How long did Sioux Falls Public Works know about the $260 Million dollar water plant expansion

Several city councilors have told me they have known little about the water reclamation expansion until after Former Mayor Bucktooth & Bowlcut left office. They have admitted that there was mention that the expansion WAS coming, but the price tag and water rate increases were NOT talked about.

The latest proposal is to increase our rates by 6% each year for the next 3 years and 3% every year after that. We will see how the council debates this proposal. My suggestion would be to bond $160 from the enterprise funds and $100 from the 2nd Penny to spread out the bond payment costs. In reality, the 2nd Penny should pay all of this since technically this is infrastructure/capital.

It is very curious that the pricetag was NOT talked about in the final months of the last administration’s term. Did he ask his Public Works director and finance department to embargo the information over the past year so he could justify bonding for the Administration building, parking ramp and $25 million dollar bond payment for Lewis & Clark? We can only imagine the answer to that question. I would suspect that the Public Works Department has known for at least the past two years this was coming AND it would be very expensive. Funny how this got dumped into TenHaken’s lap after Bucktooth did all his monument building. Go figure. Not to mention the $50 million dollar jail and $190 million School Bond.

If I was the city council I would grill Mr. Cotter on how long he knew about this expansion and the possible costs. Following orders to keep something a secret from Bucktooth is unacceptable.


#1 JKC on 07.31.18 at 6:00 pm

I didn’t get the email. Are wages going up in this town 3 to 6 percent a year, too?

#2 scott on 07.31.18 at 7:42 pm

probably for city managers and directors.

#3 Warren Phear on 08.01.18 at 9:53 pm

6% for the next 3 years? 3% after that? Sound familiar? It should. That’s what they’ve been telling us for the last 12 years. But every three years they come up with a new reason to keep it at 6%.

Joe Sneve told us yesterday the plant was built in 1980 with a 20 year life cycle. Cotter has known since the day he took his job that this day was coming, sooner rather than later. So, what has he done about it? Every couple years he goes before the council to keep rate increases at 6% for JUST TWO MORE YEARS. Two years ago it was because of infrastructure. Yeah. Sure was. 36 million to get sewer lines to foundation park. So, when you raise rates every year at 6% compounded, how long does it take to double your sewer bill? Triple it? Quadruple it?
Not long.

Cotter? Instead of telling us from the day he started this time was coming, he instead bent his knee, and became huethers frontman for the t denny. Very disappointing.

#4 l3wis on 08.01.18 at 11:01 pm

WP – I hate to say it, but I had this moment the other night, when I am supposed to be in that happy place, listening to the latest NPR tiny desk concert, eating ice cream or pistachios (I love pistachios) and I said to myself, “The school bond issue will probably pass, out of my control, and probably nefariously, but I should just except it.” When will we rise up Sioux Falls? When will we demand the truth? When will we say our tax percentages should not rise because our population is rising? On it’s face, it’s silly. But unfortunately it is reality, and we are hog tied. I sometimes want to go back in time and ask Ben Franklin, what can I do to make sure your freedom of press wishes live on? How can I make sure our voices are heard? I’m sure after a few port wines and strong porters and couple of games of cards he would say, “Speak loudly lad, and don’t let the king control your outcome.”

#5 teatime on 08.02.18 at 6:18 pm

Being a taxpayer in Sioux Falls is beginning to seem like being a person trying to pay off a long list of credit card debts by only making minimum payments while continuing to use the credit cards.