Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Parks and Rec' ↓

What do you think of a public property smoking ban?

Once again, department heads are ‘playing god’ and proposing ordinances without the input of the city’s legislative branch, the city council. Instead they put together some pretty presentations and try to push it through.

Presentation Doc: smoking-pres

Ordinance Doc: smoking-ord

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.

Is the Indoor Aquatic Center having trouble finding workers?

The pool is going to open in October, but I found the hours of operation a bit strange?

• Monday through Friday, 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
• Saturday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Sunday, 12 noon to 5 p.m.

While the weekdays seem like good hours, why the shortened hours on the weekends? You would think you would want extended hours on the weekend when working families and school kids could use the place?

Some would argue this is cost savings measure, but you have to heat and cool the building and water 24/7 anyway, and I would also assume the lights would be on to, so really it is just labor they are saving on.

Is the facility having trouble finding employees? Or, are the swim teams going to get special hours to use the facility? A question worth asking.

Letter author only proved how little they know about city government

I have often been baffled why so many people are concerned about the presidential election but don’t give two rips about their local government, you know, the people who determine what you pay in over half of your taxes. Just trust them, they say;

We have a progressive city leadership, and I feel they have led proudly through their many achievements.

Don’t compare the success of Downtown, the Events Center and an indoor pool to a $25 million dollar city administration that will be mostly empty and unfinished on day one. That’s not progress, that’s fiscal stupidity. The city would save millions over the next 20-30 years by leasing space. There is NOTHING in city charter that requires the city to OWN the buildings they house workers in. Especially pencil pushers.

(If) We wait another five to six years and decide to build with an increased cost of $8 million to $10 million more?

Yeah, that’s that thing called ‘inflation’ funny how it works. Maybe I should buy a case of candy bars now and freeze them, cause you know, candy bar prices are going up. The problem with his argument is that we don’t need the building today, and we won’t need it 6 years from now. As I have argued, as technology increases, the city should be able to reduce the number of administration workers, or better yet, start a home based worker program, we would save millions and it would boost morale. Let’s truly embrace a REAL progressive idea.

I trust our mayor and elected officials to lead us where we need to go. This city is flourishing.

He is right, the city is flourishing, and it all happened without a new administration building. How did city workers get so much accomplished with stagnant wage increases (while their managers were receiving corporate management style raises) and cramped space? I have often argued that if this building was really needed, we would have built it with cash and reserves before the EC or Indoor Pool. It was an after thought of the mayor, not a progressive idea at all.

There are those poor losers from previous elections that are choosing to make all things at City Hall political.

What part of elected ‘politician’ don’t you understand? Government is NOT business, and vice versa. ANY business our city government does is POLITICAL, whether they are approving a one-day wine license or a $25 million dollar administration building.

I tire of the Kermit Staggers clones that continue to throw cold water rather than seize the moment for numerous advances and the needed update to municipal offices and space. I fear our new council members will be nothing but a drag on continuing progress for Sioux Falls.

Yeah, those darn Staggers followers who got elected in the past election, and their horrible non-progressive ideas like snow gates, gardens in the boulevard and hopefully the elimination of charging for Project Trim. How dare they push these ideas off on us and drag us down by making the city be more customer service oriented, transparent and accountable to the people that fund them. What on God’s green earth are they thinking?

If voters were truly upset by City Council plans, there would be an uprising.

Yeah, because 6,400 signatures in 3 weeks is hardly an uprising.

Pathetic voter turnout is not an encouraging way to promote change; it suggests to me that most voters are complacent but satisfied with this status quo progressive city.

I wish more people would vote, but it seems our town is full of complacency, we do agree on that. But to say they are satisfied, may be a stretch. It’s an education curve, we try hard to get people involved with local government, but every time we do something, we have to hear from letter writers like you who say we are ‘interfering’. The mayor and the city council don’t own our government, WE DO, involvement should be encouraged not scolded.

Nelson Park at 10th Street and Cliff Avenue is the home of a relatively nice outdoor pool complex. Ever notice how much green space is basically wasted on the corner.

We do notice, the complex was supposed to be larger, but it seems some peeps with sour grapes over losing the election cut back on the size of the complex, which is ironic, because Drake Springs is the most popular pool in the city.

Ever wonder how much the city would have saved on the city’s new aquatic center if it had been built eight to 10 years ago on this corner?

We would be spending millions a year on maintenance if we would have built it there. Our aquatic consultant has said in their report that Nelson Park would have been a poor location for an indoor pool due to significant ground water issues that have existed for a 100 years. Besides, voters rejected an indoor pool at that location TWICE.

How bad is the traffic on busy Western Avenue going to congest across the street from a shopping center?

Maybe you should ask our ‘progressive’ and ‘visionary’ mayor and 3 city councilors why Spellerberg was chosen, when the wisest place would have been at the Sanford Sports Complex, with plenty of parking, room for expansion, and a possible partnership with Sanford that would have saved us millions.

The mayor and Councilor Erpenbach should stick to their principles.

Because fiscal stupidity and ignorance should never stand in the way of progress. Go Team!

City of Sioux Falls Forestry Dept needs to concentrate on growing BRAINS instead of TREES


Yeah, I shook my head to after reading the above postcard (that I did not receive though I live in the neighborhood, a neighbor a few blocks away showed it to me).

This program all got started after a few homeowners who live close to Waterford were upset because (God forbid) Waterford had to tear down a couple of trees to build their expansion (on land they own, that will help residents with therapy on premise).

Waterford was probably tired of the trail of tears running down Phillips avenue so they donated money to the neighborhood to plant 100 trees.

That part is a fantastic idea.

Where it takes a turn to the lobotomy clinic is wanting to plant those trees in the boulevard. After all the headache we have had in the historic neighborhoods with tree rubbish after the ice storm you would have thought we learned our lesson about boulevard trees (FEMA gave us $10 million for cleanup). Not to mention the many other concerns with them.

When Project TRIM rolls around they make you trim those trees if they are impeding street and sidewalk traffic, they also wreak havoc on water, sewer and gas lines. They also impede power and cable lines, and traffic site issues. Enough already!

We need to prohibit the planting of boulevard trees in Sioux Falls, in ALL neighborhoods. I encourage the group to plant the trees in parks and green spaces or set back in front or back yards of people’s homes, but lets grow something besides trees, lets grow a brain, and stop planting trees in the boulevard and plant vegetable gardens and flowers in that space instead.

Why not turn city parks into partial food forests?

This is one of the coolest ideas I have heard of in a long, long time;

According to Project Food Forest’s website, “A food forest, also called a forest garden, is a diverse planting of edible plants that attempts to mimic the ecosystems and patterns found in nature. Food forests are three dimensional designs, with life extending in all directions – up, down, and out”. Furthermore, “Food forests are a new farming concept in our area, but they have been used for thousands of years in other parts of the world. They are complex, just like nature.

Food Forests are unique and different from the traditional community gardens in key ways. Food Forests are made up of trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and roots. All layers of the ecosystem are incorporated.

Food Forests are also meant to be free and open to the public. Community gardens typically have leased land, requiring several hours of volunteer work or tending by the owner. Food Forests are perennial gardens, which when well-designed, are increasingly productive and abundant with time. Minimal upkeep is necessary, apart from gleaning food from the forest’s production.

The irony is that the city’s parks and forestry department spends millions each year maintaining our parks which are mostly non vegetable trees and flowers, why not maintain something we can eat? In fact I have seen several immigrants harvesting different plants and berries along our bike trail. Let’s get the whole community involved!

UPDATE II: Is someone using the Midco Aquatic Center as their own private pool?

Update: As you can see from the photo, there appears to be two people in the 50 meter pool area in swimsuits (this occurred last night, Sunday). According to the picture taker they saw the truck pull up in front, and once they realized they were being watched, they pulled the vehicle to the rear of the building. The picture taker then went to the rear and saw a young couple get out, the male was wearing his swim trunks already and the female had a swimsuit in hand. Then they easily unlocked the door and went in, where they later shot a picture of them going into the 50 meter pool area.

Update II: I guess Sioux Falls construction told the police that they were doing a ‘security check’ of the facility. I guess construction companies now do those inspections in swimsuits instead of hard hats.


Apparently last night someone (person living in Spellerberg neighborhood) took photos of people swimming in the Aquatic Center, once the people realized they were being watched, they split before police arrived (they were contacted).

If this really occurred, I find it a bit ironic that the city has not set an opening date for the center yet, but ‘someone’ is already using the facility.

Remember what I was told at the public tour about not being able to use video equipment because Sioux Falls Construction has ‘possession’ of the building until they turn the keys over to the city (even though they have received well over $16 million from the city’s taxpayers).

There is also a question of safety. What if one of these people would have drowned while using the pool, and they had either an association with the city or the construction company? Who would be sued for wrongful death?

I’m hoping this is all just a rumor, but if it did happen, the clowns need to knock it off before we are all on the hook for a lot more then just an unneeded special interest indoor pool built on Federal property.

UPDATE: Is MIDCO stretching the rules of there Aquatic Center Sponsorship?

Update: According to a city official the Project Team (Special projects under the Mayor) jointly agreed to the locations with Midco That decision and proposal went to the Parks board who approved the location. After approval by the parks board, they were installed.

IMG_1456 IMG_1457 IMG_1458


Signs, signs, everywhere there are signs! (26th & Western, Entry to Center, 22nd & Western)

So foot soldiers have been asking me the same question, does the sponsorship agreement with MIDCO include the entire park? No, it doesn’t. In fact the upgrades to the park came out of the parks budget, we paid for them and the building. MIDCO’s sponsorship is only to offset the operations of the facility and pay for certain equipment in the facility, it includes NOTHING in the park or maintenance of the park. So why the big signs? According to the sponsorship agreement (section 7, DOC:MidcoSponsorshipAgreement) The entry sign (to the parking lot) and the two signs on the building are well within the agreement, also any signage inside the building.

So what’s up with the park signage? Is MIDCO stretching the rules a bit? And better yet, why did the city allow this? Who saw this signage before it was placed? Naming Commission? Parks and Rec Board? City Council? Planning Commission?

The signage looks like MIDCO is sponsoring the entire park, and quite frankly, I think the signage looks gaudy in a public park.

This administration would sell the shirt off our backs if he knew he could get a couple bucks from it.

I told you so? One of the main reasons why the indoor aquatic center was built in a bad location

We said it during the campaign, the location will cause issues with expansion (of the pool) and parking. And while I was not totally opposed to a public indoor pool (I think a partnership with Sanford at the sports complex would have been best) the parking situation is going to get very, very interesting;

Construction of the Primary Care addition on the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Sioux Falls is nearly complete, and expected to be open in October. However, other phases of the project are far from finished, and it’s affecting patient care.

“My biggest limiting factor for care, is space,” said VA Health Care System Director, Darwin Goodspeed.

The VA Hospital treats more than 27,000 patients in east river every year, and the number of patients continues to rise. So, the need to expand the current building for more care comes with a price tag of $20 million.

“We’re doing some expansion, specifically to add square footage to our clinical spaces so that we can have more space available to see more veterans – more patient care.”

You also have to factor in the ‘quit claim deed’. Will the VA eventually start chipping away at the green space of Spellerberg for more parking? This location spelled trouble from the beginning, not just because of parking issues and expansion but it is built on a heavily traveled two-lane arterial (Western Avenue), that I nicknamed years ago ‘the parade route’.

Let the parking wars begin.

Terrace Park, Parked, June, 29, 2016

Watch the Director of Sioux Falls Parks announce a policy change on the Terrace Park destruction. All the neighbors and community wanted was a voice in the process of saving the 100 year old park for future generations. The neighbors and friends of Terrace Park want the charm saved while making it safer to explore.

On June 29, 2016 our Cameraman Bruce found his way into the Old Commission Chamber of City Hall for this presser. Terrace park is the only park in Sioux Falls showing the beauty of the natural quartzite stone in the European tradition of stone laying paths, walls and steps. Why does every park have to look the same in Sioux Falls.

Why not move ahead with the allocated budget to repair the potentially dangerous steps while leaving the flat stone paths alone? This would be too easy and it would not look new? Why is concrete the only answer?

We can be glad this out of control project is going to be redone. It’s too bad we can’t get the pouty administration to consider the safety upgrades for now? Are they planning to make potential injury the reason to force the change?

It is also interesting the usual cast of destruction and mayhem are in the room doing the Huether headbob through this presser.

Won’t get pooled again