Entries Tagged 'Public Works' ↓
While studying the city management salary increases over the past five years, we came across some interesting title changes. People were hop-scotching back and forth between the public works department and engineering. Not sure if this had to do with pay adjustments or what. It kind of looked like an accounting game.
Either way, there seems to be a discussion going on similar in the community development office. Will Darrin Smith have to be replaced or will restructuring of the department eliminate a Czar of community development?
With the new council rolling in, and the change of rules when appointing department heads (council must also approve the mayoral appointment of the director, no matter the size of the department). Could be interesting to see what kind of extra duties some of the other directors may have to take on to avoid a mayoral appointment.
Of course this wouldn’t be the first time the mayor would be playing hard and fast with the rules.
We believe the water system should pay for itself, through the users, and that pricing for those services needs to help drive conservation.
If we feel our water bills are too high, maybe we can start by using less water?
Uh, yes, what a freaking concept. This poor stupid hippie in me has all of sudden forgotten about ‘conservation’. Except the fact of the glaring irony of your statement (so bold and finger pointing). Water rates did not go up for decades because the city was selling water at an all time high. In fact, during the Hanson administration, the water plant almost blew up. Really, it almost did. Or was it Munson? I forget.
So then we had exploding sewer pipes, etc. The city said, ‘Goddammit we are going to conserve!’ Bravo! They started handing out toilet rebates like candy and fancy low flow shower heads and garden hose thingies.
We were on our way to catching up with modern society, because once we conserve, our water rates would go down. I jest.
Quite the opposite. We started conserving, even at a record amount, then came that pesky Events Center and Jason Aldean concerts. How to pay for them? Well, it is quite simple. We start making water users, even the ones that conserve like a camel in a dessert, pay for pipes that orginally came from the 2nd penny infrastructure funds.
Oh, and what about all this urban sprawl, Foundation Park and the 22 Walmarts we need to build in the middle of cornfields? We gotta pay for pipes to them to. It’s all about those high paying jobs, you know.
So what has all this brilliant conservation gotten us? Well we got this awesome $80 million dollar pipeline that really only helped our Iowa neighbors get cheaper water that we only use about 10% of the time (because we are mandated to).
So if we really want to talk conservation and lower rates, let’s have this seventh grade math problem conversation. Those who truly conserve should pay on a sliding scale with those who don’t (and I mean a real one). In other words, if the average single family household uses less then that amount each month, they should get a substantial discount, if they don’t they should get a hefty ‘service charge’ for not conserving.
Isn’t that the enduring concept behind ‘conservation’? The less you use, the less you pay? Because the last I checked when I opened up my water bill this last month, there wasn’t a free pair of tickets to see Paul McCartney.
As a South DaCola foot soldier points out, Public Works director Mark Cotter may have ‘Mispoke’ recently on the Belfrage Show when he said “70% of the 2nd penny is spent on roads. As ‘Warren’ points out, not so fast;
As Stehly has pointed out correctly, we ARE NOT spending enough of the 2nd penny on roads and infrastructure, and our enterprise funds really are turning into a ‘slush fund’ due to the enormous rate increases. Maybe Mark and Finance Director Tracy Turbak need to have a meeting a get on the same page before blasting councilors elect Stehly and Neitzert for pointing out the truth. One of these days the current administration will figure out that that lying thing will eventually bite you in the ass.
Councilor Elect Theresa Stehly and Public Works Director Mark Cotter will be on Belfrage’s show KELO AM 1320 talking about the water/sewer increases. Greg will turn on the phones for public comment at 8:30 AM. Should be interesting.
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.
MEETING ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15TH AFTER 4:00 COUNCIL INFORMATIONAL MEETING
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
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
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’?
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.
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.