Entries Tagged 'Minnehaha County' ↓

Minnehaha County has better credit rating than the City of Sioux Falls

So I get a call from a county official yesterday, and they say something like,

“Did you hear? The county has a better credit rating than the city. But you might not have heard because we didn’t hold a press conference.”

Bob Litz actually made the brief announcement at the county commission meeting on Tuesday. I even said to the official that I didn’t even get a press release from the county on it. The good rating will SAVE taxpayers money on interest with the bond sale for the new jail.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Sep 26, 2017

This week is a little less enduring than last week’s meeting.

During the INFORMATIONAL besides staff reports and open discussion, they go into executive session over an employee. Not sure what this is about, but I think it relates to a NEW audit department employee.

The city council than has their joint meeting with Lincoln County at 5 PM to discuss zoning changes and regulations.

At 6 PM, they go at it again with the Minnehaha County Commission to discuss a joint conditional use permit.

Minnehaha County Commissioner Dean ‘Chamber’ Karsky defends TIFs

During the open discussion of the Minnehaha County Commission Meeting on Tuesday (FF:42:15) dean defended TIFs like they were his children. It started when Barth wanted to explain further his position in the newspaper.

Jeff said he wasn’t opposed to TIFs but wished the County Commission could make an independent decision about forgoing their share of tax money instead of the city just making that decision for them.

Dean, being the good Chamber of Commerce brown nosed soldier he is couldn’t let Jeff’s comments stand.

Dean started by peddling the half-truth that TIF’s ‘Don’t take away anything (from the county) because as he put it, “You can’t take away something you don’t have.” Well, Dean, maybe I should tell Pam Nelson that the next time I refuse to pay my property tax bill.

He went on to say he thinks TIF’s are a wonderful development tool AND incentive (yes, wonderful to the developer who gets a 13-14 year property tax break*) Does Lloyd who owns thousands of apartment units and pays more property taxes than anyone else in the County really need an ‘incentive’ to the develop? Is the company that destitute? Dean also claims that we don’t buy them the land. No, but with the Lloyd TIF we are really just giving it away. The TIF is $4.1 Million, soil cleanup is $3.1 million and the purchase price is around $900K. The way I look at it, they are getting the land for free.

Jeff responds to Dean that the city is pretty much ‘giving away’ the property (as I have pointed out) he also points out that if the city has these kind of assets/funds to give away, they could have cleaned up the soil themselves at their cost (as I have also pointed out in the past). Jeff sums up TIF’s by saying, “Tools that belong to the city that spite our interest.”

*It’s actually almost 25 years when you consider this property was supposed to be bought and developed by Lloyd over 10 years ago, instead the taxpayers of Sioux Falls sat on this land, collecting ZERO property taxes from it and essentially holding it for the Lloyd Companies. How would you like a 25 year property tax break? Think of all the upgrades you could do to your home?

UPDATE: Paulson decided to go down the harder road

It seems John Paulson wants to run for the At-Large position being left empty by Rolfing instead of the Central District. I have also been told he may not have a choice since he doesn’t live in the Central District anyway. Either way, this will make the race for the Central District interesting with a race between many grassroots candidates.

UPDATE: Clara Hart also announced today she is running for At-Large against Paulson.

The candidate’s focus will be on “well-planned growth and finances, community investment and safety, strong neighborhoods and cohesive government.”

Now to find a challenger(s) to Paulson and all his BUZZ words that don’t mean anything, just like his tenure at Sanford. But he was a contender . . .

He was also a finalist for a seat on the Minnehaha County Commission. The seat was ultimately offered to Jean Bender.

. . . in a top-secret selection process. I had no idea he applied, that is because the Republican controlled Minnehaha County Commission kept that process top secret to the end.

I have a feeling that Paulson’s loss to Stehly is one of the reasons Rolfing is pushing for a change in the election threshold of candidates.

UPDATE: On Lalley’s show today Paulson said he does support the 51% threshold and thinks he could have beaten Stehly in a run-off. Maybe.

When Lalley asked him directly what one of his specific goals would be (special project, etc) while being on the council, he didn’t have a SPECIFIC project just that he wants the council to work more positively. This is probably one of the reasons Stehly beat Paulson and Nobles, Stehly had specifics what she wanted to accomplish on the council, they did not. AND she has stuck to those guns.

UPDATE: Minnehaha County Commission has NO objects to Lloyd TIF

Erica Beck from Lloyd Companies with taxpayer compensated Dustin Powers (filled in for Brent) from the City of Sioux Falls did a presentation today to the Minnehaha County Commission about the proposed $4.4 million dollar TIF. (FF to 46:00)

Lloyd Companies is saying they need the TIF for cleanup. But, that is kind of a stretch. Whether they need to clean up contaminated soil OR not, they still have to dig a hole for a parking garage. Instead of the TIF for cleanup, I have suggested FREE tipping fees for the project – the entire project. This wouldn’t cost the taxpayers much and we would still be able to receive full property taxes (approximately $450,000 a year) instead of $8,000 a year for approximately the next 13 years (Life of TIF).

My other suggestion would be for the city to actually contract the removal of the contaminated soil before turning over the land. There would probably be some Federal EPA grants to do this.

Lloyd Companies is maintaining they NEED this TIF to do the project. I find this a little hard to swallow.

Not only did the County Commission NOT object to the project and TIF, commissioner Dean Karsky had to inform the public that Lloyd Companies are the largest property tax payer in the county. I’m not even sure how this equates to being able to get a tax discount. What this tells me is that they have attained an enormous amount of wealth and property, and can certainly float this $44 million dollar project without this corporate welfare. It’s like saying Bill Gates deserves to eat a free meal at the Banquet everyday because he has attained so much wealth.

Once again Karsky defends who butters his bread, the Chamber and their esteemed members.

Jeff Barth @ Dem Forum (Friday, Aug 25, 2017)

Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth explains the 2017 county budget planning, and tells a few jokes.

Minnehaha County 2017 Budget

The difference between County & City budget hearings

The only thing on the Sioux Falls city council agenda this Tuesday is the joint budget hearings with Minnehaha county.

I was astonished by the 42 page budget presentation from Siouxland Museums. (Full DOC:  SX-Museum-budget-2018) Their total yearly budget is about $1.1 million!

What surprised me was with such a small budget the amount of detail in the presentation. They even figured out that each catalogued item in the collection cost taxpayers about $1.58 a year.

Why can’t the city present such detailed presentations to the public? I know that the council is probably privy to the big book, but why can’t we dig deeper? It often troubles me when councilors ask department heads questions about the budget at the meetings and they don’t have answers. Do they even read their own budgets? Do they know what’s in them? Could the director of Central Services tell us what the city pays for a roll of toilet paper?

Another reason the council should be involved with the budget process from the beginning and not at the end.

It really comes down to pinching pennies. While the county has to go through their budget with a fine tooth comb, the city is awash in so much money it seems they don’t care about the ‘little things’ like spending over $400 per episode of the mayor’s ‘Shut Up and Listen’ sessions.

I have often said the next mayor needs to be a fiscal hawk on day one and take a microscope and scalpel to the current budget on day one. That really should be the main job of the mayor besides employee management.

I’m a little weary that a motorcycle salesman could really look at those finer details.

Republican Leaders in SD continue to grasp at straws about the evil weed

Doesn’t matter how many FACTS you throw at Republican leaders in our state about the benefits of eliminating the prohibition of marijuana, they continue to grasp at any made up crap they can to call out on the evil weed.

Mayoral candidate and all around Shaggy double, David Zokaites did a presentation about drug prohibition and especially the worthless nature of prohibiting marijuana at public input during the Minnehaha county commission meeting this week AND the same presentation at the city council meeting.

At the end of the meeting during open discussion (FF: 1:14) Commissioner Jeff Barth said that the county and state should start the conversation now in case marijuana gets legalized in our state next year (which he thinks it will) when it comes to taxation, zoning, etc. He thought we were blindsided by Marsy’s Law and should be better prepared with marijuana legalization.

Bob Litz who happened to be standing at the podium talked about an upcoming speaker at a conference who is a sheriff from Colorado, who will speak about the effects of legalization in his state.

Of course, the commission’s Neo-Con, since Dick left, Cindy Heiberger had to weigh in. She said while David pointed out that NO one died from marijuana usage, she had to point out that it causes ‘social issues’.

I would partially agree, because people are tired of being arrested and prosecuted over a harmless drug, and the ‘issues’ it is causing in their lives.

What the heck are you talking about Bob?

(FF: 26:30)

Sometimes Mr. Kolbe tries to be sly about things he says, sometimes he is a little to sly. I think this is about ambulances, but I’m not sure.