Entries Tagged 'Minnehaha County' ↓

Minnehaha County throws the ‘Code Enforcement’ book at rural resident

(FF: 6:40) While I will give credit to the CC for giving this person many opportunities to clean up this lot, they put down their foot on Tuesday and now gave him 1 month to finish cleaning it up. They determined it a ‘public nuisance’. If he doesn’t clean it up, they will come in and seize vehicles.

Do I think he is in violation? Yes, but not as a ‘nuisance’. The only laws I feel he is breaking is not licensing abandoned vehicles. But I don’t think this is a ‘nuisance’ or health issue. He lives in a rural area for a reason, so he can collect his junk. I can go to any farm in this county or across the state that have junk tractors and equipment piled up. So what?! It’s a rural area.

I think they view this as a problem because he is on a major rural intersection where people can see it. As the owner points out, this property has been this way since his grandfather owned it in the 1940’s. In fact many neighbors who drive by on a daily basis have defended him and said they don’t have a problem with it. And why would they? They probably have a junk pile on their rural properties.

While I think nuisance laws and junk piles inside a city or town are important where there is small lots and density, I don’t think it is a big deal when it comes to the rural areas, and to be quite honest, I think this is just harassment. I encourage him to fight the county in court, but first license your vehicles or junk them.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Sept 4-5, 2018

City Council Working Session – 2:30 PM – Sept 4th

They will be discussing budget amendments and ‘Unfunded’ projects

City Council Informational Meeting – 4 PM – Sept 4th

Update on UDC meeting, Subdivision ordinance update, Parks Master Plan study and City Attorney’s budget

Regular City Council Meeting – 7 PM – Sept 4th

Item #1, Approval of Contracts. We still keep polishing the turd called the Pavilion Parking ramp.

Item #3, Selling off 3 transit buses in an online auction.

Item #4, Mecahnic’s lien against the city for not paying contractor for Brown Bear exhibit at the zoo. I guess this was the first time I have heard about this. Hopefully we will get an explanation.

Item #21-22, New beer and wine license for a new establishment in the old Prairie Berry location on 8t street.

Item #23-24, Another Axe Throwing place wanting a beer and wine license. But NO beer with your popcorn at the movie theater.

Item #32, Notice of Change Orders over $25K. This really should be changed to notice change orders starting at zero.

Item #40, LifeScape parking lot. This has been a very controversial debate and I expect a lot of people from the neighborhood opposing the parking lot. It will be interesting to see how the council votes. LifeScape has already bought and removed the houses in the area of the proposed parking lot. So if the deny the lot, what will go there?

Item #41, Street Vacation.

Item #46-47, Dissolving 2 TIFs (see my earlier post)

Item #48, More citizen board appointees.

Item #49, Resolution, denying demolish of homes in a historic district. I expect testimony from the developer who owns these homes or a representative.

Joint Minnehaha County/City Council Meeting – 3 PM – Sept 5th

Joint Budget Hearings for Museums, Libraries and Metro 911

Planning Commission Meeting – 6 PM – Sept 5th

Item #7, Alcohol permit for a Coffee shop. Still trying to figure out why establishments call themselves ‘coffee shops’ but serve beer and wine. Puzzling.

Item #9, Alcohol permit for another telephone booth video lottery casino. Planning staff doesn’t recommend approval or denial, they recommend the commission listens to testimony. It’s interesting because the place is close the Avera Campus. We will see who wins? Video Lottery or the Hospital Industrial Complex? Wonder if the Planning Commission will throw another flaming football to the city council.

Item# 10, oh, and guess who is looking for a rezone in the very next item? Avera.

Item #11, Subdivision ordinance change. This is interesting;

• Add new private streets standards.

• Require a maintenance agreement for the private streets and utilities.

• Define and add standards for flag pole lots.

• Improve pedestrian and bicycle neighborhood connectivity.

• Add standards to reserve new bicycle trail corridors.

• Move some standards to the Preliminary Plan.

• Clarify and make minor changes to the subdivision process.

• Update the plat process to be consistent with state law.

Item #13. 2nd ANNUAL CITIZENS PLANNING ACADEMY. Wonder if they changed their tune about letting the most wealthiest developers in town getting their way?

Did Minnehaha County Commissioner Barth get sidestepped?

(FF: 31:00) The County Commissioners each are appointed to different departments. One of departments under Barth’s direction is Emergency Management. There has been a behind the scenes movement to move Emergency Management to a different location in which Barth had no knowledge of. Listen to Commissioner Beninga try to dig himself out of a hole.

LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

As you may have saw a few weeks ago, Sioux Falls City Councilor Brekke was troubled about how the council came up with their legislative priorities. Commissioner Barth has also expressed that he wasn’t to happy about the fact that Council Chair Erickson and Commission Chair Heiberger cooked this up together without input from other councilors and commissioners. Seems leadership is going to some people’s heads pretty quick.

Update: Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Aug 28, 2018

Informational Meeting • 4 PM

Minnehaha-Lincoln County Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan presentation. I’m glad to see this. We have been talking about what plans risk management has in case of a major train derailment. And now with the recent amounia leak in the Big Poo by Smithfield’s it’ time we put on our big kid pants on as a city and realize we need to be prepared for a major disaster.

We will also get an update on the Emerald Ash Borer.

Joint Minnehaha County/Council meeting • 5 PM

CANCELLED!

Will Sioux Falls Adults be looking at $10K per capita debt in a couple of years?

Before all the math wizards start freaking out, I want you to know the numbers below are approximates, but close. One of the numbers I had trouble finding was the SF School District current debt. From looking at past data I believe it is hovering at that $100 million mark, but I am unsure, it could be higher. I based the number on their yearly debt service of $13 million which would put them a little above that $100 million mark. I’m also spit balling the city debt a bit, because I am basing that on 2017 numbers minus some major payoffs.

The Sioux Falls Adult population numbers are very, very close.

Where it gets a little sticky is I am using the entire county of Minnehaha’s debt while only including SF adults. I also leave Lincoln county out (I would be surprised if they had any debt) and the fact that NOT all SF adult residents live in the Sioux Falls school district.

Yes friends, living in Sioux Falls is a ‘Hot Mess’ of taxes. In fact your neighbor just across the street could be paying a different property tax rate than you, it’s that weird.

But, I also think the enormity of the numbers helps people better grasp that if you live in Minnehaha County, within the city limits of Sioux Falls and the SF School District, your per capita (govt) debt could easily reach $10K in the next 4-5 years.

This is why I often shake my head when the school district talks about $2 a month tax increase, or the Water Department talks about $.30 a month water and sewer increases, they never mention the current and future debt we will be taking on. It’s a boatload.

Realistically, how many adult working SF residents could cut a check for $10K tomorrow without borrowing it or hurting their personal finances? My guess it is probably less than 1%. We don’t live our lives this way, why should our government?

The irony is that our debt is half of what T. Denny is worth. Hint. Hint.

We could finally put the Sanford Falls sign up.

Auditor Litz really needs to open his eyes while stuffing envelopes

Besides the two letters below, I guess Cindy Heiberger received an envelope addressed to her with Jeff Barth’s name on the enclosed letter.

How can we even depend on safe elections when our auditor’s office can’t even stuff an envelope properly?

Minnehaha County has budget hearings with the cameras off

Minnehaha County is always asking for more money for criminal justice and a new jail. I get it. It takes tax dollars to fund these things. What I don’t get is the lack of transparency.

Besides the fact that the Tuesday regular meeting still hasn’t reached the internets 3 days later, the county didn’t bother recording the budget hearings that take place on a weekday in the AM. The county upgraded their video equipment at a cost of $40K, but they don’t seem to know how to turn it on.

It is continually frustrating that the county, the city and the school district ask for more money from us, but do it in the dark. If you want my money, you need to ask for it in the open. This lack of Sunshine by our local government is becoming frustrating.

County Votes against opt-out

Of course, my tax and spend liberal friend Jeff Barth voted for it (just ribbing you Jeff);

In a four to one vote, the Minnehaha County Commission voted not to increase property taxes in the county for next year.

Most of the county commissioners agreed Tuesday afternoon that the 2019 balanced budget is already set in stone, so there’s no need to worry taxpayers for now.

Commissioner Jeff Barth voted in favor of the opt out. Barth said the city needs to plan for the future and to keep up with inflation.

Just for the record, I’m sure Jeff said ‘COUNTY’ because, well, that’s who he works for, but either way I do appreciate the fiscal responsibility of the county. As I have stated several times, the commissioners need to have better control of the State’s Attorney’s office and control some of that spending. It was also a big win for the ACLU who opposed increased spending for locking up low-risk offenders which saves taxpayers money.

ACLU of SD opposes Minnehaha County OPT-OUT

In response to the county commission’s consideration of an opt-out of property tax limits, Heather Smith, the executive director of the ACLU of South Dakota, sent the attached letter to the Minnehaha County Commissioners this afternoon.  She’s also planning to attend the meeting on July 10.

DOC: ACLU SD ltr to Minnehaha County Commission PDF

Please take a look at the attached letter, but in brief, the ACLU of South Dakota is asking Minnehaha County Commissioners to shift away from funding incarceration and raising property taxes to find new approaches to our current criminal justice system. Our “tough-on-crime” policies have led to more arrests and increased costs, but don’t actually do anything to address the underlying causes of crime. Though the Commission may not have direct control over things such as who is charged with a crime and how many people are incarcerated in the county’s jail, it certainly has influence. There are myriad reforms that could be made on the local and state level that would keep our communities safe while also cutting costs.

In light of this proposed property tax opt-out and the school board’s proposal for its own opt-out, surely we could be looking at some alternatives so that the burden on Sioux Falls taxpayers/property owners isn’t so great.

Janna Farley, Communications Director, American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota

DaCola Notes: In my conversation with commissioner Barth about the matter, I told him that the CC needs to have more control over the State’s Attorney’s Office when it comes to expenditures with certain prosecution cases.

 

 

 

Water Rates going up? That’s news to me.

Apparently Councilor Rick Kiley has a crystal ball, because he is predicting our water and sewer rates are going up;

“They foresee a possible increase of about $2 per month for a family of five,” city councilor Rick Kiley said.

Kiley says the city knew this day was coming.

“You never want to raise rates, but in a situation like this where we are at 82% capacity today, we have a community that’s growing by 5,000 people every year and we are bringing on regional customers in addition to that it’s the prudent thing to do now is to expand our existing facilities,” Kiley said.

The city council will be voting on the funding this project when it passes the city budget in October.

While I agree we need to fix up a 1980’s water treatment plant, if we didn’t switch the rates over to enterprise funds we could easily pay the bonds with 2nd penny CIP revenue without raising fees. But see, former mayor Bucktooth & Bowlcut wanted to free up the 2nd penny from paying for silly old water pipes, and use it for paying down bonds for monument building.

So now our taxes are going up for a new jail, and Minnehaha county admitted at their Tuesday meeting (Commissioner Barth) that there will likely be another opt out, put that on top of a 25 year around $300 million dollar new school bond and our already existing $300 million city debt, and things are going to get a lot more expensive in Sioux Falls, including taking a dump.