The Gargoyle Leader’s Ed Board finally realizes something we have all known for a very long time

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If you have been attending the Events Center Task Force meetings over the past couple of months, something was pretty obvious, Howard Wood wasn’t going anywhere. Why?

• There is no secured funding to build a new relocated Howard Wood (let alone a new EC)

• Significant parking can be built by the new EC location without tearing down HW and by doing that alone, you would save demolition costs which is estimated to be anywhere between $5-$15 million.

• The SF School District has enough money in the bank to upgrade the current HW.

But let’s hear why the AL ED Board thinks we should ditch the idea;

But much work remains, and it’s Munson’s and the council’s job to keep this project moving forward. They must not let this project become shelved indefinitely because of political expedience.

City leaders will need to demonstrate that Sioux Falls wants and needs this building in order to get legislative approval for a tax increase to finance it.

That’s part of the problem, #1, it is not the City Council’s job to make a decision on HW, it is the School Board’s job, who seemingly have skirted that responsibility thus far. and #2, it is also not the job of this council to find ways to tax us more, they are supposed to be protecting taxpayers from frivolous tax increases. Now that it seems the Howard Wood relocation plan has been ditched, hopefully the Task Force will come around before the legislative session starts and advise a BB & B Tax instead to fund the building. Time will tell I guess.

Tomorrow, the EC Task Force will present their findings to the city council at the informational meeting, 4 PM, Carnegie Hall (you can also watch it on cable channel 16) I guarantee there will be a slew of questions, especially from Councilor Staggers about the flawed funding source.

On a side note, I found this comment by Mike Sullivan in this article to be extremely odd, for several reasons;

“It doesn’t make much sense to say, ‘Well, we’re only going to pay $3 million for Howard Wood but we’re going to go spend $15 million to go park across the street,’ ” Sullivan said.

Not sure where Mike’s head was when the TF discussed this at a previous meeting, but I recall the TF coming to the determination that they would save millions by not tearing down HW and building flat surface parking around the current location. Mike was sitting a couple of tables away from me when that was extensively discussed, so I’m not sure whose butt he is pulling those numbers from? But even if you use his numbers, when you substract $15 million from $33 million you come up with $18 million in savings.

This project is really starting to become a Clusterf’ck. I can’t believe after talking about this for 16 months, a day before the presentation is made, they decide to ditch an important factor of the proposal. I have a feeling the TF just wants to drop the proposal in the laps of the City Council, who BTW, are not real good at making fiscally sound decisions either. Gawd help us.