Historical LED lighting & Secret(?) Bunker Ramp budgets at the Sioux Falls City Council

We will start with the regular council meeting last night. It was a very short meeting with virtually zero questions or discussions. The only fireworks were the expected obstruction from Lead City Attorney Stacy Kooistra, who likes to make things up when he doesn’t want to answer questions. I call it (I didn’t sign up for this) lying. It’s like he doesn’t want to lie, but he has to because the mayor made him accept an appointment because he was childhood friends with Mrs. Poops, or something like that.

Councilor Starr pulled the legal agreement for the Bunker Ramp from the consent agenda and asked Kooistra where the $150K is coming from? Stacy said it was coming from the project budget. Pat asked how much was remaining in the budget, and Stacy couldn’t answer the question without input from finance (who were in the lobby at the time) but the $150K could be covered, than chastised Starr for not giving the question in advance (their normal excuse). Than Pat asked how do you know if there is enough in the budget to cover the $150K if you don’t know how much the total budget is? Stacy then changes gears and says he can’t say publicly out of the best interest of the city and pending litigation, into which Starr replies, what about the best interest of the public and citizens and is the budget really that big of a secret?

It’s not.

The irony is that all of the information is publicly available because it is in the budget book from last year. I guess the fund started at around $1.2 million and now because of all the counseling and lawyering we are whittled down to around $800K and some change. The rumor from the developer is that he was made an offer and declined. Some officials on both sides think this will go to trial, which I welcome. I could care less of the outcome, it will just be nice to hear how this all fell apart in a court of law and the public will truly see how poorly negotiated this was on both sides.

During the last agenda item at the meeting, the finance director (you know the guy that wasn’t supposedly there earlier) presented the delinquent accounts for the year. Starr asked him what the total was since it wasn’t on their presentation. Shawn said he didn’t add it up, then Pat says, “Do you know how much is in the Bunker Ramp budget?” You can guess the answer.

HISTORICAL LED LIGHTING?

During the city council information meeting they discussed all the splendid savings we are receiving for the Pavilion roof repairs. We are actually saving quite a bit of money because we are using $6 million of Covid relief funds we budgeted last year. The consultants said that the roof would cost $3.6 million without the spindles and $4.2 million with them and a little extra for LED lighting. What I found humorous is that they want the spindles to keep the historic look of the building, but they want to add LED backlighting? Is that historic? NOT. It seems like since the kitty is full of Federal money we should just go whole hog, I agree, but we should spend the money on something else, like affordable housing opportunities. I personally don’t think we need the spindles or the LED lighting, fix the cornice cap and more importantly fix the roof and move on already.

Maybe I should put LED backlighting on my roof vents so people notice their architectural beauty ðŸ˜Š



8 comments ↓

#1 D@ily Spin on 01.20.22 at 9:35 am

COVID relief funds for spindles at the Bazillion. Sounds like City Hall. People in a pandemic but there must be a new roof where people should not congregate!

#2 Scott D Hudson on 01.20.22 at 10:52 pm

Interesting approach by the Pavillion. Let the word go around town that they need a certain high figure, and then go in and ask for something a little less than that. It’s still more money than they deserve, but everybody rushes to credit them for being so fiscally conservative.

#3 l3wis on 01.20.22 at 11:34 pm

I heard from a city official why the number dropped so much, it was almost identical to the window replacement fiasco, except this time they caught it before a bid was awarded. They assumed only one company could do the work, and once the initial research was done they found that many companies could be competitive on it. Go figure.

#4 D@ily Spin on 01.21.22 at 12:11 pm

LED lights on a historic building? Really. It’s a joke maybe.

#5 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 01.21.22 at 4:20 pm

The LEDS are meant to help with the landing of a close encounter of the third kind. But aliens are into simplicity. Have you ever seen a saucer that looked like a Gypsy wagon? So the new cornice and parapets will not impress them. Else, the new roof is for a new heliport for the rich and famous. It will give them quicker access to the newest downtown whiskey bar and quite close to SD Trust as well, then off to Dallas, South Dakota. The Pavilion is collapsing and the SD Cultural Heritage Center is getting a squeeze. I would call it planned obsolescence, but give credit where credit is due…. #Developers

#6 Warren Phear on 01.23.22 at 9:55 am

It is obvious Pat Starr is becoming increasingly frustrated with the shenanigans that go on at the these meetings. How he can sit there week after week with this den of vipers is a testament to his willpower.

#7 l3wis on 01.23.22 at 1:15 pm

Pat cannot tell me a lot of the stuff that is going on behind the scenes because the city attorney has essentially put a gag order on ALL of the city councilors when it comes to litigation and union negotiations. But he does hint to me that it is bad. Ironically I don’t think everything that is going on is even that corrupt, it’s just the secrecy of it all when most citizens wouldn’t care either way. It seems the main reason the mayor likes to keep these things behind closed doors is to save face. He knows any kind of settlement with Village on the River will not turn out well because even if we settle it without paying the developer we have already spent over 1/2 million screwing around with something that should have never happened. I remind people that when Paul was sworn into office there was nothing at that site. The building was built under the direction of this mayor and the council at that time. They could have stopped it and they know it. I hope it goes to trial and I hope the developer’s attorneys show the evidence of how the last two mayors have bungled this.

#8 Run It Like A Business? on 01.24.22 at 7:57 pm

As someone who has had the opportunity to observe how major corporations operate at the top it is interesting to me how many politicians want to operate government like a business when it comes to bonuses but when it comes to accountability they revert to government as usual. In the well run companies I worked for, if a manager or their finance person showed up to a meeting without knowing the numbers for the topics being discussed, they would have been learning what unemployment paid the next week.