SF Quality of Life Bond Breakdown

Quality of Life II Bond
Library & Park/Recreation
Estimated Use of Proceeds

$4.3M Westside Library
The Western part of the City has grown considerably in recent years with continued growth expected in both the Southwest and Northwest areas. The Planning Department estimates the current population west of I-29 and south of 12th Street to be more than 16,000 people with an expected population of almost 30,000 by 2015. Population estimates for west of I-29 and north of 12th Street are 2,600 currently with nearly 13,000 projected by 2015. The closest libraries for these residents are the Main Library at 8th Street and Dakota Avenue, and the Caille Branch Library at 49th Street & Carnegie Circle. Neither of these locations provide convenient & easy access for residents living west of I-29. Convenient & easy access to library service is an objective to the City’s 2015 Development Plan. This plan calls for branch libraries to be built in both the Southwest & Northwest areas of Sioux Falls. Equipment includes FF&E that may or may not be capitalized. Operating impact includes adding 5 full-time and 2.5 part-time positions with total personnel costs at $389,266.

I think this is a great use of taxpayer money, BUT I think it should be paid for out of the regular budget, especially for libraries.

$5.0M River Greenway Improvements
The City Council approved a resolution that allowed the Mayor to enter into an agreement with Zip City Partners LLC that gives the City an option to purchase property on the old Zip Feed Mill site for the construction of an events center. As a consideration, the City agreed to make improvements on City owned property adjacent to the Zip City Partners property and construct a pedestrian bridge connecting the east and west banks of the Big Sioux River. This project follows the conditions of the agreement and encorporates the visions of the adopted Sioux Falls Greenway and Riverfront Master Plan. The master plan also identified a need for shaded rest areas along the recreational trail.

This expenditure is suspicious. The suspension bridge has a pricetag of $750,000 (which is too much for a pedestrian bridge over a large creek), but where I get more suspicious is paying $4.25 million for ‘shaded areas’. This part of the bond is certainly ‘shady’ on details.

$4.2M Youth Sports (Junior Football) Complex

SD Junior Football has been steadily growing for a number of years and has maxed out the number of games they can play in a week at Riverdale Park. They have been turning away players the past 2 years and will have to continue to cap the number of teams/players they can accept. The 8 fields are based on player projections by SDJF and 15 year participation trends. No site has been identified at this point.

Like I have said in the past, I am on the fence about this. I think it would be okay to build more football fields, BUT, I also think it could be done cheaper, in a partnership with the school district and could be budgeted. Taking out a loan for a football field is a poor use of taxpayer’s credit line.

$2.5M Zoo Master Plan Improvements
The master plan for the redevelopment of the Great Plains Zoo has been completed and outlines the improvements needed. The first phase of the master plan includes relocating the rhino exhibit to the Africa area. This will free up space to accomplish the other improvements identified in the master plan. Phase 2 will include improvements to the entrance of the zoo and renovate the flamingo and monkey exhibits. This project was selected for the 2010 Community Appeals fund raiser.

I am 110% against this. Whether we borrow the money or budget it, it is a joke. We should have never bought the zoo, it was one of the stupidest decision this city EVER made. Though I will agree the new director has really improved the facility, my opinion about the zoo (and Great Bear for that matter) is if these facilities are being used and needed they will find a way to be self-sufficient. I don’t think my tax money should go to rhinos, monkeys and pink birds. Sorry.
$16.0M Subtotal Project Costs
$1.1M Capitalized Interest
$1.4M Contingency
$18.5M Bond Ordinance Total


#1 redhatterb on 05.03.09 at 7:52 pm

I agree with most of your comments about this. My thought about buying land for an event center, is what will they do with the land if it is decided to build an event center someplace else? The city doesn’t seem to think ahead—it’s a matter of what they want is what is done—kind of like my “ex.” I can remember when admission to the zoo was free. I know a few years ago, the zoo in Watertown didn’t charge admission. I also feel that if the zoo, Great Bear and the Pavillion are necessary, and being utilized to the maximum, the should be self sufficient.

#2 l3wis on 05.04.09 at 6:50 am

Not only should they be self-sufficient they should be able to build an endowment so when the monkey crappers go bad or the pink bird’s barn roof falls in, they have the capital to fix it without running to the city and asking for money.

#3 Ghost of Dude on 05.04.09 at 7:23 am

I agree with most of your comments about this. My thought about buying land for an event center, is what will they do with the land if it is decided to build an event center someplace else?

They sell it – probably at a good profit. It’s a fairly valuable piece of land.

#4 l3wis on 05.04.09 at 7:32 am

GOD- That would make sense, but that’s not how the city currently does business, they’ll hang onto the land as long as they can, make a park out of it or something stupid like that, so it ends up costing us instead of putting it on the tax rolls.

On a separate note, I also want to add that I heard from a very reliable source that Sanford is finalizing negotiations with the Hockey association about building a new ice rec center at the Jr. Football field location. It’s strange that the city hasn’t mentioned anything about this considering they are going to vote on the bonds in a week. I almost wonder if Sanford is holding back until after the vote. I guess the only thing missing is their John Hancock.

We’ll see if the Hockey Rink is brought up in the informational meeting today when they do the quality of life bond presentation. My guess is that they will dance around the issue.

#5 Plaintiff Guy on 05.04.09 at 8:41 am

Boy, I hope this waits for a new mayor and council makeup. It’s ripe for corruption. I’d like to see competitive bid process restored without ‘strong mayor’ decided contractors. The city should buy land at market value rather than the usual zoning citations until you concede method.

#6 Ghost of Dude on 05.04.09 at 8:48 am

I seriously doubt they’d be dumb enough to turn that area into a park if they don’t build an EC there. It’s too valuable and less than a mile from two other parks.

They’re dumb, but they’re not that dumb. Besides, Munson is gone in 2010 anyway.

#7 l3wis on 05.04.09 at 9:12 am

I also think that they have a ‘choice’ to purchase the land ‘IF’ they decide to put the EC there. I may be wrong, but I always thought that was the original deal.

#8 Ghost of Dude on 05.04.09 at 10:29 am

Even if that’s the case, they should go ahead and buy it. It would be better for the city to own it now at its present value and be able to reap the benefits of either selling it off or building the EC there.

#9 l3wis on 05.04.09 at 11:02 am

I think the task force needs to get there asses in gear and figure out a location.

#10 Ghost of Dude on 05.04.09 at 11:38 am

They’ve already picked the location they like. It’s just a shitty location – Howard Wood Field.

#11 l3wis on 05.04.09 at 11:46 am

Well, they need to spill the beans. I love how everybody likes to play ‘hot potato’ with political things in SF. I wonder if holding off the decision has anything to do with Darin Daby running for re-election on the school board and that election next Tuesday? Betcha he avoiding saying anything publicly until he is re-elected. For once I would just like politicians to make a decision based on what’s good for us – not for them.

#12 Ghost of Dude on 05.04.09 at 12:11 pm

I applied to be on the task force, but I guess I’m not a politically-connected enough average citizen.
Fine with me, though. The guy in charge of it has a really annoying voice.

#13 l3wis on 05.04.09 at 12:36 pm

Maybe they know you are ‘politically-connected’ to South DaCola? That’s an automatic shredded application everytime!

#14 Ghost of Dude on 05.04.09 at 1:44 pm

Impossible. I never use my real name on the internets. Not even for the dining guide.