Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Parks and Rec' ↓

Sioux Falls City Council NEEDS to listen to this Parks Board Meeting!

It seems we are running into some gray area when it comes to who will destroy Ash trees in the boulevard (parking strip – city owned property). I really think it is time the city council proposes an ordinance that makes the city responsible for removing these trees. (It costs around $1,000 to remove a full grown healthy tree, the cost goes up once it is diseased and brittle).

This could cost homeowners (adjacent property owners) millions to take care of city property if the council doesn’t act now!

Listen HERE. First meeting at the top.

Kudos #3 for the TenHaken Administration today!

And the hits keep coming. Three DaCola ‘wins’ in one day for the TenHaken administration. His Deputy COS announced today that all the audio files for the Parks Board since 2016 are online with a promise to eventually go full audio/video.

See, transparency isn’t that hard, you just have to talk to the right programmers.

Sioux Falls City Council needs to reform Project TRIM, ASAP!

The Emerald Ash Bore will soon be chomping down on trees all over Sioux Falls, it’s inevitable. Some of those trees are in city parks and in the city owned parking strips (boulevards) throughout the city.

In the above video, City of Sioux Falls Parks Director Kearney explains that the city will ultimately have to eliminate most of those Ash trees. The city seems to be taking a proactive approach to the problem.

This would be a perfect opportunity for the city council to tackle Project TRIM reform. During the last municipal campaign, Janet Brekke recommended that Project TRIM gets tied in with other city cleanup projects like KEEP & NICE (Brekke created these programs when she was city attorney). Not only could the city take over Project TRIM and take care of the trees they own in the Boulevard they could tie it in with the elimination of Ash trees in the boulevard.

I think the Parks and Rec and the Forestry divisions of Sioux Falls should come up with a 5 year plan to not only eliminate these trees before they are attacked by the bore, but also trim the other trees in the boulevard. It will be costly up front, but once the city goes through a second 5 year cycle it will get less expensive.

Taxpayers of Sioux Falls need to STOP subsidizing special interests at 100%

As if we didn’t do enough monument building in the past 8 years, here we go down that rabbit hole again;

If the Sioux Falls Canaries get a new home anytime soon, it should go downtown.

That’s one of the takeaways from a report that’s been shared with the Sioux Falls City Council that resulted from an intensive study of city-owned entertainment and convention facilities that took place last fall.

Here we go again. A consultant that taxpayers paid for are telling us what the administration wants us to hear. Think Midco Aquatic Facility. When is the city instead going to ask for public input on these matters instead of an expensive consultant?

Sioux Falls Stadium is 55 years old and hasn’t had any major upgrades in nearly two decades. The report says annual attendance averages there have declined steadily since 2013, which could be a result of the game experience that an outdated facility provides patrons.

A new stadium and a more active location could bring those attendance numbers back up, according to the report.

Maybe numbers are down because people don’t care? Why not ask the public? With all the different entertainment options these days in Sioux Falls, maybe people just are not as interested in baseball as much?

If I was the city council, I would explore some options. 1) Tear down the stadium for more parking at the Denty. 2) Refurbish the stadium, but make the baseball franchise pony up at least 50% or more. 3) Don’t build a new stadium downtown if we decide to tear it down. Have Canaries use Harmadon Park, or fold.

Some mention it would make a good place for concerts downtown. Hey McFly, we are building the Levitt Pavilion for $5 million for outdoor concerts downtown already.

Enough already with special interest monument building that none of us benefit from except having another bond to pay off. Besides the skatepark proposal which organizers have promised to kick in $500K privately, we really just need to take a deep breath and take a break for awhile.

I really think the next council and mayor need to use 2018 as a year to review finances. They also need to do forensic audits of all the departments budgets and enterprise funds. They also need to look at deregulation and LOWERING fees and taxes.

This Spend, Spend, Spend mentality is going to eventually break us.

A (Partial Training) Safety report about Falls Park released

What’s the point of giving us something that isn’t even complete? Seriously?!

It’s like the siding report and settlement all over again.

On top of that, it wasn’t even a real audit. That took place in 2013.

Well at least one city employee apologized for his lie . . . uh . . . I mean error;

In an email from Emergency Manager Regan Smith late Wednesday, he said he errored in calling the 2016 review an audit when addressing the media on March 19.

“I inadvertently called it an audit and did not clarify that the SDPAA findings were relayed orally to the city team in 2016,” Smith said. “But I felt it was important to make myself available regarding safety measures taken at our city’s namesake and that no additional recommendations were made in 2016 beyond those implemented in 2013.”

If you can’t trust the Risk Manager, who can you trust?

The Secret Park that used to be Seney Island

When I was at the Sioux Steel open house the other day, the CEO of the company said there was a public park adjacent to the river and their property. He also said it is rarely visited because no one knows it is there. It is basically the remnants of Seney Island after a backfill occurred that Sioux Steel is built on now.

So I was out for a long walk on Sunday and decided to see if I could access the park. First I tried to find a path from the 6th Street bridge, no luck. So I actually walked through the shipyard and entrance of Sioux Steel and found this sign;

Well, it certainly is a park, it has a picnic table and not much of anything else.

There is a historic marker about Seney Island (sorry I couldn’t get a picture of side two unless I stood in the river. No thanks.)

So I tried to see if there was a North Entrance to the Park from the South Side of Falls Park. I found this retaining wall at the top of the Falls with a chainlink fence only a few feet from the water. Maybe since the water was high it was covering up a trail, but I did not see ANY access to the park from the Northside. To be honest with you, I don’t even know what the name of the park is? I also think it is strange you have to walk across private property to access it. I have lived in Sioux Falls since 1991, and I never knew the park existed until last Thursday. It will be my new favorite hiding spot.

Midco Aquatic Center and Golf Course Financials

Click on Images to enlarge

UPDATE: Wouldn’t this be a nice place to build a public indoor pool?

Imagine this also, we would have room to expand, there would be plenty of parking, it would be next to other sporting facilities and a possible new public high school, and here’s the big kicker, we could get a private entity to help pay for building and operating the facility;

Sanford has plans to turn the adjacent rolling farmland it owns into a bustling sports, entertainment and commercial center.

What a grand idea that would be . . .

Oh wait, we foolishly built one someplace else with a cable company throwing us a few scraps from their monopoly business they run in town.

Much like the RR redevelopment, DT Parking Ramp and Administration ‘VETO’ building, our public indoor pool was poorly planned by an administration that was drunk with power, secrecy, entitlement, greed and impatience.

I give the Sanford Sports Complex about 5-7 years and their will be a massive indoor pool built on the grounds while Sioux Falls taxpayers continue to subsidize the Midco Aquatic Center even more.

UPDATE: A whopping 94 Annual passes have been sold this year for the Indoor Aquatic Center with a $17K operating loss for January.

Sioux Falls Park Board Meeting, Tuesday

SIOUX FALLS PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

3:00 p.m. Regular Board Meeting

Downtown Library, 200 N. Main Ave., Meeting Room B

ORDER OF BUSINESS

1. Roll call and determination of quorum

2. Approval of minutes from January 16, 2018 meeting

3. Public input

4. Report of standing committees

a. Marketing and Public Needs

b. Park System Planning and Development

c. Partnerships and Recreation

5. Unfinished business

6. New business

a. Gate Fee Applications:

Tournaments Scott Juhnke

JazzFest Jackie Nelson

b. Great Bear Management Agreement Kelby Mieras, Dan Grider, Steve Sanford

c. CIP 2019-2023 Work Session Tory Miedema, Mike Patten

7. Report of Director of Parks and Recreation

a. Community Center report January

b. Aquatics report January

c. Ice Rink Report – January

d. Golf Course December/Year End

e. Administrative issues report

8. Items added after the agenda deadline

a. The Parks and Recreation Board may include other such business as may come before

this body.

9. Reading of communications to the Board

10. Open board discussion

11. Adjournment

Upcoming events: No scheduled press conferences or ribbon cuttings

*DaCola Note: I find it interesting that they will be discussing the CIP 2019-2023 before a new administration come in.

The Pavilion is NOT comparable to our Parks System

I still haven’t figured out exactly if this editorial by the Argus is about anything, but I certainly found this line troubling and extremely inaccurate;

It is a valuable city asset akin to our parks system, one that enriches those of us who already call Sioux Falls home.

It is NOTHING like our parks system when it comes to value. Many things in our parks system are FREE due to the taxes we pay. What is free at the Pavilion? Nothing. I suppose you could sit in the lobby and take a nap on one of the benches. The Pavilion use to offer many free events and a free visual arts center. Not any more.

And that is another reason why you cannot compare our parks system to the Pavilion. Taxpayers take it in the shorts on many fronts with the Pavilion. We NOT only subsidize operations, but the city also robs the 3rd penny entertainment tax to make upgrades to a building that really isn’t that old and went almost $20 million over budget. The 3rd penny should really be used to promote tourism and FREE public art programs in our community.

The Pavilion doesn’t give any cultural value back to the community UNLESS you pay for it, TWICE. Once in your tax bill and again when you buy a ticket.

Do we need the Pavilion? Most definitely. But I think they should bring back some FREE programming so we can truly compare it to the city’s GREATEST asset, our Parks System.