Sioux Falls City Council MUST repeal Downtown Parking Ramp contract

Councilor Stehly announced yesterday that she is offering a repeal of the DT parking ramp at the January 2, 2018 council meeting.

The council, ALL of them, need to vote for this repeal. It simply is the right thing to do. The council only needs 6 votes to stop a VETO.

The contract should have not been approved to begin with. We already knew about the OSHA fines levied against Mr. Hultgren. We had a dubious 80 year lease, and the 4-6 million in ‘soft costs’ the city’s taxpayers have to pay for. As former councilor Greg Jamison recently said on the Good Ship Lalley Pop show, it’s a great deal for the developer, not so good for the taxpayers. This is a prime piece of DT property, it should come with a prime price that is beneficial to the city. I truly believe we can find another developer with integrity to partner with.

As we have learned over the past week or so, there is now a criminal investigation into Mr. Hultgren, his defunct construction company and Legacy. There was also an environmental fine levied against Hultgren that was never paid because they said they didn’t have the money. The council probably didn’t know this information before the vote but they know now.

So why didn’t the administration tell them? They knew about the landfill fines they also had to have known about the Federal Criminal Investigation that was filed in November. On Wednesday Mayor Huether told Belfrage on his radio show that the city had to turn over videos to the investigators.

Why didn’t the administration tell the council about the fines and investigation?

Why didn’t the developer tell the council about the possible litigation? Seems a little sneaky to me.

What I find ironic is that if Hultgren and Legacy can’t even pay a $20K fine, how do they expect to get $30 million in investors? Also, who would invest with someone who is facing serious criminal charges with possible Federal prison time? You would have to be completely bonkers or incredibly f’ing stupid to invest with these people.

I also find it a little ironic that the council didn’t ask for testimony from the developers at the initial vote of this project. In fact besides Stehly offering amendments, NO councilor discussed the pros or cons of this project that night. This same council will debate for 45 minutes about a church electronic sign, chew out C-Store owners over alcohol stings and pursue limiting malt beverage sales in poor neighborhoods, but doing business with a possible criminal who can’t even pay it’s fines gets passed without any debate or discussion.


The council will now have the chance to take this all back and redeem themselves. I hope ALL eight of them do a lot of soul searching over the holiday season and come to a proper conclusion - Stopping the project – there really isn’t any other options at this point.


#1 Emoluments Clause on 12.23.17 at 11:47 am

But remember, no hats at the Council meeting.

#2 The D@ily Spin on 12.24.17 at 9:06 am

Obviously, this matter should be handed off to the next mayor and 4 new councilors.

#3 LJL on 12.25.17 at 7:25 pm

Can the council initiate a ethics investigation into the illegal asbestos dumping?

Asbestos scares the shit of Jon and Jane Q public. This could have legs into uncovering the Hultgren contracts.

#4 l3wis on 12.25.17 at 8:56 pm

LJL – Oh, I think this topic will come up with the repeal discussion on Jan 2.