UPDATE: Cameraman Bruce wanted me to remind you of this post from March of 2020, and this added commentary;
The article is credited to me and the maps are still true.
The river bed was never owned by anyone but the federal government and since it was part of a navigable it cannot be taken over by anyone without the Corp of Engineers releasing it and likely an act of congress. Sioux Steel never owned the river bed filled in by garbage. The reason the city is not releasing any of their documentation is due to the faulty â€œquit claimâ€ deeds they might be citing.
The city attorney, Lloyd Companies and Sioux Steel are playing fast and loose with the facts to seal the property permanently. Sioux Steel cannot give away property then never owned. They were and are squatters with no real claims to the property.
The parties to the development including the Sioux Falls city attorney, Lloyd Companies and Sioux Steel must prove they have the rights to continue building on and trading property they do not own or have rights of fee simple.
So if you watch the city council meeting tonight, Item #12 is a land easement deal with the developer of the Sioux Steel project. While that certainly isn’t anything to raise eyebrows over since the city does these kind of deals several times a year, what makes it concerning as you watch the discussion is that the Planning Department, the City Attorney’s office and likely the Mayor’s office hid this information from us and the city council for over 18 months. Wouldn’t this land transfer deal be something that should have been presented to the citizens before BOTH TIFs for this project were presented? What makes it even more interesting is that it seems some of the information remains confidential even though the city is having a public meeting, discussion and 1st vote on this land deal. Remember when they terminated former City Clerk Debra Owen? Deja Vu.
It also gets even more nefarious when you consider that this land transfer will end up costing taxpayers millions more because the land we are getting from the developers will suddenly become river greenway property that we will be responsible to develop.
Luckily this is only 1st reading, and hopefully the council will be able to really dig into what is going on here, and hopefully by 2nd reading some of those secret legal documents will appear.
At first glance, it is my guess that this was kept from the public and the city council for this long because it is NOT a good deal for us, and they tried to skate this as long as they could (or at least until they got their precious TIF).
I keep telling you folks, there is a lot of ‘stuff’ going on behind closed doors at city hall, and it is NOT to our benefit. And the irony is this is all occurring while the head city attorney is rumored to be on an extended vacation – how convenient for him?