More lawsuits against the city of Sux Falls

While our Mayor is dreaming about Events Centers, cotton candy and streets paved of gold, it seems he has to deal with another lawsuit spawned by the past administration. Nevermind the one that was postponed this week about sewer backups from several years ago – remember when we got like 20 inches of rain in 2 days? (yes, kids, this is our very expediate judicious system). Nope this one is about charging businesses that don’t benefit from promoting entertainment and hospitality downtown to paying extra property taxes for promotion they don’t receive;

The lawsuit from Red Buffalo Trading Co. Inc. comes eight months after a similar lawsuit from Ronning Cos. and two months before the City Council votes on whether to renew the tax assessment.

The legal battles, as well as increasing expectations for DTSF from the public, could lead to changes in the way DTSF is financed.

Twenty-two percent of DTSF’s money is from the assessment collected by the Main Street Business Improvement District (BID). That’s why DTSF president Jason Dennison said finding a way to maintain the assessment while still satisfying the group’s membership is crucial.

Without our member-sponsors and the assessment, we really wouldn’t be able to do what we do,” Dennison said.

What do you do? I think it is time to pull the plug on DTSF. Downtown is prospering fine on it’s own, and downtown businesses can do what other businesses do on their own, MARKET THEMSELVES! It’s time to get rid of this special interest front. We already have a Chamber of Commerce, why do DT businesses need a special marketing organization?



#1 Pathloss on 05.19.11 at 1:02 pm

The city is in a litigation stall. It’s going to get worse. What you’ve mentioned but also the traffic camera, false arrests, police shootings, citation constitutionality, landlords, etc.. Contract private law firms handle these while the city attorney runs interference. What’s the costs and where’s it accounted for in the budget. What is the potential combined liability? City ordinances are being revised. Is there a structure problem that’s causing major legal ramifications? Should we postpone the events center and focus on legal repercussions? Will there be lawsuits over the location or because there was no competitive bid process? What if DTSF and BID colaborate and sue to bring the EC downtown? Wow, taxes would pay for both sides of DTSF.

#2 Pathloss on 05.19.11 at 1:05 pm

Soon there will be A’s falling from the city bond rating and bye-bye EC.

#3 Plaintiff Guy on 05.19.11 at 1:19 pm

The city already lost; same reason they lost the camera case. Courts say they have no authority until they comply with SD civil procedures. Lawyers line up against them. It’s hard for them to find one and they’re expensive because they need lots of taxpayer money to sacrifice their reputation fighting against the constitution.

#4 Sy on 05.19.11 at 3:37 pm

Couldn’t disagree more.

Downtown has a much higher percentage of locally owned (ie mom & pop) businesses as opposed to the Big Box type developments. So a dollar spent downtown will circulate many more times in our local economy than if you are shopping at a national chain.

Typically it’s more expensive to renovate an older building, so there’s a higher barrier to entry to someone wanting to locate downtown versus one of the City’s 500 soul-less strip malls. Downtown also has a PR problem that’s been brought to light in the Events Center debate, people think it’s harder to drive in and park in than most any other area of the City.

Plus, downtown is becoming more and more of a tourist draw. We need to keep that going as people who visit might actually want to come back or at least tell friends and family back home of their positive experience. I think if you are from a large metro, our downtown feels like a quaint, small city with a clean and unique combination of businesses, cultural and historic attractions. If you are from a small town, our downtown feels like a big city, but with little or none of the “big city” problems of traffic, crime, blight & unfriendly people.

Our Mayor himself isn’t much of a fan of DTSF or downtown in general, so that alone should be reason to support them.

#5 Johnny Roastbeef on 05.19.11 at 3:38 pm

Pathloss & Plaintiff Guy sound like the same person.

#6 l3wis on 05.19.11 at 8:01 pm

Sy – All I’m saying is that DT businesses can promote themselves on their own. There was a time when we needed them, but I think DT is over that hump.

#7 JohnyD on 05.19.11 at 8:09 pm

PL and PG is the same guy. Broken record. Aparently he didnt take Brenda’s advice. Move along Dan.

#8 Pathloss on 05.20.11 at 9:05 am

Some here do not recognize that the city is not democracy. Corruption is blatant and obvious. Your taxes will be higher and they will go toward legal settlements not infrastructure or an events center.

#9 Pathloss on 05.20.11 at 9:10 am

Some here do not recognize that the city is not democracy. Corruption is blatant and obvious. Some here are even dumber than city administration.