UPDATE: Not much influence?



We don’t have time for no stinking oil pipelines!

I was partially confused yesterday at the city council informational meeting when I heard Councilor Erpenbach talk about an upcoming joint Minnehaha & Lincoln County commission meeting next week (I think Tuesday afternoon at Carnegie). The meeting will be an informational from the Dakota Access (Baaken pipeline) People.

As we have discussed in the past, the pipeline will be coming very close to the city and through Lincoln and Minnehaha counties. What shocked me was when Michelle didn’t seem to see the importance of the meeting when she said,

“We don’t have much influence over that . . . the PUC has to grant the permit.”

While this is true the county commissions and the city council also have to approve zoning for these projects, and should be VERY involved with the process. For someone who calls herself a self-proclaimed ‘Government Nerd’ she better get to ‘Nerding Up’ on some of her job duties.


Well it has been over two years, and no one has applied for a TIF (imagine that, record building permits in 2014-thank you hailstorms-and we did it without issuing one single TIF) As I have often pointed out, development in Sioux Falls will steam ahead, with or without TIF’s.

A Sioux Falls developer is seeking a tax increment financing (TIF) designation to build an 80-unit affordable housing complex next to Sunshine Foods downtown.

Legacy Development and Consulting Co. is seeking a TIF for a project it wants to construct at the northeast corner of Third Avenue and 13th Street, or just north across from Sunshine.

As we all know, I am not a fan of TIF’s, they take money out of the county for prosecuting criminals and money from public schools. But I will play the devil’s advocate on this one, using the criteria that TIF’s are mainly used to clean up blithed areas I am puzzled by this request. This seems like a pretty simple project, leveling a few buildings, tearing up a parking lot and slopping up some middle to lower income apartments. Seems like a very profitable venture for anyone with the capital to invest in this project. I see NO need for a TIF. If Legacy cannot get a bank loan to fund this, it’s not the TIF that is holding them back, it’s their credit rating.



#1 Dan Daily on 01.07.15 at 2:39 pm

TIF’s funding should become more directed toward reclamation. If a developer has to tear something down or there’s excess sewer and drainage cost, a TIF assist is warranted. I somewhat agree with residential next to Sunshine because of the increase in sales tax. Also, what’s hindered downtown resurgence is the lack of food and pharmacy within walking distance.

#2 Sy on 01.07.15 at 2:57 pm

Bottom line is TIF’s work, not just here but in peer cities both larger and smaller than SF. Legacy is saying that for the same money they can likely build a larger and less attractive box on the edge of town and that the TIF allows them to at least present to their investors a project downtown with a comparable ROI to the aforementioned box in a cornfield. If you like suburban sprawl and having the taxpayer bear all the associated infrastructure costs associated with pushing closer to Tea, Hartford and Brandon than you should oppose TIF’s like this one.

#3 l3wis on 01.07.15 at 3:06 pm

I agree the TIF would ‘help’ but I have trouble listening to the same old argument ‘I won’t be able to do the project without a TIF’. I don’t believe that for a second. Somehow RONNING built DT years ago and has made a pretty good run at it.

#4 Sy on 01.07.15 at 3:29 pm

Scott, that was after Ronning made a fortune building split levels on the edge of town. Today’s investment climate is different. He also build the tower first, which has no parking and I believe is low income, then went smaller and more spread out with the buildings he has around it later, which have underground parking, larger units and more amenities. If Legacy has 10 investors on board or needs that many to get it off the ground (like many developers do) then why would they invest if they can build a 100 unit complex for the same money on the edge of town? Or let’s say the bank says we’re in up to $5 million. Again, if $5 million builds you 80 units downtown or 100 on the edge for essentially the same rent, maintenance fees, and vacancy factors why would anyone build this type of project downtown? You have to tear down existing buildings and that always poses a risk, you have tighter areas to stage in so you end up with more deliveries and more difficult conditions to excavate and pour footings in, there’s all kinds of added expense that you don’t have out by the Tea cornfield. Anyone who builds anything can tell you that, it isn’t some conspiracy that only downtown developers are in on.

#5 scott on 01.07.15 at 7:57 pm

im sure the tea, hartford, and brandon schools districts along with the counties would like the tax money since the sioux falls school district doesn’t seem to want it. minnehaha county would also like it too i’d guess.

#6 Poly43 on 01.11.15 at 12:18 pm

In my opinion this pipeline deal has been a huge fail from the get go. Corrine Robinson did her best to inform us of its pitfalls, but in the end, noems big money backers won the war of the airwaves with one lie after another.

Pipelines involve oil extraction means that cost a lot of money to do. That means fracking and the method being used in Canada. For this type of extraction oil needs to be on the north side of $75 a barrel for these oil companies to make a profit. So what do oil companies do to hedge their gamble in case oil stays below $75 a barrel for an extended period? They purchase derivatives from our too big to fail banks. What is a derivative? Derivatives are essentially insurance policies taken out by the oil industry to guard against fluctuations in the cost of fossil fuel supplies. Wall Street is now flooded with fracking industry derivatives contracts that protect the profits of oil producers from dramatic swings in the marketplace. If oil prices stay too low for much longer the too big to fail banks will have to pay off on the hedge bets oil companies made. It has been estimated that the six largest “too-big-to-fail” banks control $3.9 trillion in commodity derivatives contracts, those same gambling instruments that brought us the 2008 housing collapse. And a very large chunk of that amount is made up of oil derivatives.

That’s why our republican controlled congress gutted the Dodd Frank measure in the omnibus bill just passed. So now when the banks lose trillions on their penchant for gambling, we, the taxpayers will once again bail them out. Still glad you voted for noem….Sy?

#7 Enough of shape places and mmm legacy on 01.11.15 at 7:45 pm

The map images for this pipeline are very poor. Low resolution and very vague. We have a family farm near this and would like to see more info before the sales job starts. Reminds me of mmm. Trust the process. Lol

#8 Dan Daily on 01.12.15 at 12:56 pm

Oil today is 46 a barrel when it was 110 a year ago. Does this pipeline pay now? There’s layoffs and capped wells in oil states. Oil has been transported via rail and more jobs will be lost. What if this oil find goes to the gulf and ends up in China? We’ll have high gas prices again. Low oil prices has practically destroyed the ethanol industry.

Answer some of these questions then reinvent the business plan. Obama and tree huggers cite environmental impact. A bigger picture and the present state of the economy is a better argument. We have oil and don’t need the middle east. Keep our oil home.

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