Downtown Sioux Falls Private Partnership with parking ramp is a horrible idea, and gets worse by the day

During the Sioux Falls city council informational meeting yesterday, community development did a presentation to council for the new DT parking ramp. I responded at public input last night at the regular council meeting on how baffling it is that a majority of the council supports such a poor plan.

What troubles me is that the plan sounds worse and worse each day, yet the city council gets stronger with it’s support.

Only councilors Stehly and Starr oppose it. Starr doesn’t like the idea we are spending $18 million for only 190-240 parking spots. Stehly takes issue with the investors and Legacy development.

Some things I pointed out, piggy backing off of what Starr and Stehly said earlier at the informational meeting;

  • Why do we need to use the CIP, 2nd penny fund as collateral for the bond? Why not use the other parking structures we own as collateral?
  • Why even go into private partnership with Legacy when we would get more parking spaces for less if we built it stand alone. The city has already admitted we need more parking DT. Why spend almost $100,000 a space when we could spend $20,000 a space? Recently the SF Airport proposed spending that amount on parking spaces for a parking ramp they are proposing for $22 million and 1,100 spaces.
  • If we NEED to go into private partnership with a private developer, why choose Legacy? Even though they are not part of the OSHA investigation and fines, they still could be included in a civil wrongful death suit due to their ties to Hultgren Construction. Why get in bed with that?
  • And one of the most glaring parts of the informational meeting is what was said about investors. At first, community development director, Darin Ketchum says that NO city employees, elected officials or their families or spouses are investing in the project. So Stehly asked Ketchum, “Do you know WHO the investors are.” Ketchum reponds “No.” HUH!? How can you guarantee no city investment from employees when you don’t have a list to compare to? While I am willing to believe that NO city employees are investing, I do think Ketchum is lying about the investor list, I think him and his partner in crime, city attorney Fiddle-Faddle have seen the investor list.

So when will the insanity stop? Will more then two councilors get on board to stop this project before it is too late?


#1 Warren Phear on 05.03.17 at 10:09 am

Question number one for me, and there are many. You have listed the major ones. WHY this site? On the west side of the river? If there is a need for one, it should be on the eastbank.

#2 l3wis on 05.03.17 at 10:13 am

I think the city already owns the lot. It was pretty much the same idea behind the EC location and Aquatic Center location.

#3 Briggs Warren on 05.03.17 at 11:43 am

So my biggest issue here is some members of the council call themselves fiscally conservative yet don’t see any problem with the cost per space. Something just doesn’t make sense there. At least we have the two trouble makers keeping things real.

#4 The D@ily Spin on 05.03.17 at 12:03 pm

This is starting to sound like another Tennis Match. Someone owns it privately yet the public pays for it. Characteristically, city projects are pillage of city resources. Kudos to Stehly and Starr for recognizing it and trying to stop it. The rest of the council can’t seem to recognize extortion or maybe they’re part of these criminal endeavors.

#5 CJL on 05.03.17 at 12:26 pm

Since the location is already a parking lot are you really adding 190-240 parking spots? would we really only be adding (and I am guessing) 100ish new parking spots for the $18 million?

#6 anominous on 05.03.17 at 1:15 pm

Seems you can’t walk from eastbank to Phillips without passing a Legacy project. Wear your hard hat.

#7 Emoluments Clause on 05.03.17 at 2:55 pm

If Legacy is going to build our new parking lot, then I would recommend that you all to drive your second hand car to work or to shop downtown. But if you insist on driving the newer one, then park on the upper level….. It might be somewhat spared like that black Mercedes was…..

#8 Larry on 05.03.17 at 11:22 pm

Daren Ketcham a liar? Another classless, hit & run accusation of the type typical here.

#9 Fluff McFluffin on 05.03.17 at 11:44 pm

SOMEONE is getting some major kickbacks here. Such a waste!

#10 l3wis on 05.04.17 at 8:24 am

Larry, I also forgot to mention that Daren has a rep for being lazy to.

Watch the video McFly. Daren either knows the investors names or he doesn’t. He seems to struggle with giving councilor Stehly a straight answer on it.