Entries Tagged 'Public Works' ↓

City of Sioux Falls uses Permanone for mosquito spraying

Let’s just say after reading this in a city press release I decided to do a little research;

The City will be using the product Permanone for spray treatments. Products used by the City of Sioux Falls are designed to break down in the environment quickly and are used at very low concentrations. Permanone is a product approved for use by the EPA in residential areas for adult mosquito control.

Sounds harmless, right? Unless you are a small animal, get it on your skin, fish or bees or a vegetable garden or have chickens. Here’s some fun facts about this poison they are spreading throughout the city;

This pesticide is extremely toxic to fish and aquatic invertebrates. Runoff from treated areas or deposition of spray droplets into a body of water may be hazardous to fish and aquatic invertebrates. Do not apply over bodies of water (lakes, rivers, permanent streams, natural ponds, commercial fish ponds, swamps, marshes or estuaries), except when necessary to target areas where adult mosquitoes are present, and weather conditions will facilitate movement of applied material away from the water in order to minimize incidental deposition into the water body. Do not contaminate water when disposing of equipment wash waters.

This pesticide is highly toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment on blooming crops or weeds. Do not apply this product or allow drift when bees are actively visiting the treatment area, except when applications are made to prevent or control a threat to public and/or animal health determined by a state, tribal or local health or vector control agency on the basis of documented evidence of disease causing agents in vector mosquitoes, or the occurrence of mosquito-borne disease in animal or human populations, or if specifically approved by the state or tribe during a natural disaster recovery effort. Applications should be timed to provide the maximum possible interval between treatment and the next period of bee activity.

Do not use, pour, spill or store near heat or open flame.

Do not allow spray treatment to drift onto pastureland, cropland, poultry ranges or potable water supplies. Do not use on crops for food forage or pasture. In treatment of corrals, feed lots, swine lots, and zoos, cover any exposed drinking water, drinking water fountains and animal feed before application.

I guess we got our answer to what the city is using to kill skeeters, but what other harm is it causing?


Is mosquito spraying in Sioux Falls killing bees, beneficial bugs and driving songbirds away?

I guess I haven’t really thought about it much until the past couple of days as people have pointed out to me that they haven’t seen many honey bees or beneficial bugs. I have several wild flower pots in my backyard, and I have only noticed one bumble bee so far this summer, and no honey bees. There are products that can be used that don’t affect the honey bees and beneficial bugs, and different application practices (avoid aerial and spraying during the day) this product uses a bacteria that kills mosquitos;

“Bti”, Bacillus thuringienis ssp. israelensis, are bacteria which infect and kill mosquito larvae. These bacteria are highly selective, killing only mosquitoes and their close relatives like gnats and black flies. Formulations of Bti will only kill these types of insects and do not harm other kinds of insects, fish, birds, worms or mammals.

– Bti is harmless to other wildlife

– Easy to apply!

– Effective within 24 hours.

– May be applied pre-flood.

When Bti are eaten by the mosquito larvae, they damage the gut cells and quickly paralyze them, then kill the larvae quickly and efficiently. A moderate to heavy dose has been shown to reduce the mosquito population by one half in 15 minutes and the rest within one hour.

Using non-biological insecticides have proven to kill honey bees;

Problems may arise if these insecticides come into contact with honey bees. Honey bees are susceptible to many insecticides, and in fact pesticides are a major cause of honey bee deaths.

Public awareness of the importance of honey bees is growing. Besides providing the beeswax, honey, propolis, bee pollen and royal jelly that are the basis for countless businesses, honey bees are essential for producing a substantial portion of our agricultural crops. As pollinators, honey bees are unsurpassed in their service to farmers producing fruits and vegetables such as apples, cucumbers, squash, melons, blueberries, pears, etc. Without a large and steady supply of bee colonies, commercial growers would not be able to produce these crops, and their businesses would fail.

As for the beneficial insects, it may be affecting them also;

With the threat of new emerging infectious diseases in the United States (West Nile virus, Malaria, Dengue), the clamor for novel personal protection/vector control devices has increased significantly over recent years. The two new tactics that have been introduced for controlling disease-carrying insects in a residential setting consist of fogging the vegetation surrounding the home withlong-lasting insecticides and the installation of residential misting systems that spray the desired area with aninsecticide on a daily basis. There have been some preliminary studies conducted that show that these tactics can have some effect on the mosquito populations in the backyard setting. However, these new control tactics and devices may have an adverse effect on the beneficial insects providing natural biological control of pest species in the areas subjected to the chemical treatments.

Beneficial insects include all the organisms that occur in the environment (may be augmented by the homeowner) that help to keep pest arthropod populations low, pollinate various plant species, and prevent major damage to backyard landscaping.

Some of those beneficial bugs are Lady Bugs, Spiders, Preying Mantids, Assassin Bugs, Ambush Bugs, Thread-Legged Bugs, and Ground Beetles.

As for songbirds disappearing, I am only speculating they are not around because their favorite food is mosquitos, flies and gnats.

Not sure what kind of product the city is currently using, but there are numerous other biologically safe ways to kill the mosquitos and save the bees and beneficial bugs.

Billboard Committee to make final recommendations

They will make them in the meeting tomorrow.



I have heard that the final recommendations DO NOT include any residential concerns for distances, even though there was tons of public input about keeping a good distance from residences. Can’t wait to hear the debate that occurs at the meeting tomorrow.

Community Rights – Billboard Study Group 7/2/2015

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Expectation of community rights by residents, is it a right?

When this group of concerned citizens are gaveled together by Councilman Rick Kiley on July 2m 2015 we find them having to ask hard questions and hear real concerns.

You know who we don’t get real answers from? Shawna and Jeff are evasive as ever.

We have billboard company reps here with real concerns for their future and citizens who are worried about their ability to sleep in their own homes due to all night every night lightening type storms.  How would you like to have your home of twenty years all of a sudden bombarded with crazy light shows at 2am?

We have an expectation of safety in our homes. We have an expectation of peace when we sleep. Just because a non-caring city official changes the color of a dot on a map without properly letting us know, we can no longer have peace or safety?

What do you think?

But does the mayor ‘Value’ his street improvements?

More street improvements in Hizzoner’s hood.

There’s been rumors that the street he lives on has been worked on several times since he has been mayor.

It’s good to be King.


Funny how those things go . . .

The Billboard Committee met again today at City Hall in the old commission chambers, THIS time they decided to have open discussion BEFORE adjournment. After Steve Young with the Argus does a story about last meetings’ open discussion being video taped after adjournment and the possible violation of open meetings laws (which city officials denied), they decide this time around discussion will occur during the official meeting (but hey, they didn’t do anything wrong last time) just correcting something that wasn’t broken.



Mayor Huether under the impression that sweeping streets is a government handout

During ‘Ask the Dictator . . . uh, I mean Mayor’ (FF:19:32). He says;

“You know Sioux Falls, we don’t have to wait for the street sweepers to come by and sweep our streets, we don’t have to, ah, if you got leaves or junk in your curb or gutter, hey, go out there and sweep it up . . .

I think sometimes we rely on government so much to do the work for us, when we are so capable to do the work ourselves . . .”

He also went on to claim that they are sweeping the streets three times a year. I don’t think so.

I will have the mayor know, that I do go sweep my own curb, several times a year, but I usually have to use a scoop shovel, because there is so much crap, and while I don’t take issue with that, I take issue with your statement about ‘depending on government’ to do our work for us.

1) The streets are owned by the city and we pay taxes to have them maintained. This includes repair, resurfacing, snowplowing and YES sweeping.

2) The city maintains a public works department responsible for street maintenance, our taxes buy the street sweeping equipment and YES, pay the operators to run the machines.

Do I expect government to do everything for me? Not at all, but when I am paying into government to perform a service, I expect it to be done.

Locally I figured I spent about $2,800 in taxes (sales/property) last year. If I sweep my own street (which I do quite often) do I get a discount?

As for government ‘expecting’ to do things for us, you are right. I don’t expect things like;

– $500,000 to an indoor tennis center so 102 members have a place like that.

– $24 Million to an indoor pool

– $115 Million for an entertainment facility

Government’s first expectation is to provide services for the taxes we pay (like sweeping the streets) Not to entertain us.

Once again, the mayor demonstrates his skewed priorities.

Snowplow Identification?

Theresa Stehly (co-chair of the snow gate petition) recently had a letter published in the Argus Leader about identifying snow gate plows;

Snow Gate Service:  WINNERS AND LOSERS

Our citizens voted a year ago to make it mandatory that the city use snow gates to clear the driveways in Sioux Falls. As the co-chair of the group that brought this issue to a vote, I have received many comments, both positive and negative about the quality of service provided during snow events. Our members have surveyed different neighborhoods after the snow plows have come through, and have discovered vast differences of efficiency in clearing the driveways with snow gates.  There are snow gate operators out there who are doing a fantastic job.  However, I have been told by the city street department that many drivers are still learning how to use the gates. We certainly understand that there are factors that could hinder the process like inexperience, attitude and fatigue.

We would like to see more accountability in the process.  One area of assistance would be to have a large marking on each snow plow. Galen Huber, the street supervisor, told me that the plows already have a number assigned to them. Using that same number, enlarging it in black letters and placing it on each side of the plow, would give the citizens the information needed to help the drivers do a better job.  Also, there could be an incentive for the drivers who had the most positive comments.  Many of us have seen the markings on the back of semi-trucks that say “How is my driving ?  Along with a phone number.”   This inspires the person behind the wheel to do their best at all times. The same would hold true for our snow gate operators. Using information called in by the citizens, the street department could work with those drivers who are having a difficult time getting the job done.  The manufacturer of our snow gates is willing to come and train drivers on the proper technique to clean all driveways within a neighborhood.

Along with an identifying number on each plow, the city needs to develop a SNOW GATE hotline.  We have a POT-HOLE hotline, and the city sends out flyers with contact numbers to file complaints about neighbors who violate city codes.   These numbers are frequently published and people are encouraged to call about their concerns.  The same energy needs to go into the snow gate program. The city needs to   include the snow gate hot line phone number in all mailings and media programs.

The snow gates have been a wonderful addition to the amenities offered by our city government. With some additional effort, we can create a winning experience next winter for all the citizens of Sioux Falls.

While we rob Federal paybacks on Levees for Indoor Pool, we have to borrow money for Sewers

Remember when we got over $11 million back for building the levees? This would have been the perfect project for us to spend the money on;

A massive project to replace a sewer line that carries almost all of Sioux Falls’ wastewater won’t cost taxpayers as much after the state approved more than $30 million in low-interest loans to pay for the work.

The 1.25 percent interest loans offered by the state will be paid back over 10 years.

“On that amount of dollars, that’s a substantial savings,” said Cotter, referring to the higher interest rates associated with traditional loans.

Hey Mark, we could have saved 100% if we would have paid for the project with the Levee repayment fund and surplus in the budget. But that’s right, we need to build playthings, they are more important. Maybe the next time the sewer system threatens a backup, we can use the new indoor pool to store all of the sewage instead of Covell Lake or pouring it down residential streets.

If we truly had a mayor who was concerned about prudence, he would have allocated the money correctly and put the pool on hold. But that would take someone who actually cares about the average tax payer and not himself and the special interests.

BTW, I heard the indoor tennis facility’s membership drive isn’t doing so well. Rough road, isn’t it Mike, when you have to spend your own money on play things? Can we get our $500,000K back please?

Thumbs up to the Sioux Falls Street Department

This is something that has been tossed around for awhile, and I highly recommend the city budgets in 2016 for these units;

Sioux Falls Street Fleet Galynn Huber says the city is in line to update technology on their trucks that will make your life easier the next time it snows.

“When we eventually go to putting GPS units in our trucks so that people can see where we’re at, it’s going to be key,” said Huber

The GPS would track the snow plows as they cleared the roads.

It would also help residents see when snowplows are in the area, for parking, driveway scooping, etc.