Aquatics Plan for the Mayor’s CIP Budget 2014-18

The mayor will be presenting his plan at the 4 PM informational meeting, but I was able to get a copy of page 73, which outlines the Indoor pool. $700,000 operating budget each year and $11 million in bonding.



35 comments ↓

#1 cr on 07.02.13 at 3:21 pm

Take a look at the funding sources!!!!!!

That 7m in sales tax is what is currently in the CIP (2013) for the replacement of an outdoor pool at Spellerberg.

Mike is proposing that an indoor aquatic center be designed AND built in 2014 using this same 7m.

The Council will be asked to approve this within the next 90 days, AND THIS IS AHEAD OF THE PUBLIC VOTE REGARDING SPELLERBERG IN APRIL 2014!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#2 Sy on 07.02.13 at 4:27 pm

And it also states that “final site selection” must wait pending the results of the election.

So let’s again be clear what everyone will be voting on:

A. We build the facility as designed at Spellerberg

or

B. We build a $7 million outdoor pool at Spellerberg and we figure out where the $18.5 million indoor one will go and how much more that will cost us when we identify a site sometime down the road. At which time, of course the “Save the Flying J neighborhood” retreads will be out in force once again telling us how truckers will be delayed and someone somewhere will die waiting for their meds because of it.

#3 Craig on 07.02.13 at 4:47 pm

Or if they delay long enough, maybe someone will step up to the plate and raise some private funds to put an aquatic center out near the Sanford Private Athletic Megalopolis (SPAM).

Then again they have had what… six years since the initial vote which shot down the idea of an indoor pool and they are no closer to raising their first dollar than they were back then. I suppose another few years won’t change that.

#4 Testor15 on 07.02.13 at 4:48 pm

Interesting, they are planning a chlorine pool versus the better for people and equipment saline pool.

#5 hornguy on 07.02.13 at 4:57 pm

I couldn’t care less about an indoor pool. I’d rather we build no pool at all, but like Sy I’m also realistic enough to recognize that it’s going to happen eventually. If voting no on the indoor pool came at no cost, that’s how I’d cast my vote.

But the notion that somehow $19 million for a year-round indoor facility is considered a boondoggle but a $7 million facility that gets used four months out of the year is considered by some to be a stroke of fiscally responsible genius… is this some kind of unique logic to this area that us auslanders can’t understand?

#6 pathloss on 07.02.13 at 6:08 pm

This is another case of a major project before a vote or a location. What’s the problem. This mayor is known for illegal procedures. He’s after his 10% contractors kickback before we vote him out. I say keep him elected so he’ll be trapped while in office for public funds fraud and embezzlement.

#7 Poly43 on 07.02.13 at 6:32 pm

At which time, of course the “Save the Flying J neighborhood” retreads will be out in force once again telling us how truckers will be delayed and someone somewhere will die waiting for their meds because of it.

Sy….you’re an ok guy and all, but why comment on something you know absolutely nothing about? RETREADS ????? Really???

#8 rufusx on 07.02.13 at 7:45 pm

hornguy – what outdoor pool gets 4 months of use a year? More like 80 days a year.

#9 Titleist on 07.02.13 at 8:29 pm

The City of Sioux Falls has baseball fields, softball fields, soccer fields, tennis courts, indoor volleyball courts, indoor basketball courts, basketball courts, football fields, sand volleyball courts, skate parks and greenway recreation trails, to name a few of the PUBLIC amenities. Why, and who, are the special interests so virulently opposed to a PUBLIC indoor pool?

#10 anonymous on 07.02.13 at 8:55 pm

Why is a sitting Mayor who is running for re-election pushing anything related to aquatics? This is a community issue that is embroiled in an upcoming public vote?

He is also on the taxpayer’s dime when he is pushing this.

It reminds me of when Mayor Dave Munson and City Councilor De Knudson wrote out personal checks to support those opposing the outdoor pool at Drake Springs.

Also, as cr has pointed out, the sales tax dollars (7m) that he is proposing to use for an indoor aquatic center are same 7 million dollars that will be on the ballot next April to replace the outdoor pool at Spellerberg.

You cannot legally tamper with petition drives and election ballots.

#11 anonymous on 07.02.13 at 9:05 pm

Sy on 07.02.13 at 4:27 pm

And it also states that “final site selection” must wait pending the results of the election.

Sy, you seem to think that all there is left to do for the proponents of an indoor pool is to make a final site selection.

The indoor pool issue has gone down twice when put to a public vote:

December 2005

April 2007

Also, for anyone following the numbers, the stakes keep increasing. In this short period of time, we’ve already gone from 18.5m to 19.4m

In addition, remember, the impact on the operating budget is $693,000 per year!

#12 Big Guy on 07.03.13 at 2:20 am

I googled up for how many indoor swimming pools are in Sioux Falls and there are more than 8 (I’m not including hotels which would be 20+). Most of them are at various wellness centers.

Could the city negotiate with couple of centers and see if city may offer subsidies for monthly usage fee for qualified pool-goers? I am sure the subsidy would not exceed the $700,000 operating expenses plus we won’t need to waste $15-20 or more millions to build another pool.

Thoughts??

#13 scott on 07.03.13 at 7:07 am

Exactly the reason why the city doesn’t need to build. And if they do, don’t think it will be any cheaper to go to the city pool than it is to go to the Y or wellness center.

#14 scott on 07.03.13 at 7:07 am

Exactly the reason why the city doesn’t need to build. And if they do, don’t think it will be any cheaper to go to the city pool than it is to go to the Y or wellness center.

#15 Testor15 on 07.03.13 at 7:48 am

If the city is not able to honestly explore a joint program with the school system why not ‘partner-up’ with one of the 20? Just think, an Olympic length pool attached to the current sports center or hotel. The hotel could gain room and food sales for all the ‘meets’. The current 8 would gladly discuss upgrading their aquatics facilities for the additional thousands of paying customers.

Of course none of these options have been discussed because we have city officials who must own or control everything.

Here are some what ifs:
Just think, if the city encouraged the Ramkota to buy the Oaks land, assist in connecting it to their complex and subsidize it for citizen use, the Mayor could kill multiple birds with one stone…
How about the Ramada, in the heart of the development zone were to be made the same offer?
The downtown Holiday Inn adding on to the north?
Was Avera McKennan ever asked to consider extending their pool to the south, they are well run.
The Family Wellness center in the southwest part of town is sitting next to a lot of empty land, what if?

Have we ever heard any of this type of development discussion? Why not?

#16 Craig on 07.03.13 at 9:42 am

Titleist: “The City of Sioux Falls has baseball fields, softball fields, soccer fields, tennis courts, indoor volleyball courts, indoor basketball courts, basketball courts, football fields, sand volleyball courts, skate parks and greenway recreation trails, to name a few of the PUBLIC amenities. Why, and who, are the special interests so virulently opposed to a PUBLIC indoor pool?”

Most of those items you describe are extremely low cost facilities that take very little to maintain. Soccer fields and football fields… a little water and a lawnmower. Softball and baseball fields – some screeding, a bit of white chalk at tournament time, and a mower. Plus they make money from concessions.

The indoor basketball and volleyball courts are part of community centers which are actually attached to schools. Thus they are taking advantage of structures that already exist but aren’t typically needed on weekends. This is a win-win.

Now when it comes to operational costs, if you can find an example of a baseball field or volleyball court that costs $700k a year to maintain then you might have a fair comparison.

We also have many outdoor pools which fill the need when it exists. The consultants have admitted that the usage of indoor pools if the winter months is a fraction of the over all usage – one figure quoted was that utilization drops to 5% in winter months. Yes I know Sy argues this number because he feels Sioux Falls is special, but even if we triple it and say 15% of the usage comes in winter months it still isn’t very much. Oddly enough kids seem to prefer ice skating and tubing at Great Bear in the winter months as opposed to swimming… who are we to tell them they are wrong?

By the way, those same aquatics consultants also stated that usage of an indoor facility is actually LESS than an equal outdoor facility in the summer months – because when people swim, part of the experience is sunshine and being outdoors. This means that many people who want to go swimming will actually drive out of their way past the indoor facility just so be at an outdoor facility instead.

So when you consider all the above, it really isn’t “special interests” being opposed to this – it is just a lot of people questioning the need for a facility that will benefit such a small portion of the community, but that will cost so much.

It is like a family of one man and nine women debating over the costs to install a urinal in their bathroom. When you stand back and ponder usage and true impact you start to wonder if it makes the most financial sense.

#17 Detroit Lewis on 07.03.13 at 10:54 am

From an email:

Interesting read. Some nice “add on” expenses for the new EC. About $6.15m in “renovating” to the Arena (page 115) and Convention Center (page 117). Includes refurbishing the Arena parking lot and a new LED Message Board on Russell Street. All “priority 1” projects.

Then there is the reconstruction of Madison Street, which apparently they will do AFTER the EC opens. About $5m to rebuild and widen from Western to Louise. When you match up the project narrative (page 43) with the project map (page 62) you can figure out the cost and timetable for construction. It’s a 2015 project (2014 is reconstructing 8th Street including the intersection with Cliff Avenue – go figure).

And that’s how you build an EC for $115m.

#18 Sy on 07.03.13 at 11:11 am

@ Poly Yes, retreads as in the same people using the same talking points no matter where the pool is located (traffic, parking, destroy the neighborhood)

And that 05 vote IIRC, which is the one that Munson and Knudsen wrote checks to support was for the original “rec center” plan which was at the time a $35 +/- multi-use facility that had two full sized sheets of ice, a soccer/football turf area, a competition and dive pool along with the splash park. We all know how the vote went down, but at the time the opponents used all the same arguments and their biggest one was also the retread about “we don’t need such a facility”. Obviously you look around today and sure we didn’t “need” that facility, but had we built it would’ve been used to the hilt, it would’ve had a large corporate sponsor and the community & neighborhood would’ve been reaping the benefits of that high usage to the point where today we’d likely be looking to build another one. Which is also why I question the “5%” number that Craig seems to be in love with. Just look at April & May, we have more crappy days than nice ones so as long as you can buy a pool pass that’s year round, an indoor facility will get used as long as you don’t have to drive halfway to Hartford to use it. And again, all the fearmongering from ’05 is still around, what they don’t have is any real data or evidence that shows what they said then would actually have come to fruition. The neighborhood wouldn’t have been ruined and we wouldn’t be bankrupt as a City had we moved ahead with that plan in ’05…far from it.

As for Titleists point, if you look at how soccer and softball have grown in the last 30 years or so the only “private” money that was put on the table was when someone would donate land for a park. The City would then develop that park land into diamonds, fields, playgrounds, bike trails etc. When a plan came up to spend X amount on what was needed to equip a diamond or field, no one went to the clubs and said “Hey if you can raise half the money we’ll put these up” and/or “Hey if you can go get Morrells or Citibank to open their checkbooks we’ll get this done”. It’s also worth noting that when the City did build these features, they built them to the specified regulation size, they didn’t built them half size and hope that down the road someone would pay for a remodel to make them full sized.

That said, I agree it would be great if the Swim teams could put some skin in the game but I also don’t think it’s realistic to expect them to raise enough $$ to cover a significant part of the construction. But as we’ve pointed out, we aren’t just building a facility for a swim team. What’s proposed is a year-round, multi-use facility that would improve an existing City feature and would also be a boost for the neighbors and the neighborhood in general. Any family with kids or anyone who swims for any reason is a potential user.

I get it that some of you have dedicated your lives to ensuring that Sioux Falls never endures the horrors of building and running an indoor pool, perhaps someone from the swim team stole your best girl/guy back in High School, but can you honestly say you are doing so in the best interests of the majority of citizens?

#19 Sy on 07.03.13 at 11:18 am

Another example, look at the Bike Trails. Has anyone ever said to the bikers that we’ll finish the loop when you put $$$ on the table? Can’t you guys just use the existing sidewalks? And if you make them pay, shouldn’t the dog walkers, joggers & roller bladers all pay too. Should we make all those people buy a pass to use the trails?

#20 Sy on 07.03.13 at 11:30 am

“Yes I know Sy argues this number because he feels Sioux Falls is special”

Not just me, when you compare SF to peer Cities we shit all over them in almost every measureable category with the exception of the ND oil patch. National media has picked up on this so it isn’t something I’m pulling from the sky, so the biggest argument of “can we afford this” is easily answered. The State is in excellent financial shape, as is the City..the bond rating & sale for the EC is yet another example that proves it.

#21 hornguy on 07.03.13 at 12:50 pm

A lot of interesting points have been made by people on both sides of this discussion, but I’d still be curious for someone’s take on my original question.

For people who aren’t much vested in this discussion (and let’s face it, that’s most people in this city), and who are effectively faced with the choice of endorsing a $19MM proposal for a year-round facility or a $7MM proposal to rebuild a facility that’ll be used a handful of weeks out of the year, which is more fiscally responsible choice?

I have a hard time seeing the answer being the outdoor pool, but I’d be open to being persuaded otherwise.

#22 cr on 07.03.13 at 12:50 pm

Sy on 07.03.13 at 11:11 am

@ Poly Yes, retreads as in the same people using the same talking points no matter where the pool is located (traffic, parking, destroy the neighborhood)

Actually, Sy, this is not accurate information.

I co-chaired the 2007 petition drive. Both the 2005 and the 2007 votes involved Nelson Park. The talking points did not involve traffic, parking and destroying the neighborhood.

Why would they?

Nelson Park is 34 acres. Plenty of room for parking.

And the park is located at the intersection of both major east-west and north-south arterial streets. No traffic issues here.

Sy also says:

And that 05 vote IIRC, which is the one that Munson and Knudsen wrote checks to support was for the original “rec center” plan

Another piece of inaccurate information.

Munson and Knudson wrote the checks during the time leading up to the 2007 Drake Springs vote.

Sy says:

I agree it would be great if the Swim teams could put some skin in the game.

On this point we agree, why do you think its taken them six years to figure this out?

Sy says:

I get it that some of you have dedicated your lives to ensuring that Sioux Falls never endures the horrors of building and running an indoor pool, perhaps someone from the swim team stole your best girl/guy back in High School, but can you honestly say you are doing so in the best interests of the majority of citizens?

Sy also says:

Not just me, when you compare SF to peer Cities we shit all over them in almost every measureable category with the exception of the ND oil patch.

Actually, Sy, I don’t think you’re helping the “indoor pool cause” with statements like these!!

The April 2014 vote will reflect if your “wants” are a “priority” for Sioux Falls residents.

#23 Sy on 07.03.13 at 1:24 pm

Touche cr, I again stand corrected. So parking and traffic weren’t your concerns back in 05 & 07, however you did play the “save the neighborhood” card rather heavily did you not? So if traffic and parking aren’t going to destroy a neighborhood, than what exactly was going to had the vote gone the other way?

And since you don’t live in Spellerberg as far as I know, why do you feel you now need to save them?

Your co-chair was quoted in the AL last year saying that she wouldn’t oppose the Spellerberg plan as she had no ties to that neighborhood, is that still the case and if not what’s changed since then?

and again, I’m expressing my personal opinions, not speaking for whatever group (if any) might be working to support the aquatics plan. When I’m wrong I’ll admit it and would hope that’s a two way street.

#24 Sy on 07.03.13 at 1:48 pm

“The April 2014 vote will reflect if your “wants” are a “priority” for Sioux Falls residents.”

Yes, I’m a parent and I “want” another option to take my kids to a pool when the weather sucks. My guess a a massive chunk of the EC vote crowd feels the same way but we shall see. I’m not going to start or join a swim team and I’m not going to be a Veteran, but I’m okay that those groups may very well end up with a facility they can use year round..even if it means as a taxpayer I get to fit part of that bill.

cr you on the other hand seem to simply “want” to block any indoor pool regardless of whether or not we can afford to do it (we can) or whether or not it will get used heavily over it’s lifespan (it will).

$18 million and $600K a year are what where you want to focus the discussion now, and to your target voter those sound like huge numbers (we are actually talking about +/-11 mill and +/- $450K over plan B)….but in reality, they aren’t …not when you look at the total picture of both the local Economy and the City’s fiscal status.

#25 Craig on 07.03.13 at 2:29 pm

Sy: “Which is also why I question the “5%” number that Craig seems to be in love with.”

It isn’t that I love it, it is simply what the aquatics consultants have stated. So do I trust the data given to us by those who get paid to research and opine about these types of subjects, or from a guy who says we “shit all over [peer cities] in almost every measurable category”.

Come on now Sy. Let’s be reasonable. If I need an expert opinion on travertine or backerboard you’re the guy… but I’m not buying the idea that Sioux Falls is so unique to other Midwestern cities that we would experience demand for an indoor pool that is three to four times as high as anyone else. That is a stretch.

As to your statement about the bike trails – are you seriously comparing the bike trail system in Sioux Falls for an indoor pool? Really??

Let’s be clear for a moment. The bike trails – much like a typical city park – appeal to a WIDE range of individuals. The trails are used for a variety of different purposes, they are used by thousands of people each and every day, they are used by thousands of people at the same time, they require very little maintenance, they appeal to young and old, people of all health levels (and yes even those in power chairs and wheelchairs) and on top of it all they act as a secondary transit system for those who bike, walk, or skate to and from work.

On the flip side you are talking about an indoor pool which will appeal to a much smaller slice of the population. If you look at those really pushing for it, you see some trends – people who have kids in the swim teams, or people who want their kids to have more options for indoor swimming in December. That is a fairly small subsect of the population which is precisely why we don’t yet have a private or semi-private indoor pool… because it likely doesn’t appeal to enough people to keep it operational.

People like to say we can afford it, but we can afford to commission someone to build a gigantic 50 foot chrome toilet in the middle of Falls Park where we then flush approximately $2,000 of taxpayer money each and every day (which just so happens to be how much it will cost to operate and maintain an indoor pool).

Heck… just think of the tourism we will bring to town just to hear the flushing sound, and think of all of the free press we will get when the Mayor drives down each day and dumps in a barrel of singles much like Willy Wonka’s Oompa Loompas adding sugar to the chocolate river.

Economic impact galore! I bet Kohler, American Standard, and Toto will be fighting each other to get their brand attached to the toilet… that is corporate sponsorship right there! Plus, if we work with Clorox and get some of those blue tablets, we can treat the water as it flows down the Big Sioux… just think of how minty and fresh it will smell by the time it hits Iowa!

The point is – just because you can afford something doesn’t mean it is fiscally responsible. You will always find a group who thinks we should build this or that or that the city should fund their personal hobbies, but where do you draw the line?

#26 cr on 07.03.13 at 5:16 pm

Sy, I can assure you as I campaigned for the outdoor pool at Drake Springs, I did not personally convey to anyone that an indoor pool would destroy the neighborhood.

Because the capacity of the proposed indoor pool was 660 people, I did express concern about the low-income children in the surrounding neighborhoods having access. Many of these families have limited transportation and are not able to travel to other parts of the city to use a different pool if Drake Springs is full.

Also, you are correct I do not live in the Spellerberg neighborhood. I believe that investing almost 20 million tax dollars in an indoor pool is a city-wide issue. My only involvement in the Spellerberg petition drive was to share with the group what we learned about the petition process in 2006-2007.

Going forward, you will see me speak out publicly in opposition to the 19.4 million dollar indoor pool.

For years, I have volunteered my personal time for local issues. I have posted on Lewis’s current Walmart pc (as city hall observer) if you are interested in knowing the extent of my involvement in local government.

I try to share what I learn with other citizens, and when I do so, I always strive to give as much information as I can, and to do it accurately.

I am a passionate supporter of our park system. Having said that, there are three specific park projects that I do not support because of the tax dollars that have been and will be required.

They are:

South Dakota Junior Football Complex:

Sioux Falls residents bonded for 5.7m for these fields. Of the 5.7m, SDJF Association committed to 1.5m. This obligation to SF taxpayers was to have been met before they took possession of the complex. They moved in August 2013….. and have yet to fulfill their financial commitment!

River Greenway:

I am not opposed to improving the greenway, but, really, why is it going to take 36 million tax dollars!! And, how much sense does it make to build multiple sets of steps into the 13th most impaired river in the U.S. (Source: DNR) Instead, we need to focus on improving the quality of the water in the Sioux River. The 1.97m settlement from Morrell’s would have been a start in this direction, but instead we invested it in concrete and quartzite!

Thirdly, just as I opposed spending 11.2m tax dollars in 2007 for an indoor pool, I remain opposed to investing 19.3m in an indoor pool. I believe it will be a tremendous long-term drain on our parks budget.

We are a city that was built with a commitment to neighborhood parks. Many of our neighborhoods have waited and are still waiting for their neighborhood park. The new Granite Valley Park is a good example of this. Those residents waited 12 years for their park to come to fruition. And there are many other examples that I could offer……

#27 Sy on 07.03.13 at 5:44 pm

Craig, no I’m comparing the indoor pool to other examples of park amenities (for both sport or recreation) that have been added or expanded on historically to our park system over the years.

And your toilet example is hilarious, but not really in the same ballpark. Remember, we have publicly built and funded pools and have had them for almost as long as we’ve had indoor plumbing. What we haven’t had is a competition sized pool, nor have we had one that can be used year round.

Like I said, any parent, grandparent, day care provider, or coach who either swims and/or has kids who swim will be a potential user of this pool, I’d wager that demographic is about as large as the one that currently use the bike trails regularly. Granted, we’ve done the bike trails incrementally over the years, so it’s a given that each segment wasn’t controversial or expensive as it would to build a whole new trail complete with bridges and tunnels all the way around the City in one shot, but you can’t really build an indoor swimming facility over a 10 year period now can you? By that same token, no one has to buy a season pass for the bike trails nor do we have an opportunity to rent the trails to clubs that want to race competitively.

Either way, I’ll hope the consultant are off on the 5% and if that is a true number then I’ll be one of that 5% who brings the kids across town in December to give them a different option to get wet and have some fun.

#28 Titleist on 07.03.13 at 8:33 pm

Craig: Considering your argument, why doesn’t the City just subsidize golf at Westward Ho, Minnehaha Country Club and Willow Run? How much did (and does) the City spend on Elmwood, Praire Green and Kuehn Park? Should we shut down those PUBLIC golf courses? Subsidize the private country clubs? Make everyone’s time on the course tighter? Should South Dakota Junior Golf have “skin in the game” building PUBLIC golf courses? Can you give a list of the private pools you are counting (rather than just repeating a number)? Sometimes things need to be done for the PUBLIC good and not the special interests.

#29 Poly43 on 07.04.13 at 9:07 am

Lets get one thing straight from the get go. The master plan presented in April caters to swim clubs. The Spellerberg plan is for an indoor pool with a ten lane 50 meter competition pool, a two lane 25 meter pool and a complimentary 30 foot by 30 foot wade in pool to appease those who think its for the general public.

Snowfox membership dues? Average is $1,000 a year per kid that includes three three month sessions. Is this in the cards for Joe Sixpack? I hardly think so. I have nothing against the concept of a family indoor swim park. Just make it for everyone, not just the swim club elite.

http://www.siouxfalls.org/~/media/Documents/parks/aquatics/Aquatic_Plan_032813_P.pdf

#30 cr on 07.04.13 at 10:40 am

Poly43 on 07.04.13 at 9:07 am

Lets get one thing straight from the get go. The master plan presented in April caters to swim clubs.

********************************************

In 2007, the last time this issue was put to a public vote, Sioux Falls swim teams had 180 members.

In the subsequent six years they have grown their membership to 250. (Source: Public Meeting, April 2013, Paula Gordon, Head Coach, Sioux Falls Seals)

Capital Cost of Indoor Aquatic Center $19.4 million

Annual Operating Cost $693,000 ($1,900 per day)

#31 l3wis on 07.04.13 at 12:35 pm

The SnowFox swim team had a ‘Float’ in the 4th Parade. It was basically a bunch of kids handing out recruitment fliers* (which is great) And some kind of large Escalade like monstrosity pulling a flat bed with kiddie pools in it and kids splashing around. I yelled out, “There’s your indoor pool, just put a tent over it.” I gotta a couple of laughs.

*The fliers had NOTHING on them about an indoor pool, just membership to Snowfox, they were offering a 1-2 week free trial period. They also note on the flyer that Snowfox normally consists of HS kids and adults.

#32 rufusx on 07.04.13 at 3:33 pm

So….. you signing up? Not fox material?

#33 Craig on 07.08.13 at 12:37 pm

Titleist: “Craig: Considering your argument, why doesn’t the City just subsidize golf at Westward Ho, Minnehaha Country Club and Willow Run? How much did (and does) the City spend on Elmwood, Praire Green and Kuehn Park?”

I’m not sure I understand your scenario here. Last I checked out public golf courses were self-sufficient. This means they actually generate revenue for the city which in turn goes back into their operations. Now I won’t say that every one of them is continually in the black, but taken as a group they tend to at least break even.

Let me know when you hear of an indoor pool complex that could come close to being revenue neutral. The fact is that will never happen and we know this because there are no private indoor aquatic complexes in Sioux Falls. Trust me – if the numbers worked, someone would have built one already.

“Should we shut down those PUBLIC golf courses? Subsidize the private country clubs? Make everyone’s time on the course tighter? Should South Dakota Junior Golf have “skin in the game” building PUBLIC golf courses?”

Why shut down something that isn’t a drain on the community? That’s idiotic.

Why subsidize private clubs when we already have public courses? Again, I’m not following your logic here. You might have a point if these public courses were costing us millions to operate every year… but they aren’t.

The amazing thing is we have all of the public courses and nobody complains they aren’t open 12 months a year. Nobody whines that we need a city owned golf dome so kids can practice their swing in January when there is 14″ of snow on the grass. They understand that golf is a warm weather sport and is more enjoyable under the sun, so when the course sits idle all winter nobody complains because they know next summer it will be back in use… sort of like outdoor swimming pools.

Titleist: “Can you give a list of the private pools you are counting (rather than just repeating a number)?”

Sure – as soon as you quote me where I’ve counted them or given you a number I’ll get right on it.

Titleist: “Sometimes things need to be done for the PUBLIC good and not the special interests.”

I agree – and I’m not convinced it is in the public good to spend $700k a year of taxpayer money so swim teams have a nice place to hold meets and so parents have a subsidized way to entertain their children when the sun isn’t shining.

Seems to me and indoor pool appeals to special interests a lot more than the average taxpayer, and considering how the votes have gone with prior indoor pools I tend to think the public agrees. Maybe this time around they will prove me wrong – it will be interesting either way.

#34 Craig on 07.08.13 at 12:38 pm

Well I screwed up those quote tags, but hopefully you can figure it out.

#35 Detroit Lewis on 07.08.13 at 1:14 pm

“Last I checked out public golf courses were self-sufficient.”

Well, probably. This is kind of a mystery. The Public golf courses and even the zoo have a ‘deal’ with Parks & Rec that is not a part of their individual budgets. That, and any revenue from the courses, as I understand it, doesn’t go into it’s own account, just straight into the general fund. Then we pay ‘Dakota Golf Management’ a contracting fee each year to run the courses. All of this came to light a few years ago when Staggers asked how much revenue the courses bring in (they wanted to build a new clubhouse). After several directors came up and him and hawed, the conclusion was, no one really knew how much (profit) the courses make. Staggers even asked the finance department why doesn’t the courses have their own account. It was pretty revealing.