Entries Tagged 'Potholes' ↓

Isn’t the 2nd Penny supposed to be for roads and infrastructure?

I was glad to hear PTH talk about dedicating more money to roads and infrastructure. In the case of the water department and reclamation, we really have no choice. As for roads, the 2nd penny is SUPPOSED to be mostly dedicated to these kind of projects, but we have gone off the rails a bit over the past 16 years building play palaces.

When it comes to streets, what I would really like to see is more money being dedicated to engineering the streets better. The city needs to partner with local contractors to build better roads by investing in research and development. Instead of sending our Public Works director to a 3rd world country to teach people about Jesus and running water, we need to be sending him to Europe to learn how they build stronger, better roads. We also need to start making contractors warranty their work. Will this make our roads cost more? Yes, but the payoff is that they will last longer. I have often joked that our pothole hotline should be called as much as the Maytag repairman, this happens by building roads that don’t crumble every Spring when we have a slight temperature change.

While I appreciate the bigger investment in roads (even though it is what the money is really supposed to be used for) I would like to see more innovation building those roads. Wouldn’t it be great if the city became the leader in the Midwest for building rock solid infrastructure and roads. Wouldn’t it be great if people visiting our city talked about our modern euro-style roads instead of our money sucking Events Center?

I would also like to give a thumbs up to whoever decided to finally fix the roller coaster ride on Cliff Avenue in front of Avera last week. It only took them about 5 days to fix something that has been horrible for around 3 years. The only other question I have is ‘What took so long?’

City of Sioux Falls brags about filling 2.875 potholes per hour

I guess I have never filled potholes before, so I don’t know how long it takes but;

City of Sioux Falls Street Operations Manager Dustin Hansen tells KELOLAND News city crews have filled more than 2,300 potholes since March 1.

Hansen says that there are “about five to six crews out” every day right now.

So lets do the math, 2,300 potholes in 20 days = 115 day. 5 crews at 8 hours a day = 40 hours a day.

That equals filling 2.875 potholes an hour.

Like I said, I’m no expert, but I’m not sure if I would be bragging about those kind of results.

Councilor Kiley blames God for Potholes instead crappy road contractors

UPDATE II: Can the Sioux Falls City Council form legislation to help with pothole damages to vehicles?

I actually think the Sioux Falls city council has the power to put a policy into place to create a contingency fund to help citizens and visitors pay for damages endured to vehicles due to the pothole crisis.

So what would this look like and how would it work? I’m not a legal beagle so this is my BASIC recommendation.

The fund could easily be created/estimated by doing a survey of mechanic shops over the past couple of weeks. For estimation sake let’s say it is 1,000 vehicles with an approximate damage rate of $200. The fund could be set at $2 Million and could easily come from reserves. Current city reserves are around $52 million (end of 2018).

How would you stake a claim? The easiest way would be thru a 3.21 notice that would be sent directly to the mayor’s office (which is turned over the city attorney). This form basically says that you were harmed by the city.

FORM: SDCL3.21 Notice of Claim

**SEE BELOW WITH INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO FILL OUT THIS FORM

You would have to have a window of time that pothole damages could be reported. With a 3.21 notice that is typically 6 months.

There would also have to be a ‘window’ of when the damages happened. For argument’s sake let’s say February 1, 2019 – April 30, 2019 (or whenever the policy is put into the place by the council).

All receipts of work would have to have a legitimate time stamp or date on them, or would be subject to being thrown out.

Who would review the receipts? An employee board would have to be formed from different departments to review the receipts and determine if the work is ACTUALLY from pothole damage. For example if you had a bill for tire repair, oil change and replacing a windshield wiper, you would only be reimbursed for the tire repair. There would also have to be an open appeal process if you feel you were not compensated correctly.

Like I said, this could all easily be done by the policy makers (the city council) and would go a long way in rebuilding trust with citizens who have endured damages. The city council could choose to do nothing and let the mayor’s office handle the legal fiasco and ramifications, but if they get a head of this and put a fair process in place, this could go a lot smoother, unlike our roads.

UPDATE: Omaha has agreed to pay for pothole damages, full story HERE.

**UPDATE II: Many government entities have special processes which must be followed prior to suing them for damages. These processes are ostensibly created for other reasons but almost always have the effect of creating complex hoops which must be jumped through prior to making a financial claim for damages against them or suing them. You lose if you don’t jump through one of the special hoops. Many of the processes also shorten the statute of limitations which would normally apply. South Dakota has such a process and it is embodied in Chapter SDCL 3-21.

You must provide written notice to certain individuals (SDCL 3-21-x) and you must do so within 180 days of the incident event per SDCL 3-21-x. The actual South Dakota Notice of Claim law is at this link https://sdlegislature.gov/statutes/Codified_laws/DisplayStatute.aspx?Statute=3-21&Type=Statute .

When providing notice of damages, it is always a good business practice to be as specific as possible regarding the location, the time, the date, the persons involved and what happened.

Remember also, like most governments, the South Dakota executive, legislative and judicial branches agree that they should be allowed to lie to you without consequence but that it should be unlawful for you to lie to them. In other words, be as short and very clear with your facts. You do not need to give all detail in this form but do not stretch the truth. Be prepared to supply photos, invoices, medical claims and other information supporting your position.

This form was created by examining several forms filed with the City and using the language. The form provided is a downloadable, fillable Adobe type PDF document. When opened in an Adobe type Reader program you can type in your information. By filling out the form, two copies will be created. Sign both copies and save one for your records.

You may desire to mail the notice using a method that documents the delivery of the notice to protect yourself from a later claim you did not mail the notice. A signed witness statement to the delivery to the mayor’s office or USPS certified mail to the mayor.

There are potentially severe consequences for not providing the required notice correctly. If you have any questions you should contact an attorney.

CLICK TO ENLARGE THUMBNAIL OF WHAT THE FORM LOOKS LIKE, TO FILL OUT THE FORM CLICK ON THE PDF LINK IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS POST, SAVE TO YOUR DESKTOP.

The Pothole Math (H/T – CHB)

A foot soldier decided to do some ‘Propaganda Math’ when it comes to potholes, and it is interesting, this is what they sent me;

Paul TenHaken FB page as of Monday March 18, 7:34am:

“With the flooding beginning to subside, we are now dealing with the increased washout on roads that have already experience a very tough winter. As a result, we are taking an all hands on deck approach.”

◾️Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Public Works will have a minimum of six crews addressing potholes.

◾️Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to midnight and from midnight to 8 a.m.: Public Works will have a minimum of one crew addressing potholes in high-traffic volume areas.

◾️Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Public Works will have a minimum of three crews addressing potholes.”


City Council Meeting Tuesday March 19/19 Mark Cotter testimony:

We are running 6 crews M-F, 3 crews on the weekend, one at night.” 


City of Sioux Falls Facebook page as of Friday 3/22/19, 10:42am (this information was time stamped as being posted 16 hrs. prior to 3/22/19 10:42am. . . . so these stats apparently reflect pothole repair progress M-Th, March 3/18 – March 3/21 approximately 6pm):

We have cleared 413 potholes this week so far. We have four crews out every day 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and one crew out 4 p.m. to midnight. We will have four crews out this weekend as well working from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.”



In terms of quantifying the pothole repair process, one variable missing in these three repair crew schedule announcements is the number of men on each crew. And, there are some inconsistencies in the specifics:

a) Mayor TenHaken’s info from Monday 3/18, claims SIX daytime crews M-F, TWO night crews M-F, THREE daytime crews Sat/Sun.

b) Cotter info from Tuesday 3/19, claims SIX daytime crews M-F, ONE [not two] night crew M-F, THREE daytime crews Sat/Sun.

c) siouxfalls.org from Friday 3/22, claims FOUR [not six] daytime crews M-F, ONE [not two] night crew M-F, FOUR [not three] daytime crews Sat/Sun.

Ok. All that now having been itemized, Public Works is allowed to modify the pothole repair crew assignments over time, or as conditions change/improve, or as impending flood priorities may change. These figures do claim that an additional crew has been added Sat/Sun over first two reports, so that’s a positive. Therefore, these inconsistent reports may be a moot point. However, in attempting to quantify the rate of progress the siouxfalls.org data shares, I’m uncertain what the most accurate math would be to quantify the progress in terms of potholes fixed per day or per hour. One equation I came up with from the siouxfalls.org 3/22 stats is:

A) [4] daytime crews x 8 hrs/day = 32 crew hrs/day

B) [1] evening crew x 8 hrs/day = 8 crew hrs/day

C) Subtotal: 32 + 8                    = 40 crew hrs/day

D) [4] days {M-Th} x 40 crew hrs/day = 160 total crew hours work for Mon-Thurs.

E) 412 repaired potholes ÷ 160 crew hrs = 2.575 potholes fixed per crew hour? If legit, seems like slow progress.

DL: Either this means pothole stop sites (and not actual potholes) or there is a heckuva a lot of miscommunication going on.

How does your street score?

I was actually surprised at my rating of 72%, I thought it would be higher.

Check out your street rating.

South DaCola 2016 year in review (Part I)

art-maze-mower-lrArtMaze, one of the better parts of Sioux Falls life in 2016

2016 has been a rough year for citizen activism. While it has been up and down here in Sioux Falls with many successes and failures to boot, it seems Washington DC has gone into full collapse as we allowed racist, sexist, hillbillies to elect our president.

READ ABOUT 2015 REVIEW HERE.

But locally there were three things that stood out;

• Governor Daugaard claiming that voters were ‘hoodwinked’ into voting for IM 22, then getting the Pierre (in)justice system to go along with it. Funny how for over 40 years voters have been voting his party into power, and no word about ‘hoodwinking’ but once that corrupt power will be challenged, all the voters are idiots. As one official told me that used to work for Dennis, it’s not the public that are idiots, it’s Dennis. And his idiocy has been shining through.

• The South Dakota Democratic Party’s bottom completely fell out, and the people in charge patted themselves on the back. Insanity I tell you! Insanity!

• But one of the greatest achievements of the year is the Sioux Falls City Council’s change of power. The four new councilors have been flexing their muscles with a little help from Councilor Erickson, and while they have had a few missteps to start out, they have been learning from the battle scars. While ‘leadership’ of the council (Rolfing and Kiley) seem to be on a two man mission to rubberstamp all things Huether, shut down public input, and concoct false ethics charges against a fellow councilor (until they got caught lying like the snakes they are) they are becoming more and more in check. The city council has many big plans for 2017, and I have a feeling their agenda will push through easily as our lame duck mayor melts.

Let’s take a look at some the finer high and low points of 2016;

• The Huether Tennis center continues to block parking from other event attendees at the Sanford Sports complex though they basically stole $500K from taxpayers for the facility. Throughout the year there was several reports on cones and signs blocking the lot with not cars in it. But hey Mike’s Bride won an award this year and seemed surprised she did, without commenting that her check to the organization that gave the award wasn’t returned.

• The Sioux Falls City Council leadership and mayor’s HR department pulled a military retiree out of their asses for city clerk, a person who will be in charge of our city elections and hasn’t been registered to vote for years. He also proved his knowledge of official stamps when he stamped a petition without even bothering to read it. While Mr. Greco has gotten better over the year, the city clerk position should not be a $80K+ a year job as an apprentice, sadly being trained by one of his assistant clerks who has ten times the qualifications and applied for the position but was turned down. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the council chair’s view of women in the work place.

• Speaking of letting the mayor’s HR department and Leadership’s Mutt and Jeff pick the next internal auditor, the council barked loud enough that they did not want another ‘Greco’ pick. Not sure if the barking worked, but the person who was set to take the job saw the writing on the wall and turned it down. Hopefully the person who ultimately gets the position won’t be turned down because they shave their legs.

• The city continues to blow money on the Winter Wonderland Display, but the way the mayor has been cutting budgets these days, I expect next year’s display to be a couple of homeless barrel fire pits, sponsored by the Dudley House of course.

• After posting about the ridiculous corporate like raises the mayor has been giving to his management team, he turns around and still screws the minions with dismal raises again this year. I think in a special note to the city employees on their Christmas paystub he wrote, “I don’t care.”

• The city continues the FREE condom distribution program at area bars, and for some reason Monk’s is always emptied the quickest. Coincidence that is also a favorite watering hole of city managers . . .

• The Tuthill shooting case becomes ‘inactive’ and a tree branch shadow gets off scott free.

• The Erp wrongfully calls out local massage therapists as prejudice because they pointed out the ‘shower massages’ that were taking place around town. Apparently someone got a bad fortune cookie that day.

• The car rental tax and BID tax grabby-grabby fails in Sioux Falls, but the state legislature passes one of the most idiotic tax increases ever so our teachers are now just tied for last instead of dead last in pay. Out hoodwinking governor already has plans to rob the pot only one year after its passage.

• Hartford’s city government was in a state of collapse. Who really cares?

• The Levitt Pavilion is moving forward in Sioux Falls. It will be nice watching outdoor concerts sitting in the grass while battery acid is boiling beneath our asses.

• The Boulevard ordinance changes went into effect. Now stop worrying about rocks and plant a garden.

• The Washington Pavilion got a change of leadership after Darrin Smith takes over as President. So far he has only eliminated one director, but I hear the blood-letting has just begun. Now let’s throw another couple of million at the place to fix the poor construction to begin with. That will never happen with the Events Center . . .

• The Events Center cracks down on outside snacks and guns at events. We are all now safe from cheap fat people shooting us, but not in the parking lot.

• The Pottie Room war starts in Pierre and is guaranteed to return in 2017.

• A state legislator calls transgender people ‘twisted’. Now I’m struggling with what word to use describing our state legislators?

• A city council candidate throws a hissy fit over a post I wrote about his wife’s involvement with the Jesus plows and after threats to my employer I pull the post. He ends up taking last place in the at-large race. How’s Jesus working out for you now?

• Due to health reasons, Kermit Staggers decides not to run for a 4th term on the city council. His endorsement of Stehly puts her over the top.

• One of the youngest candidates in city history runs for city council. I apologize to Briggs for all the shitty things I said about him during the campaign.

• The Argus Leader sues the city for the details in the secret events center siding settlement. The Argus loses the first round but it is headed to the SD Supreme Court.

• On a similar note, the SON neighborhood is also awaiting a judgement in their Walmart suit with the SD Supreme Court.

• While our Sioux Falls City Council approves the DAPL through Sioux Falls, it takes thousands of protesters in ND to actually stop it. Too bad our city council chair doesn’t understand how to vote.

• The Mayor and Q-Tip Smith screwup the DT parking ramp development by flapping their traps to soon, and the council later on in the year returns the favor and defunds the ramp all together for 2017. I still think the fiasco is what got Smith to seek refuge at the Pavilion.

• City officials throw a hissy-fit over Bruce’s camera at a city meeting we were invited to by then city councilor Kenny Anderson. Looking back on it now, I just chuckle.

• Former city councilor Dean Karsky and now commissioner elect has become the official endorser in Sioux Falls.

• Bruce and I do a presentation on voter turnout in Sioux Falls at Democratic Forum and one of the mayor’s buddy developers in Sioux Falls tries to shut us down. When he fails, he walks out. Another casualty to transparency.

Councilor Jamison filling potholes!?

Boy, the city really must be broke if they are sending city councilors out to fill potholes 🙂

potheadgreg

Maybe there is an ‘important’ reason why the city won’t fill the hole in front of my house? A new discovery?

Yup, so they showed up on Friday to cut a hole out. ON A FRIDAY! So it could fill with rain for 2-1/2 days before they fill it. That’s planning at it’s finest.

The cost of attending an Argue Endorser public forum; $25

Not sure if anyone watched the public forum at the University Center that the AL put on the other day, but it’s a hoot. Especially when Public Works director Galen Huber says he doesn’t want to make any conclusions about snowgates until they collect all the data from the season, but then shit talks them the entire time, claiming they narrow streets (even though every street in SF gets narrower during the winter, especially in the older neighborhoods where a lot of people park on both sides). What I have often wondered is why these forums are not very well attended (besides the fact that the AL is putting them on) it may have to do with the parking situation as this South DaCola foot soldier explained to me in an email;

I’m e-mailing you my “public forum/parking ticket experience”.

I attended the Argus Leader’s public forum on roads last Thursday at University Center.  When I arrived the visitor’s lot was full, so I parked out in one of the far lots.

Much to my dismay, I rec’d a $25 parking ticket!

I stopped in at the Argus office the next day, thinking that they would be willing to give the University Center a call to explain that I had been there attending the public forum.  First the receptionist called MariCarol (Editor) her response was that she had also gotten a ticket. I told the receptionist that I wanted to talk to her, but when she called her back she was suddenly unavailable. Randall Beck (Publisher) and Yvonne Hawkins (Queen of Community convos) were also at the forum, so I asked to speak to Randall – he would not talk to me either.  I don’t know if he also got a ticket, but I was right behind him when he walked out and he was parked in a faculty spot. So, I asked to speak to Yvonne, she came out, I explained the situation and told her that I did not expect the Argus to pay the ticket, but that I would like them to give the University Center a call.  She told me,

“We don’t do that kind of thing, this is your personal issue, you’re going to have to take care of it on your own.”

I was PO’d  I drove out to the Center and once I explained the situation they voided the ticket and apologized.

So much for public forums!

This comes as no surprise to me. They ask the public to attend, but do they really want them there since they ask most of the questions? I only heard questions from two attendees. One guy wondered if he could get permission to fill potholes on his street, since the city isn’t getting around to it. And another lady cornered Huber about the time allotted to clean the streets (48 Hours) but it has only been taking them 36 hours, in other words, what’s all the hub bub about snowgates taking longer?