Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Parks and Rec' ↓

Who is playing games with Van Eps Park?


Just another day at the park (the person who took this photo told me that they took this at 3 PM one day last week, and when they drove by again at 8 PM the guy in white was still passed out in the same spot.)

While the politicians from the city and county are pointing fingers and discussing what they can and cannot do at Van Eps Park (eliminating the alcohol) I believe the Mayor has the ultimate executive power to make Van Eps a dry Park, whenever he wants to;

Section 3.01  Executive power.

The executive and administrative power of the city shall be vested in a mayor.

Section 4.01  General provisions.

  1. Creation of departments. The mayor may establish city departments, offices, or agencies in addition to those created by this charter by filing an executive order which may also provide that any funds previously appropriated to perform a function which is being transferred may thereby be transferred to the new major organizational unit performing such function, with such order becoming effective after the expiration of 25 days from the date it is filed, unless action is taken to nullify the executive order by a vote of six (6) or more members of the city council. The mayor may prescribe the functions of all departments, offices, and agencies, except that no function assigned by this charter to a particular department, office, or agency may be discontinued or, unless this charter specifically so provides, assigned to any other.

As I understand it, the Mayor doesn’t need approval from the Parks Board or the City Council, he could file an order today. Now it would seem the city council could overturn his order with a 6/2 vote in next meeting, if they choose to.

Has the mayor ever used this power in the past, probably, but the one instance I can think of was when he authorized the purchase of snow gates for testing.

Let’s assume that he does have this power (if I am reading the ordinance correctly) so why hasn’t he used this authority? It seems him and Fiddle Faddle are playing games with the city charter (and state law) by throwing it back in the Park Board’s lap. Who appoints the Park Board? The Mayor.

So why has the city chosen to put temporary restrooms and more picnic tables at Van Eps? And what reason would the mayor have to drag his feet on this matter?

Honestly, I don’t know. I do know that some city councilors, county commissioners and park board members are not happy about the situation. The only thing I can think of is that they (Mayor’s office) are just biding their time with these people until the Good Shepard closes and The Bishop Dudley Shelter opens.

Funny how when it comes to entertainment facilities, nothing can be done fast enough, but drunks at a park out of site of ‘respectable’ Downtowners, our hands are tied. Yeah right.


He just couldn’t stop with the tennis courts


I guess I would have hired a more professional sign maker.

More problems at Van Eps park

Apparently there was another incident this morning at the troublesome park. A lady with no legs had her wheelchair stolen, and she was left there to fend for herself. If it were not for a county employee that saw her, she might have laid in the heat all day.

Some say just outlawing alcohol at the park would solve the problem. My suggestions?

1) Remove the portapotties

2) Remove the picnic tables

3) Cut down all the trees, or at least trim them to a point where they do not provide shade

Make the park undesirable to people who want to ‘hang’ and the alcohol banishment won’t make much of a difference.

Welcome to Baghdad, South Dakota


Image Submitted to the Argus Leader

Looks a lot like this famous landmark


While I support public art, I wonder how much money the public will be ponying up for this project;

The Arc of Dreams will start fundraising with an initial goal of $650,000 that will allow Lamphere to start sculpting. An additional $300,000 will be needed for landscaping and foundation work.

300K for the foundation and landscaping. Get your wallets out tax payer of Sioux Falls, this is gonna cost you.

I hope we don’t need any metal siding on the new Indoor Pool

Here we go again, wanting to hire a risk management company that keeps all the contractors secret and skirts responsibility. Yeah! (Item #38)


UPDATE: What will become of the old Ice Recreation center once the new Iceplex opens?

UPDATE: I have been thinking about this for a few days. I have been trying to access the informational meeting on the city website, but no luck. The video died about a minute into the meeting when it was LIVE and they have not yet posted it to the website. Once again, SIRE isn’t working and no one at Carnegie or City Hall is doing anything about it. Go figure. Anyway, I did have a South DaCola foot soldier attend the meeting. Parks & Rec Mob Boss Don Kearney did a presentation on saving the Rec Center (I partially agree with him, but we will get to that in a moment). Of course the stuck-up IcePlex crew showed up and cried about competing with the new facility. This could be true, and they do have a point, the city kicked in $1.5 million to the new facility, and why would we want to continue to subsidize the old Rec Center?

I think there is a solution that can make everyone happy. Let’s say we close the Rec center. We have only a few options. Tear the whole place down and just sell the land. We could use it as a Parks garage. Or we could just sell the place ‘As Is’ with the ice and throw in the Zamboni. I like this idea the best, first off, it wouldn’t cost taxpayers anything to sell it ‘as is’, secondly we wouldn’t have to continue to subsidize it, either as ice OR as a garage. I would also put a condition on the sale that the place that buys it (Private health club or non-profit) can either remove the ice, tear the whole place down, or what I think would be the best use make it into a recreational ice facility, much like Caurosel Skate. Use the facility for strictly ice skating and curling, etc, but not ice hockey unless it is adult leagues.

One of the reasons the Ice Association wanted a new bigger facility is because they claim there isn’t enough inside ice, keeping the old Rec Center as a private ice facility won’t hurt their business. That’s like saying Wild Water West hurts the outdoor pool business in SF Parks. There is room for two ‘different’ kinds of ice facilities in Sioux Falls, and the taxpayers can be off the hook for once.

Images below are from Don’s presentation to the city council. Click to enlarge.


IMAG2249 IMAG2250

The city better tread lightly with the indoor pool and negotiations with the VA

I found this article yesterday very timely, concerning Spellerberg Park and the Quit Claim deed with the VA;

A developer who mistakenly built a $1.8 million waterfront house on parkland has been ordered to remove it.

The Rhode Island Supreme Court found that the Narragansett home was built entirely on land owned by the Rose Nulman Park Foundation, and therefore must be removed.

The developer, Four Twenty Corp., began building the home in 2009, but it didn’t discover the error until 2011 when it tried to sell the house and the prospective buyers got a survey. Robert Lamoureux, who owns the company, then contacted one of the park’s trustees to try to work something out, but she told him the land was not for sale, according to Friday’s opinion.

The foundation was set up to preserve the property as a park in perpetuity. A 2008 agreement among the family members says that if the trustees allow the land to be used as anything other than a public park, they must pay $1.5 million to New York Presbyterian Hospital.

The developer argued it should not be penalized for an innocent surveying mistake. The court said it was sympathetic, but it said the park’s property rights outweighed that. It also said it was in the public’s interest to keep the land as a park.

I hope the city either has a rock solid agreement/contract with the VA or has the quit claim deed torn up before they even turn one shovel at Spellerberg.

Well they didn’t waste any time

And imagine that, they buried it in the ‘consent agenda’


Imagine that!? Kid’s like to swim outdoors

But hey, outdoor pools are a waste of money, even though attendance at them will probably blow away any attendance at an indoor pool.

More people have attended the Sioux Falls Pools this past month compared to years past.

In the month of May, the Sioux Falls Aquatic Facilities had a record attendance with 30,691 visits compared to the previous record set in 1988 with 23,999 visits.

This past May they were 13,000 visits ahead of the five-year average of 17,500 and 25,000 ahead of last year’s attendance. The recreation program coordinator says this is their second season of using the electronic swim passes, which allows family members to enter the pool by using a key fob.

Family swim passes sales have been a huge success with more than 1,500 new pass holders registering and approximately 2,100 renewals so far this season.

Probably a good thing we have the outdoor pools, we will have to find a way to subsidize the indoor pool somehow.

Another thing I noticed over the past couple of days, our sewer rates are going up to pay for all the blowups and explosions we have had over the last couple of years. Too bad we didn’t have $11 million dollars laying around to help with those infrastructure upgrades . . . wait, sewer pipes are not as fun as indoor swimming pools.

How to make a press conference look important

Like I said, I am not going to talk about the indoor pool anymore. The public wants one, so we are building one.

I actually attended the press conference today because I was curious about the announcement. Turns out that the group ‘Veterans for the VA’ will be donating money towards the therapy pool (that is ‘IF’ the pool gets built at Spellerberg – there are still serious discussions about the VA’s rights to the park, especially in light of the recent shakeups at the VA on a National level and NO clear legal document agreement between the city and the VA).

What I found interesting about the small crowd at the PC today (at 11 AM) at Spellerberg Park was besides the 6-7 media personnel there was approximately 8 city managers/directors at the PC with the mayor. (there was about 3 private citizens that support the indoor pool, a Parks Board member and about 8 people from the SAVE Spellerberg group)

I often scratch my head when the mayor and city directors/managers talk about how they are ‘too busy’ to attend certain (ethics) meetings or to talk with the public. But somehow the Mayor and 8 city directors/managers had time to attend a PC that was about a small donation from a Veterans group.

What a waste of tax dollars and public resources (employees).