I guess I was a little surprised by the numbers being low at first, but then I started looking at the reality of the pool;
The pool was sold to us on a pack of lies from the beginning. Just go back and watch the advocational videos. I mildly believe in something called ‘Karma’ and I think when you sell something to people based on one lie after another, that karma will kick in.
The pool was built at a horrible location, lack of parking, poor access and no room for expansion. I suggested that city team up with Sanford and build it at the sports complex, or with the school district and build it at one of the high schools. I even think a location near the mall would have been better.
There was no public vote on the pool and it incurred debt. As much as the mayor says that is not true, it goes back to lying to the public. The mayor alone decided to build this pool. It wasn’t based on any study (only a site study) that there was a true need for the facility. As I have argued for years, there are tons of indoor pools in town, and a lot of them come with fitness centers. Is there really a need? Did the public truly support THIS PLAN or did they vote against the outdoor pool because they wanted to see options? We will never know, because the public never weighed in on an actual election.
The hours of operation are not reasonable. I think the pool should be opened later at night on the weekdays, closed on Mondays and opened longer on Saturday and Sundays, you know, when families actually spend time with each other.
When you build a facility based solely on the wants of one person, problems arise.
As for blaming the media . . .
It seems whenever the mayor gets caught standing in his own pile of BS he is quick to blame the media. Both Stormland TV and the AL did stories about the parent who was upset. It was newsworthy. This wasn’t just any parent, this was a parent who donated $10,000 of his own money towards a public facility. Why? Because he helped purchase equipment to assist in swim meets. He had a right to be pissed. The Parks Department could have easily told him that they plan on doing/scheduling swim meets after the first of the year once they evaluate numbers, but instead, as I understand the situation, he was totally ignored when asking about swim meets.
I was glad to see Joe Sneve calling mayor Huether out on his BS yesterday day with an online video.
Is this something someone with ‘Business Acumen’ would have done;
Brandon Maddox, the father of a Sioux Falls Swim Team member, says it’s perfect for holding meets, but right now the City won’t allow it.
“It sits empty, I sit there from four to six watching my daughter practice and there’s no one in there,” Maddox said.
Kearney says he thinks there’ll be swim meets held at the Aquatics Center at some point, but the City isn’t ready to take the plunge just yet.
I told people that we should have built this place in partnership with Sanford at the Sports Complex. Would have saved tax payers millions and built at a location with plenty of parking and expansion, and usage from sports special interest groups. Another ignorant move by High Crimes, Ramrod, Mayor Mike.
I know why they are doing this, they are trying to show they are not catering to the swim clubs, but let’s face it, you don’t build an olympic pool with bleacher seating for 500 parents if you were not planning on having swim meets. Stop the facade Mike, you are not fooling anyone. I also heard they are not renting for Birthday parties yet, not sure if that is true, but have had several people tell me they have tried to book with no success.
A also wonder if this is an attempt/strategy to raise the current affordable rates at the pool.
I am actually glad to hear this. Like I said at the council meeting, I hope the place is so successful we don’t have to subsidize it with tax dollars. As I have often argued with public projects, if there is a true need, they will be self sufficient. It looks like the indoor pool is heading in that direction;
The Midco Aquatic Center is just one week removed from its opening day- and already the center is surpassing expectations.
In the first week-the water center drew in over 2,000 people for a swim and 600 others in for a tour.
“We are trying to really reach all different kinds of demographics and programs so that we have a lot things going on and a lot of things happening to encourage people to come join us at the Midco Aquatic Center,” said recreation coordinator, Jean Pearson.
Many people in the community say the $24 million indoor facility was a great investment for Sioux Falls.
So with this great success, will the propaganda wing of the Mayor’s office stop peddling the lies that got us here?
Besides this video looking like a trailer for a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, I wondered why there wasn’t more interviews with people who were actually using the park for a gathering instead of the mayor’s friends and family.
It amazes me that an executive from the company that is sponsoring the project is still peddling the lie that we ‘voted on this’. He said this during the grand opening ceremony (FF: 9:20);
“I’m going to guess in not to long of a period of time from now, after the community has had the opportunity to visit and take advantage of this fabulous facility, it’s gonna be darn near impossible to find anyone in Sioux Falls to admit they voted no. And if they do, just shake your head and just say, every once in awhile nobody is perfect we all make mistakes.”
The mayor even goes on to say that ‘22,193 citizens who voted . . . to support our new indoor pool’ (19:20).
Yeah, I’m shaking my head that you would make the mistake of blurting out a lie. He knows better. Even after the falsehoods sold to us in the advocational sessions and election campaign leading up to the project, the players in this cheating game can’t resist to get in one last dig and lie about the pool.
One person chose to build the indoor pool. Mike Huether. There was no vote (on an indoor pool) and it wasn’t entirely paid for with cash. You would think, that with the pool already built, they could finally start telling the truth. I guess not. You won, why continue to lie?
I think Cameraman Bruce and I figured out why we were not invited as media to see the indoor pool before the public. They didn’t want us to see the ‘Wall of Lies’. I just hope taxpayers didn’t pay for this piece of propaganda.
Besides the fact that this hasn’t been discussed for 60 years, there are many claims on this mural that don’t add up. The first one (which I didn’t take a picture of) is that Nelson Park (Drake Springs) would have been the home of the first indoor pool (if that darn Theresa Stehly didn’t get involved) her name wasn’t mentioned on the article, but it was clear who they were trying to throw under the bus. The outdoor pool passed at that location of an almost 2/1 vote. Though Stehly didn’t know it at the time, it would have actually been a poor location for an indoor pool. An aquatic consultant later told the city that because of ground water issues at Nelson Park, building an indoor pool at that location would have caused major maintenance concerns. In hindsight, we should be thanking Stehly.
The only one recommending the Spellerberg site was the mayor. The voters had no part in that decision. As for the convenient parking, you should have seen the zoo with traffic that was backed up both directions for at least a half a mile on Western Avenue tonight. Where will all these people park when there is a swim meet? Good question. I have often argued that the city should have partnered with Sanford at the Sports Complex for an indoor pool. Plenty of parking and room for expansion. We are literally land locked at Spellerberg, and with the expansion of the VA, expect parking issues for years to come. Eventually the city will have to take out more green space at the park to build a bigger parking lot.
Now let’s move on to the ‘advocational sessions’ and the pack of lies surrounding the outdoor pool vote. The public NEVER voted for an indoor pool, they simply rejected an outdoor pool, as I said, in a campaign paid for by taxpayers that had so many half truths in it, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. But I take issue with the crafty language the city used with the funding, ‘. . . which included no additional City debt,’. While that statement in itself is true, we basically turned a loan over for the levee bonds. When the Feds repaid us for that loan, instead of using the money to pay it off or using it for infrastructure, we turned the debt over to the pool. We still have to pay off those bonds, so this is essentially a white lie. There is still approximately $13 million of unpaid debt.
And lastly, the mayor couldn’t resist to get his name on wall in the building with one of his silly quotes;
And the $1.5 million dollar a year subsidy we have to pay to run this place will warm everyone’s heart.
As I mentioned above, a better option would have been partnering with Sanford or even the school district on this project. If anything, the aquatic center is a failure of prudent vision in acquiring such a facility, and we will all be paying for that mistake for years to come.
I’m kind of on the fence on this one. While I supported the smoking ban in bars due to the health of workers, I question making a ‘legal product’ OUTSIDE in public spaces illegal or even enforceable. No question smoking kills more people in America then anything. I have often wondered then ‘Why not just make tobacco products illegal all together?’ instead of piddling with more laws limiting a legal product.
While we will hear several arguments about not being allowed to smoke outside the EC and in public parks, the big kicker will be at downtown patios. Businesses currently buy a special permit to have those patios, it is city property (public property). From what I can tell two downtown business owners allow smoking on their patios, Stogeez and Lucky’s. While Lucky’s doesn’t have a special state permit to allow smoking inside their establishment, Stogeez does. But will they be allowed to use that special permit to allow smoking on their patio that is city owned public property?
City Property. All property owned, leased, or operated by the city, including but not limited to all city parks; city golf courses; city buildings; any ticket, boarding, and waiting areas of any public transit depots; public parking strip; and any public sidewalks abutting any city property.
Section 3. That the Code of Ordinances of Sioux Falls, SD, are hereby amended by adding a section to be numbered 92.211 to read:
§ 92.211 Prohibited Conduct.
That the use of tobacco products and electronic smoking devices is hereby prohibited on any city property.
I’m sure we will be hearing from Stogeez owner, Tim Kant on this one.