UPDATE: Proposed Downtown Parking Ramp; A BAD DEAL for taxpayers

Trust me, I’m still baffled why possibly six city councilors and the mayor support this ramp with so many strikes against it. I am not one least bit surprised though that the development community and their upper crust friends support this, if this passes it will set a precedent paving the way for them to cut the same deals.

The laundry list of issues are obvious; A rock bottom, 80 year lease. Taxpayers covering over $6 million in ‘soft costs’ that should be either shared or paid entirely by the developer. Not enough parking spots (we will only net beween 290-390) for the price we are paying. No clear explanation of rate increases and how the bond will be paid back besides the detrimental idea of using the 2nd Penny as collateral. Not even an inkling of who the hotel franchise might be, the retailers or ‘possible’ private investors – lack of transparency. And lastly, the most egregious, we are possibly signing a contract with the person who is responsible, according to OSHA’s levied fines, for the Copper Lounge collapse making him an obvious legal liability.

But what is even more troublesome is the ‘deal’ we cut for the taxpayers. If we are going into a Private/Public partnership, shouldn’t we be negotiating a good deal for the taxpayers instead of the other way around? Especially after we have spent almost $1 million on engineering, architectural and legal fees, not mention this will be built on OUR land.

This has to be one of the most poorly constructed proposals the city has ever presented in the past decade, and I really mean that. As a councilor, I would be ashamed and embarrassed to vote for such an obvious scam.

If the council thinks they heard a lot of vitriol and rancor from the public before the vote, if they vote for this, I think the second round of frustration will be a lot worse.

Good Luck tonight, you are going to need it.

UPDATE: I just got a tip from someone who works in the hotel/motel industry in SD that the hotel partner will most likely be a ‘select service’ provider (similar to a Homewood Suites). This is NOT considered a FULL SERVICE Hotel. So I asked him if Legacy (and the city) probably knew who that was provider was, and that it was most likely. So I wondered why they have not said who it was yet, and encouraged a city councilor to ask tonight.

So I also asked this person about the lease agreement. They basically said what we have all known for awhile that it was a heckuva a deal and really unheard of (one time payment for 80 years). Like I said, we are getting hosed on this all the way around.


#1 Siouxland Swamp Councilors on 12.05.17 at 12:48 pm

To the Swamp councilors who support and vote for this anti-citizen proposed ramp: We average citizens are watching to see whom you choose to represent, us or the developer, investors, and city hall, the elite.

If you choose to vote against the will of the citizens, whom you are supposed to represent, we will NOT vote for you, nor support you for reelection!

Vote NO on the proposed parking ramp!!!!!!

#2 matt johnson on 12.05.17 at 2:37 pm

Just a silly little aside but the mayor has said we have made a mistake in the past but not building better foundations so we could build on to our existing ramps by going higher. Now when we argue that no more spaces can be added to this ramp due to the upper level development they tell us no one wants to go higher up in the ramps anyway. You can’t have it both ways.

#3 l3wis on 12.05.17 at 2:56 pm

MJ, good catch. That’s another thing that has been going on over the past couple of weeks on this project, talking out both sides of their mouths. Ketchum tells Stehly her NOTICE facts are correct, then says later they were not, but did not want to argue. He also says post tension concrete is better and more expensive, than gets his ass handed to him by Gage Brothers. Then the mayor says we made a mistake by not putting in better foundations to expand parking ramps later, then Neitzert tells us our parking consultant said NOT to go higher than 4 stories. What a fiasco.