Metro Council Meeting Update

Councilor Stehly’s Notes on Facebook about the meeting;

Resigning 911 Metro Communications Director Paul Niedringhaus discussing the future structure and governance and oversight of Metro Communications.

Sheriff Milstead now discussing why Metro 911 went independent from the County.. now apparently, they want to come back to the County because of lack of funds. Sounds like the City might be asked to cough up some money as well.

Should Lincoln County come in?…now the Mayor wants to know how the other communities in Minnehaha will feel if the City of Sioux Falls takes over. I say..this needs public scrutiny, discussion and common sense spending.

Beninga now is stating that the Hope was for a regional effort. Surrounding counties might be “turned Off” if this was a Sioux Falls,Minnehaha project.

heriff talking about Metro being on probation…years ago..Gary Hanson time as Mayor..

Four members deciding what the future of Metro 911..I Hope they open this discussion up to the community and all of us on the Council and County…

Barth now talking about a new location..first time I heard about this..How much Jeff and who will fund it?Also Barth inferred that s having the Mayor of Sioux Falls leading the Metro 911 could be a turn off for other communities.

Beninga now asking about the City of Sioux Falls talking on the health care costs for these 911 employees..(a side note..City Council members can’t join the city’s health care.plan. I even offered to pay the total premium, but they said no).

Metro Communications Director Paul Niedringhaus states that health care costs are the number one concern for metro 911… Unfortunately, we all have those concerns in our lives.

Barth is proposing that all governing bodies have one payroll department.

The Argus also covered the MEETING.



#1 Timbuktu on 12.28.18 at 7:50 pm

This whole thing is scary. Slow down, make it public, and quit doing this stuff in back rooms with no video or audio. Thanks for exposing this as one way or another I have a feeling it will cost taxpayers more money

#2 D@ily Spin on 12.28.18 at 10:18 pm

It’s sounding like drive yourself to the hospital or call Lyft. There’s no public service element when it’s up to you to save yourself.

#3 MK on 12.29.18 at 10:25 am

Back when 911 was with the county, the city paid about 70% of the budget, the county about 30% but the county had all the control. The county could prioritize all of the county/sheriff department projects first (radio installs, repairs, dispatch equipment updates).

Then 911 went independent. The city still paid about 70% of the budget, the county about 30%, but now the city and county had a 50/50 split on decision-making.

Why would the city want to go back to a system where they fund most of 911 department but let the county make the decisions?

I’m not sure why the city thinks the county should get a 50/50 say in things at all. If you were a 70% shareholder in a company, would you be happy with a 50/50 controlling interest?

The city pays most of the budget but are also responsible for around 90% of the call volume.

The county can never afford the increases needed to update 911 let alone keep up with raises or benefit costs.

The county’s unwillingness or inability to properly fund 911 has held city police and fire back from upgrading dispatch and radio software in the past.

It’s not in Sioux Falls best interest to foot the bill and then hand control/decision-making back over to the county.

#4 l3wis on 12.29.18 at 11:02 am

I think an ideal situation would be for the city to take it over 100% and have MC and Lincoln Co to pay a service fee to the city, like other communities do for water and sewer from SF.

The first reason why I think the city should take it over is because, well, we have the money. I get so tired of the city saying we don’t have money for transit or 911 but have oodles of money to subsidize play palaces. If we can drop $10 million a year for a mortgage payment on a facility that generates virtually no revenue for the city besides some scraps in sales taxes, we can afford to subsidize 911. Besides, they already get funding from cell phone usage. Thirdly, I think 911 operators deserve a living wage and the same benefits as other city employees. The rumor is starting pay at Metro is $13 an hour. Unacceptable. These people may not be driving patrol cars or chasing down drug dealers, but they have a very stressful job. If we can’t start them out at least $18 an hour, how can we expect to get good people and keep them? Bring them under the city umbrella and let them have union membership.

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