, we have been over this a 100 times, your grandchildren are not going to pay down the debt, we are going to increase taxes on the wealthy to pay this back in 10 years.

I wish John Thune would just go away and take the PUkeC’s with him

Ironic Johnny is at it again, saying one thing in DC and another at home;

Sen. John Thune did not support the stimulus package but does back Lewis & Clark.

 

“Although I did not support the stimulus spending bill because of its size and the fact that very little of the funding was truly stimulative, I did support alternative proposals that would have provided important infrastructure funding. Without a doubt, funding for infrastructure creates jobs and has long-term benefits. … As a longtime advocate for this project, I know this money will no doubt expedite that progress and bring water to areas in need,” Thune said.

“Because there is one thing I have learned about being an ass-kissing hypocritical Republican, you really can have it both ways without the voters even knowing.”

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And South Dakota’s up and coming Republican ginger doesn’t help matters when it comes to the rhetoric;

“First off, we want to advocate smart policy coming out of Capitol Hill,” state PUC chairman Dusty Johnson said of the report. “The way cap-and-trade policy is being presented now, South Dakota residents could see a 48 percent increase in their bills, but there’s all kind of tweaks that can be made to ease the impact on South Dakota.”

Because energy costs haven’t gone up that much in the last 6 years? Give me a break. My electric bill has almost doubled in the past 4 years and my gas bill has gone up about 30%. Why. Because we are not looking for green energy solutions. Stop spreading the BS. Cap and trade will increase our energy bills for a few years, then they will start dropping. It’s an investment and it should be sold to the American people that way. Not more FEAR & SMEAR.

We’ve heard this song and dance before

Supposedly we are finally getting some Lewis & Clark money from the FEDS;

This week, state officials are relieved that the Senate is poised to pass a wide-ranging $410 billion spending bill that includes $27 million for the system.

Okay, it’s probably true this time since none of our Washington delegation is running for office in 2009 they won’t be using it as a bargaining chip to get our Mayor to put on little TV commercial theatrics.

“It would have been a disaster if we were to get zero dollars,” said Troy Larson, Lewis & Clark’s executive director,

Damn right it would be Troy, because than you would have to figure out how to finish the project without the FEDs or pay the taxpayer’s of Sioux Falls back for all the money we have handed over to you already even though we have not seen one drop of water yet.

I told you so, again.

I did this cartoon for the Argus Leader in December 9, 2006.

Like I said earlier this week, paying for projects up front either thru budgeting or bonds that the Feds should be paying for is a bad idea. I am all for the Lewis & Clark water project but I feel we got snookered into borrowing and paying for the project before it is finished.

The delegation met with Bureau of Reclamation officials to show how Lewis & Clark could spend stimulus money. They also made a pitch for funding in next year’s federal budget.

Officials say the stimulus law requires the bureau to spend at least $60 million on rural water projects. Lewis & Clark is one of seven such projects.

So now we may get a whopping $8 Million towards the over $60 million we spent. Woo-Hoo!

When is Sioux Falls municipal government going to learn patience and caution?