Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Parks and Rec' ↓

What’s up with the unification of Sioux Falls Swim Teams?

Last week there was an announcement that the two opposing swim teams would unify. Which I think is a great idea, but it also brings suspect.

The new aquatic center is set to open this Fall and there have been several discussions with the parks board, the city council and parks department staff on what rates would be charged. Did the swim teams think it would just be easier to schedule time and tournaments if they joined forces? And if so, how will this affect open swimmers?

I guess we will see.

A supporter of an outdoor pool at Spellerberg wrote and informative letter (to the Argus Leader) about the donations to SWIM 365 (Supporters of an indoor pool at Spellerberg);

All one has to do is review the list of wealthy, elite donors and developers who raised more than $125,000 in election support for their swim team children, none of whom are on free and reduced lunches in the school system. Certainly that money would have been better spent on purchasing an appropriate location.

I saw all kinds of problems with the location and project;

• No room for expansion

• No public vote of approval

• An outstanding quit claim deed

• An offer from Sanford to build a competitive pool at Sports Complex (they still may do that, in competition with a public facility).

• Spending re-paid infrastructure loans (the levees) on an entertainment facility

• The questionable millions in subsidies to the pool (will user fees cover it?)

And now we have two swim teams acting as a super power to attain pool time in the new center.

This project was built on a systematic, well orchestrated campaign of lies. We will see how that foundation holds up.

Let’s have a REAL discussion about Enterprise Funds


“I’m giving it all I got Captain, but I’m afraid the EC won’t be profitable this year.”

Here’s an idea I would like to pitch to DaCola readers; let’s expand the use of enterprise funds.

You are probably asking what the hell I am talking about?

Let’s look at the city’s argument behind using enterprise funds for water and sewer, they feel the ‘users’ should pay for these infrastructure upgrades instead of coming from the 2nd penny (what they are not telling you is that they want to also use the funds to build NEW infrastructure, like Foundation Park, that has little to do with normal maintenance, operations and upgrades.)

It’s not a bad concept, so why not apply it to other entities in Sioux Falls government? Why not pay to play at these facilities also;

• City Golf Courses

• Swimming Pools (especially the indoor pool)

• The Arena, Orpheum, Washington Pavilion and especially the Events Center.

Why not take the fees from users and put that money into a fund that helps pay for maintenance and even debt service? Not only does it make sense, the tax payers would truly see just how valuable our quality of life projects are to us.

In fact, I don’t think the city golf courses have ever lost money, maybe tie all the Parks Department entities that charge fees together (Golf, Swim and Great Bear).

Then at the end of each year, each of the funds could ‘borrow’ or be subsidized by the 2nd penny if they come up short. This would show us a true ‘balance sheet’ and go along with that whole ‘transparency in government’ thingy.

What do you think?


No money in 2nd Penny for water pipes, we need it for new signage and graphics for parks vehicles


A simple city logo, what a concept!

It’s only been a few brief days after city directors and even city councilors proclaimed we needed to raise water rates because the 2nd penny is for roads. They even dared to ask the question, “What road projects are you willing to give up if we were to fund water and sewer pipes from the 2nd penny?”

Well, none, McFly, if you budget and appropriate the 2nd penny correctly. Something, they proved once again today, they struggle with;

Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation unveiled a new and updated logo today.

Over time, the logo will be updated on park signage, vehicles, and more.

First off, re-branding is something that is usually done to freshen up a product or service you are already providing. In other words, you are trying to re-sell something old. Except the parks system is not for sale, in fact, for the most part it is free, and in some cases to overpriced for some to afford (swimming). I have often said city department logos should be very simple. Use the city seal with the words of the department in either Times New Roman or Helvetica next to the seal, like Public Works, Health Department, etc.

Secondly, the cost to rebrand will probably be close to a $500K or more, even with our own sign department. That’s a lot of sewer pipe that could have been laid.

We have a mayor who is always so hell bent on selling our town, which isn’t always such a bad thing, but really Mike, you don’t have to sell us something that is already FREE and considered by the citizens as our best asset. Now go fix some roads and water pipes instead fiddling around in art departments.

The cart before the horse

The devil is in the details. Literally when it comes to fire safety.

There is this little document called the ‘Fire Hazardous materials review letter’ that should be drawn up before any building is constructed. The city decided to draw up the letter after construction began on the Aquatics Center? Why?


DOC: Haz review Letter 21 March 2016 (002)

I (Bruce) asked for this to be sent to me in February. It had not been completed until after I asked for it. Last night before the Council (4/5) meeting I asked Dean for it and here it is today (4/6). Look at the meeting dates. It confirms they only had the meeting AFTER my February request.

More short cuts by the administration? Laziness by the fire department? Hazardous materials storage should be addressed before dirt is even moved for a foundation.

Another fine ramrodded project by the Huether administration.


Indoor pool (future) parking?


The big sore thumb at Spellerberg Park (April 9, 2016)

A foot soldier sent me the following comment in regards to the rumor out there about the need for more parking at the new pool;

I asked the engineer about the “rumor” of diagonal parking on 22nd St. And he said yes, that had been discussed and could be a possibility in the future IF more parking is needed. 

22nd street is an emergency route to both the VA and to Sanford. Can you build diagonal parking on an emergency route?

Whoop, there it is!


A South DaCola foot soldier sent me this the other day;

I had to send this pic to you.  This past weekend – there was a tournament at the Iceplex with over 20 teams and the tennis center, at one point, had a woman standing out there guarding their parking lot with six cars in it.  I call this picture Poetic Justice :)

So we give the Huether tennis machine shed $500K of taxpayer dollars, let them build at a facility that has received millions in TIF money, then they guard the parking lot from the public. Elitists.

Mayor Huether continues to LIE about Aquatic center funding

Even after councilor Jamison nicely asked the finance and parks department to stop peddling the ‘CASH’ payment lie to the public, the Mayor couldn’t resist to put it in his ‘State of the City’ address today. (Full Presentation: Stateofcity)

The money came from the Levee Bond repayment from the Federal government intended to actually pay off the bonds when they come due in a couple of years.

There are so many lies attached to the Aquatic center, what’s the harm in continuing them?


“Oh My Goodness!” How dare the public shows up to a public meeting

YouTube Preview Image

The public gets so few times when they can actually see what Sioux Falls government is doing so when an invitation to witness something, some people actually show up. What idiots we are to really believe the contents of an invitation or announcement is sincere. Three Sioux Falls citizens decided to show up on March 22, 2016 for a public walk through of the Spellerberg indoor pool (one of them is a council candidate). What fools to think it would actually happen.

Like everything else this administration seems to do and promise, it is another lie or half-truth. How can anyone believe anything sent out by city hall except for our tax increase notices. BTW, how did you like your tax increase this year? Thank the building scams this administration seems to revel in for the unaudited and closed projects since 2010.

The indoor pool is just another promise to very special people and when everyday interested citizens show up to the announced meetings, they are closed to the public again. How can anyone trust Sioux Falls city hall?

The moment Cameraman Bruce showed up with a camera running you hear an upset Kendra Siemonsma and see concerned city staff. They do not want to be audited or questioned by the public. Tracy Turbak and Kendra showed it the day before when they through the hissy fits when we showed up to hear about the $25,000,000.00 admin building boondoggle. Just checkout our Meddling kids videos.

Just remember what it means when this administration says these projects are the most transparent in city history. It means it is transparently obvious we are not allowed to know anything.

More empty promises from the Sioux Falls Parks Department

Imagine my surprise (well not really) when I was reading the approval of contracts (Item #1) for Tuesday’s council meeting and I found this item;

Parks/Rec NA Furnish Three Editions of the 2016 Summer, Fall, and

Winter/Spring Activities Guide

$ 82,742

A couple of years ago, the Parks department told the public they were going ‘another direction’ on the activities guide, and only make it basically available online with a ‘few’ mailed copies. They still have to implement that idea. According to the bid specs, they plan to mail this guide to 76,000 households (3x) with an overrun of 3,500. Hardly scaling back the mailing. I can also tell you that the above number probably doesn’t include postage either, which could easily run about $40,000.

So what happened? I actually liked the idea of just mailing the guide to people who ONLY wanted the dead tree version and didn’t have a computer to access it. It makes economic sense. When we start talking about subsidizing a city indoor pool at over a $1 million a year, cutting free passes and raising rates on paratransit why are we not eliminating this booklet that most people recycle and could access online?

While they nickel and dime the rest of us to death, they throw the greenbacks in a burn barrel on stupid things like this.

ADA concerns at the new indoor aquatics center?

I recently heard from a citizen that was sitting in on discussions about the ADA needs at the new aquatic center as they slowly became unraveled. I guess not only have there been disputes about the ADA bathroom space, discussions about the therapy pool and the VA have come to almost a halt.
Not sure how much of this is true, but I find it ironic/hypocritical that a city that talks about diversity and helping our veterans with a therapy pool is bailing on proper compliance and promises. Also, if it is true, it goes back to going over budget on over promising a bigger pool for less money, and now they are cutting corners and nickel and diming other parts of the building. Mostly the disabled and veterans.
I’ll keep you updated the further I find out.