Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Parks and Rec' ↓

What’s going on with ash tree removal?

Next Monday (Memorial Day) ends the time period in which Ash trees can be removed from the city this Spring. I have a tree that has been marked since last Fall and have seen no tree removal trucks in my neighborhood.

Now I understand that they can still remove them this Fall (after Labor Day). I also get it that the weather has NOT been ideal (saturated ground) but why hasn’t the city released a statement basically telling homeowners that have trees marked that they will have to just wait until Fall? I have already received 3 mail notices of the removal and have spoken with the private contractor back in February.

Maybe the city attorney is telling the administration not to talk about it in case someone wants to sue 🙂

Golf Cart Shed fire investigation concluded – So what happened?

So if you click on this meeting you will notice this on the agenda;

Kearney shared updates pertaining to the recent fire at Elmwood Golf Course. The inspectors have concluded their investigation. The damaged area has been cleared, the new fencing is up, and the new carts are being stored in that location.

So I watched the meeting (in which I had to put the speaker to my ear because the audio was so bad) and when this came up on the agenda, Kearney never said what they concluded.

Why is it such a grand mystery the cause of a shed fire? It was either arson, accidental, electrical, etc. Why isn’t the Parks Department or SFFD sharing the details with the public? It was a taxpayer owned shed.

Things that make you go hmmm.

CORRECTION: I guess if your car has a flat tire you need to get rid of it

CORRECTION: I just realized these are two different locations. The top one IS being repaired and the bottom one, well, that floated away. Sorry for the confusion.

I was looking at pictures during the informational meeting last night of the recent flood and was shocked to see these pictures. Apparently the city decided to tear down this whole picnic shelter that had one broken post. WHAT?! Even if the other posts were bad to, it would have been a lot cheaper to just replace the posts and put a new coat of paint on this instead of tearing the whole thing down. Ridiculous.

Sioux Falls City Councilors at Dem Forum • 4/5/2019

Janet Brekke, Theresa Stehly and Pat Starr bring their Sioux Falls SD citizen first messages to a joint Friday Democratic Forum lunch crowd on April 5, 2019.

The past TWO Parks Board meetings have been videotaped, you can’t watch them HERE under the RECENT tab. There has never been a formal press release or announcement of this to the public or city council. I found out from a personal email from Jason Reisdorfer.

Cathy B. Makes a pitch to help non-profits

During the last Parks Board Meeting, Cathy asks the board to discount the booth rates during festivals in city parks for non-profits. She confessed this wasn’t the first time she asked, but was told she had to go thru the proper channels (we will get to that in a moment).

Cathy showed the board how other cities charge non-profits less during festivals. Seems like a great idea. They did their normal ‘Thanks for your time.”

But what I found interesting was Cathy was told she needed to go thru the Parks Board first before the city council. I guess they have to put their ‘blessing’ on it.


The Sioux Falls city council is the policy making body of the city (it’s written in charter) not the Parks Board (volunteers) or the Parks Director (appointed). The city council could easily move to change the non-profit rate, with or without the ‘blessing’ of the parks board, the director or even the mayor.

Steps into the River, Huge Fail

I understand we are having massive flooding, so this post isn’t really about the flooding, but about why this project was way over the top. You can READ HERE all my posts going back to the beginning of the project 9 years ago and how something modest turned into a monster overnight due to a greedy developer making legal threats over a contract signed in the middle of the night with Mayor Munson.

That all aside, I did fight to keep the project modest, speaking at city council meetings and talking to councilors (Kermit was the only one that agreed). One of the options discussed, which would have been very reasonable and would have prevented any long term damage like the current situation we have was redoing the trail extra wide (like they did) and landscaping the entire area with natural rock and natural flowers and plants lining the river. Not only would have it been beautiful, it would have been very low maintenance. Instead we wasted millions on high maintenance infrastructure, as you can see above. And now we want to put a $2 million dollar effigy to egos on top of it all.

When a city decides to do projects like this, they really need to look at the long term costs of building such structures. I don’t even want to know what it will cost to repair all the damage from this latest flood. If we would have went with plan B, as I suggested, cleanup would have been a couple of people with rakes and some re-seeding, but instead we have Bread & Circus.

Overlook Café Contract appears to be a ‘done deal’ before council even approves it

Okay, I will be the first to admit, Stensland Dairy was the only company to bid on the Café contract, so it would seem inevitable that they would get the contract. They also have a very good reputation and I’m sure they will do a good job.

But what if the only bid was ‘Bob’s Taco Cart’? Would the city automatically give the contract to them? Probably not.

I found it ironic at the Feb 20th Parks Board meeting Stensland already had a menu (with pricing) done and a Catering agreement with an independent chef before they approved the contract. As the Parks Board has stated in the past, their approvals are ONLY preliminary, the City Council has to approve the final contract. They also will get approval next week on a beer and wine license.

So I guess if you are the only bidder, have a menu ready to go and a alcohol license before the contract is approved by the council, they have no choice to approve it? Talk about getting the cart in front of the horse. I think it would be funny to send a message to city administrators (parks, licensing, planning etc.) and reject the contract based solely on the fact that they didn’t go to the council first before doing everything else.

UPDATE: New Innovation Director ‘Motivated’ by bloggers

I almost had a little tear in my eye when I read the below FB post by Jason Reisdorfer, the newly anointed Innovation Director with the city. He also believes God helped him get the job. It’s always important to thank the ‘Big Guy’.

As for getting things done, not thrilled about 5G, but that had more to do with lining Thune’s pockets and the Feds FORCING on us! Hopefully a Democratic Congress will do a full investigation of how the telecoms are screwing municipalities on the deal.

UPDATE: I was hoping Jason is motivated to start filming the Parks Board meetings as he told me he was working on a solution, and it looks like Jason and God made it happen: WATCH HERE.

Parks Board Member suggests we build whole new clubhouse after golf cart shed burns down

And they wonder why we wanted these meetings recorded?

During last Wednesday’s Parks board meeting there was a discussion about a temporary golf cart shed for 2019. One of the parks board members suggested OR asked if it would just make more sense to build a new clubhouse when rebuilding the shed (I’m not sure who said this, because they have yet to video record the meetings so we could tell who is talking). In Director Kearney’s defense he basically said that it needs to be looked at in the CIP budgeting process this year. Makes you wonder if something was promised to the new golf management contractor and a few people on the board seem to know what that is.

So if my unattached garage burned down by accident, do you think my homeowners insurance would give me enough money to rebuild my house? Hell no. If the insurance company pays for rebuilding a simple shed, then we rebuild the shed. We don’t go into full building mode. There is nothing wrong with the Elmwood clubhouse, this isn’t MCC, and we really are not competing with them. I have felt for a long time we should either sell the golf courses or just charge a flat lease. The city doesn’t need to be in the golf business anymore, especially with so many regional courses. I felt the same way about the indoor pool.

Speaking of the indoor pool, I find it interesting that while this is a government holiday, the Midco is open, but the libraries are NOT. With school in session today, where are a lot of the kids supposed to go for after school programming while waiting for parents to get off work? Maybe they can come and swim for free at the Midco?

How is the Midco Aquatic Center doing?

I was just thinking last week, how is that place doing financially? How much are we subsidizing?

We haven’t had an update in a very long time.

There is also a flurry of rumors circulating that;

• The major sponsor is NOT happy with their investment . . .

• 2019 membership renewals are not good . . .

• Sanford is planning to build an Olympic sized, competitive pool at the Sports Complex . . . (gee, what a concept!)

Not sure if any of this is true, but a financial report would help to clear up any of these rumors.