Entries Tagged 'Public Works' ↓

Is there Competitive Bids in the county and city?

This is something I have been suspicious about ever since the middle-of-the-night 100% cost overrun on the Phillips to the Falls project, and the $200,000 lower secondary bid for the Pavilion windows (VIDEO);

Hoyer said his question was grounded simply in a desire to see consistency in the bidding process.

“I would have made the same statement for concrete pipe,” a product not offered by his company, he said. Bidding instructions uniformly call for bid guarantees, he said, and if the county wants to waive them, “let’s not make some of us jump through the hoops and others not.”

Buthe, however, took the question as a sign of discord between the county and Myrl & Roy’s. When he became superintendent three years ago, Buthe said he found the county’s practice was to accept a low bid for asphalt and then to purchase from both Concrete Materials and Myrl & Roy’s at that price.

“My interpretation was that is not a legal way to do business,” Buthe said. He brought the matter to the deputy state’s attorney at the time, Gordy Swanson, who agreed.

“We decided the following year we would only award to the lowest bidder,” Buthe said. That was Concrete Materials. “There was some severe backlash” from Myrl & Roy’s, he added.

Since then, Myrl & Roy’s has not supplied the county. Last year, the county piggybacked on the city of Sioux Falls contract to buy asphalt from Concrete Materials because its plant was closer to where the county was doing highway work, and the savings in transportation costs exceeded the difference in Myrl & Roy’s slightly lower bid.

“That made them angry,” Buthe said.

Makes you wonder how often this happens with the city and county? Giving a bid to the ‘Preferred Contractor’ compared to the ‘lowest bidder’? Or just tweaking the RFP so that only one contractor can bid it. Would love to see the amount of tax dollars that are wasted on these types of ‘deals’.

It seems the only thing city government has learned from history is to repeat itself

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Do I believe in keeping up with the historical aspects of our city? Yes. Do I think historical paver stones need to be replaced? Yes. Do I think it is a wise for SF taxpayers to be footing the bill? NO;

A $16,000 grant will help pay for the restoration of a central Sioux Falls alley where the 19th and 21st centuries collide.

Quartzite paving stones in the alley connecting Sixth and Seventh streets between Duluth and Summit avenues are to be removed this summer. City workers will pour a concrete subsurface, then relay the pavers.

With help from the South Dakota State Historical Society’s Deadwood Fund grant program, the city’s cost will be around $175,000.

While I do think that the street department has some financial obligation, I don’t think we need to foot the Lion’s share of this project. I think the city’s role should be making sure the project is done correctly and zoning is in place to do this type of infrastructure work, beyond that, I think either private donations, grants (which are already being used) or adjoining property tax assessments should pay for this project. I scratch my head when the city forces businesses and homeowners to build city sidewalks at their expense, but we drop a cool $175,000 in a neighborhood because it is ‘historical’. Fine. Make them pay for it. It is no different then citizens fixing the city sidewalks.

Besides, with all the discussion about public transit costing the city so much each year, it seems ludicrous we would be spending tax dollars on pavers in an alley. It seems the only thing city government has learned from history is to repeat itself.

So now ‘collectors’ are considered ‘mentally ill’ by the city

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Okay, I totally get it, collecting ‘garbage’ behind your house is not a good idea, and it is certainly against the law. People who urinate on other people’s property, also against the law. Are some of these people mentally ill. Maybe, maybe not, but it is not the job of the city’s code enforcement department to determine who is mentally ill;

The team includes law enforcement officials, zoning personnel and a newly hired mental health professional.

Sometimes a property owner is struggling with mental health concerns or physical limitations that prohibit him or her from completing cleanup and maintenance tasks.

A fellowship grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is paying for a health professional to be part of the enforcement team. It’s a two-year program.

Am I the only one to find it a bit ironic that a department that has been found to be unconstitutional, several times, in applying city ordinance is now questioning the mental health of it’s citizens? Isn’t ‘denial’ a mental ailment?

Is there a difference between ‘collectors’ and ‘hoarders’ – in some cases, yes. But if someone owns their property and they want to store a Beanie Bear collection on that property, that is their prerogative, whether they are mentally ill or not. See, in this country, it is not against the law to be ‘crazy’.

If someone is committing a crime, and they are mentally ill, leave it up to law enforcement and trained medical professionals to deal with those situations. If someone isn’t mowing their lawn, maybe they need to see a lawn mower repairman, not a shrink.

Does the city sweep leaves from the street anymore?

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Over the last few years, I have heard more and more complaints from residents that public works is not sweeping the streets for leaves anymore. Obviously, today wouldn’t be the ideal day to do it, BUT over the last couple of months, the city could have easily swept the streets. We have the resources (funding, employees, street sweepers) so why don’t we do it?

The mayor and public works MAY claim this is a cost saving measure, but I would disagree. Clogging the street drains with leaves can get very expensive, very fast. Keeping streets clean from foliage waste also helps with cutting down on surface corrosion.

So why isn’t the city doing it? I know the mayor has been asked about it several times in public meetings, and Public Works director Cotter has mentioned that adjoining property owners are responsible for out to the middle of the street. Huh?! So not only must we fix the city’s sidewalks, maintain the trees in the boulevard, but now we need to sweep the streets for them to? What next? Put snowplows on the front of our cars and plow our own streets? (which isn’t too far from the truth considering the poor job they have been doing plowing the main roads today).

This push to conserve and save the city money on street sweeping might be prudent if the city was in dire straits, hardly the case after building a $100 million dollar events center and the council is preparing to give $500K to the mayor’s wife’s private indoor tennis facility.

The city has money to sweep the streets. Start doing it.

SON sues SF city council & city

Your’e gonna need a bigger boat.

Boy, if City Attorney Fiddle-Faddle didn’t have enough caramel corn to pick out of his teeth with the assistant city attorney’s trouble, now he could be in hot water over how he advised the city council to vote. This isn’t the first time old Dave has been wrong, remember his advice to fire Debra Owen in secret, that didn’t turn out so well. Now the city council might have taken action before they got approval from the Lincoln County Commission;

The lawsuit, a Petition for Writ of Certiorari and for Writ of Prohibition seeks to enforce state laws that require the City of Sioux Falls to obtain approval from the Lincoln County Board of County Commissioners before attempting to annex agricultural land located in Lincoln County at 85th & Minnesota. The Petition also seeks to suspend further action by the City Council to attempt to rezone the illegally annexed property without first complying with state law.

DejaVu. I kind of wondered that when the council approved annexation and thought it a bit strange they would annex the land before getting Lincoln County approval. The city doesn’t have a very good track record when it comes to trumping state law. They have lost several lawsuits that deal with state law. VL casino regulation, red light cameras and the Dan Daily case. I have told several city councilors that they were not going to give up this fight very easily. It’s too bad WM spent all that money sending out postcards, they should saved it for attorney fees, or better yet, paying their workers better.

I think it is about time the citizens of SF revoke the city HOME RULE charter. It’s not working for us, unless of course you are an attorney contracted by the city.

If you want to read the case it is Civil 13-2218 docket number.

Putting Humpty-Dumpty back together again

“It’s just a flesh wound”

From a foot soldier:

I thought with all of the area trees getting cut down lately without notice around Sioux Falls while people are gone or on vacation maybe we should send out a reminder to people to keep a “before” picture of all their trees in case all they are left with is the “after” picture of a stump when they come home.  :(  I wonder how many new stories we will be hearing about when people return from 4th of July vacations like these.

Send me your pictures and stories: fb.art@sio.midco.net

The notification part is the worst part. You wonder how many over zealous arborists are cutting down trees that have minor damage? Most trees can recover within a growing season.

It’s YOUR tree when the city wants it trimmed, and THEIR tree when it is time to cut it down

Interesting how the city thinks you are responsible for trimming and maintaining THEIR trees in THE PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY (Cotter confirms that in this video) and they will fine and charge you if you don’t, but somehow they take ownership of the tree when they want it gone, without telling the adjoining property owner.

“I’ve had several neighbors stop and ask why we cut the tree down, and we’re like we didn’t cut the tree down. We have no idea why that tree was cut down. We were not notified by the City or anybody,” Muilenburg said.

This has been my problem with tree trimming all along, they talk about those trees being your responsibility, it is even in city ordinance. But if it needs to go, they don’t even bother notifying you, and it has it’s consequences.

“This was in memory of him and now it’s kind of the final, it’s over for him now,” Muilenburg said. “My brother’s gone.”

A handy video for the city’s public works department

Apparently they have trouble figuring out cubic yards. They came by today and this is how they filled the hole in front of my house.

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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.

Four months later, and there is still a hole in my street

Almost four months after the water main broke in front of my house and this gigantic hole still exists. I of course avoid it, but it is fun to watch people barrel down my street and hit it for the first time. There has been no contractors to measure or look at it, there hasn’t even been anybody from the city to at least fill it with more gravel. I guarantee if this hole was in my front yard, code enforcement would have been on me like stink on shit.

What’s the pothole hotline again?