Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken lies about Village on the River

While Paul was still in his garage polishing his medals and ‘other stuff’ I have been following this POS project from the beginning, so it surprised me when he flat out lied about his position;

“Obviously, you know, it’s no surprise that that project hasn’t gone like anybody would’ve like to seen it gone, myself included,” Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said. “But, it was here when I took office, trying to do the best we can with it and move it forward. I’m confident that soon we’ll see some progress happening there.”

To Paul’s credit, he was NOT involved with the ground breaking or taking out the bond, BUT, the project was in stand still when he rolled into office, and he could have stopped it. We would have had to pay a small fine for returning the bond, somewhere around $1 million, but we would have saved taxpayers around $26 million in a project that should have never happened and he could blame Mayor Bucktooth and Bowlcut for the fiasco. Instead he accepted a bar napkin credit validation from the developer and moved forward. To say the Bunker Ramp was completed when he took office is a flat out lie. Of course, I don’t blame Paul for his normal ‘you betcha’ moment, but a cruise control media for not challenging him on that lie.


#1 Very Stable Genius on 05.19.21 at 11:45 pm

I was surprised that someone from the local media even asked him a question about Village on the River, but you are right, there was no follow-up question, was there?

I also thought that KELO story spoke to the subconscious doubt many may have about the newest Cherapa development given what has happen with the Village and Sioux Steel plans.

And, if there really are 23,000 job openings in this state, then how does more office space solve that problem?

( and Woodstock adds: “What the hell is a ‘Cherapa’?”… “It sounds like some kind of fuel economy car designed by Chevrolet in the 1970s to compete with the Soviet Lada or the Italian Fiat, if you ask me”…)

#2 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 05.20.21 at 12:29 pm

They say if you build, they will come, but with Zoom and 23,000 job openings, who then will fill these new buildings? Oh, I get it. It will be a facade of buildings similar to what they do in Pyongyang. You must keep Kim Jong-developers happy, you know.

#3 D@ily Spin on 05.20.21 at 7:04 pm

To be fair, Huether initiated these projects. He’s most responsible for the empty parking garage. When TenHaken ran for mayor, he wasn’t fully aware of Huether’s overbuilding with inflated bond equity. Someone had to be mayor and take over debt and narcissism left behind by Huether. Actually, growth has been phenomenal. Financial stability is possible before the next mayor is elected.

#4 Mike Lee Zitterich on 05.22.21 at 6:00 pm

Still the “Land Owners” the property holders have built a viable city, even with the debt, which I do not always agree with, the City of Sioux Falls is a wealthy city by financial means.

The City of Sioux Falls is worth nearly $2,000,000,000 billion dollars; the equity value which the Land Owners (property holders) would receive if we ever dissolved the city.

The Enterprise Funds – City Lights, Land Fill, Public Parking, Water, Water Reclamation all have net positions of $595,983 million combined.

The 2nd Penny generates almost $70,000,000 a year, while 70% of that penny is tied to the debt. We can over the next 2 years establish a new 2nd Penny Financial Plan with a little transparent policy making.

Paul Ten Haken has done a great job at holding down the fort, not taking on any major new debt projects, and he has actually paid down the debt, which is even better yet.

When Ten Haken took office, obligation wise, there was nothing he could have done to stop the Public Parking Ramp, but he did stop the bigger part of the project – the Commercial-Trade Tower due to the coming legal battles.

The Public Parking Ramp will be just fine.

#5 l3wis on 05.22.21 at 6:53 pm

Zits, the bunker ramp wasn’t built 15 years ago, it was around 2 years ago. When Paul took office, some on the council were still trying to stop the project and all that stood there was a pile of dirt. The Mayor and the council knew they could stop it. But instead of doing their due diligence, the mayor with his assistant mayor held a press conference declaring that Lamont gave the city a ‘letter’ declaring his was ‘good for the commitment’. That’s it. Me thinks that bond salesmen got to him and told him if he paid the bond off early, with the fine, that they would make life very, very, very difficult for him. They don’t care if Lamont built a hotel or not, they know the taxpayers are on the hook for the bond payments. Paul could have absolutely stopped the project and he knows it, and he looked straight in the face of the Smelland reporter and bald face lied. If that is a ‘good job’ in your eyes, I guess you prefer our mayor lies instead of owning up to the massive failure this ramp was.

#6 Mike Lee Zitterich on 05.23.21 at 1:42 pm

Reason I stated “Obligations” as per the contract to sell the bonds. So you say the Mayor and Council could have stopped the project all day long, but what do you say to the “obligation” agreed to once the bonds were sold, and people expected to get paid?

I am not saying the “ramp” good or bad, lets have a discussion what happens once a “person” or “entity” accepts the cash, signs on that dotted line, and enters into that promisary note thus obligating themselves to the holders of such ‘bond note’. You say it was just as easy as to pay a fine, but then where the “bond holders” counter sue the debtor, costing the debtor not only the penalty, but court and legal fees, future developmental projects, etc, what then is the true costs?

The true ‘answer’ may be in the aggressive nature of how the City has been attempting to complete the River Greenway Project, Remove the Tracks from the Area, Expand and Redevelop the East Bank, and fulfill their contracts with Downtown Sioux Falls, the Sioux Falls Development Group, Cherapa Place, Uptown Redevelopment Group, Forward Sioux Falls – to whom the City has promised and obligated themselves to they day they committed to rebuild Downtown.

Lets keep in mind, these obligations began way back in the mid-1990’s.

Was it still easy to just break a “bond note” and go a different direction? The entire “Downtown Development” is a spiderweb of obligations.

There must have been some power play of course, that contract originally signed by Mike Huether obviously had a “iron clad” agreement attached;

And, where you and I both agree – the Land Developers do control the purse strings…Go against them, and bam – any mayor, past or future no longer can accomplish their goals, dreams, promises, agenda.