Entries Tagged 'Public Works' ↓

Sioux Falls City Council Land Use Committee meeting, Dec 15, 2015

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Will this never end? When it does, will it end well? It will but will it be something thousands of Sioux Falls property owners want? Of the 65,000+ properties in our little town on the prairie very likely has 35,000 in violation of the current outdated, old fashioned and very ecologically bad boulevard grassy strip by the street ordinance.

Let’s see, we could prosecute the 35,000+ out of current compliant property owners or find a way to make them compliant and help set easy to follow guidelines for the future.

The first likely path would look something like this: If our city council decides to allow for code enforcement prosecutions, all Hell will fall upon our city leaders. Our current over staffed code enforcement department and city attorney offices would have to grow exponentially to handle the legal load. The wrath of citizens would likely create electoral problems for those trying to stay in office. No amount of illegal process serving will clean up the mess they proceed with. Can you imagine all the trip to the Shopping News to buy little blue bags to illegally hang on door knobs?

A second path would find a way to educate the property owners about safety concerns, encourage sensible plantings for sustainability and encourage creativity. If the city used it’s considerable resources to help the public understand the issues without a strong arm of a government led retribution system we could likely all win.

In our video watch the nuances from both perspectives. Think about how crappy Sioux Falls drivers are in general and how few of our crappy drivers actually are affected by flowers in the property in front of your house or business.

We also hear about drainage issues our fair city chooses to ignore. How many of you have seen the lousy ways our developers remove the thick layers of top soil from new developments and replace it with thin layer to just barely keep the grass growing? Find out what experts are saying about his practice.

By the way, the definitions everyone is using in this video are screwed up. The area bordering the street up to your property pins (to across the street property pins) is city owned and controlled right of way. Shouldn’t we be calling the grassy area between the street and sidewalk something else? How about the right of way or parking strip or parking area or something more logical. The use of the word boulevard is too often confused with the traffic dividing median like used on 21st St by the tennis courts.

Boulevard Landscape Ordinance to be discussed w/Public Input


CARNEGIE TOWN HALL, Council requesting public input!

A proposed ordinance could affect hundreds of property owners who have landscaping in the boulevard area. Councilman Greg Jamison is putting together an ordinance which will address this issue. Many homeowners and businesses have worked to beatify this strip of land between the curb and the sidewalk. This ordinance could mandate that this landscaping be ripped out.

Areas that may be targeted are: medium to tall grasses, rocks of any kind, large boulders, mailboxes and landscaping by the driveway, corner plantings, fencing and shrubs on either side of the sidewalk, pavers and flowers. Several council members have told me that if this ordinance passes, the city will also be required to remove the rocks, daylilies, grasses and Russian Sage on city property. This would include the area by the downtown-library and the McKennan Park Boulevard.

Please call the men on the Land Use Committee and let them know how you feel about this effort. They are:

Greg Jamison 310-1930

Kenny Anderson261-5132

Kermit Staggers 376-4056

Rick Kiley 367-8102

It also would be beneficial if you called the representative for your district and the Mayor. You can get this information from the city clerk’s office 367-8081

There is a Land use committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, December 15th, after the 4:00 Council informational meeting.  The meeting will be at the Carnegie Town Hall.  Watch the Argus for further updates. They have assured me that they will cover this issue.

Theresa Stehly, 332-1363

Instead of fixing the crappy drainage, the city prefers to just bulldoze the neighborhood

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Curious if the Sioux Falls City Council is authorizing these home purchases or if once again, the city planning and public works office is ‘going rogue’. Heck, I even wonder if the city council knows about it at all?

After heavy rains in August flooded a central Sioux Falls neighborhood, city officials are looking for a permanent way to stem flooding.

Homes along the west side of South Covell Avenue between 28th and 33rd Streets could be torn down to create a green space.

Several homeowners in the neighborhood near Augustana University have been contacted by the City of Sioux Falls with possible offers to purchase their homes.

The city is talking with neighbors first, before releasing a finalized plan. Environmental and Storm Water Manager Andrew Berg said it is a voluntary buyout, and no one will be forced to sell to the city.

And that’s the Huether way, instead of fixing the infrastructure in the modest neighborhoods in Sioux Falls, we prefer to just bulldoze them. Now that’s progress and getting things done! I wonder if this will make MMM’s list of ‘Top 10 Wins of 2015’?

Patriotic God Plows

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After hearing a rumor that the Jesus plows were back, I made a trip out to Public Works. They are not, they have been replaced by two other themes this year. The Lutheran school did an American flag with the word ‘God’ on it, and another school did an American flag with ‘In God we Trust’ on it. These are well within constitutional rights since the word ‘God’ doesn’t promote a certain religion (the point we were trying to make last year). In one sense I should probably commend the schools for actually grasping their constitutional rights, but on the other hand you get the sense they are still poking the bear to see if there would be any controversy. Besides the fact that painting an American flag isn’t really creative, the whole thing that is ludicrous about this is that the stupid disclaimer signs remain, this time they have them mounted to the actual blade.


A return of the ‘Jesus’ Snowplows?


Remember this fiasco from last year, where our mayor didn’t understand constitutional rights? I wonder if the Christian schools will get it this year and not yank that chain again?

While the city maintained they didn’t supply the paint, they do admit they prime the canvas for the students;

The Street Division primes the plows, and the schools and organizations supply the paint.

And of course they had to include this stupid disclaimer;

The City of Sioux Falls does not censor the content or any viewpoints on the artwork. All of the plows will include a decal stating: “The City of Sioux Falls encourages creativity. This ‘Paint the Plows’ work is created by students. Any messages or views expressed are not those of the City or endorsed by the City.”

I’m encouraging the administrators and teachers of ALL of the schools involved to encourage creativity and discourage challenging the US constitution this year. Maybe paint some snow angels this year instead of stealing a copyrighted logo.

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.