You may have missed this item last week at the city council meeting, buried as an item at the end of a 3+Hour meeting.

FULL DOC: 85-th-pre-annex.pdf

As you can see, city taxpayers are paying for OVER half of the proposed upgrades. If you also include the SF residents that live in Lincoln County, you will see even more of Sioux Falls residents tax money going towards this project. Notice the State DOT is giving practically nothing, and the other neighbor that will benefit quite a bit from the project, Tea, is throwing in only $4.5 million. And as usual, the developers involved are contributing very little, even though they have the most to gain from the project. So why does the city continue to expand (annexation) like Flopdation Park and this project, when we are struggling to keep up with our current infrastructure? Sioux Falls should be dedicating that $30 million towards redeveloping our core and central part of the city instead of building interstate exchanges for rich developers in the middle of a swamp.

FF 3:29:00


The annexation task force will meet again on Wednesday.

The city hall rumor going around is that the administration hasn’t been too happy with how the meetings have been going. Too much laughing at city employees, the hooping and hollering and applauding citizen’s testimony hasn’t been sitting well with Hizzoner.

I guess someone from the King’s Court will be attending this Wednesday’s meeting to set the record straight on annexation (not sure if it will be MMM himself, but I doubt it).

What I am unclear about is how is anyone from the administration going to straighten out non-citizens of our city? This should be interesting.

If you have been watching the Annexation meetings, as I have, you will notice a change in direction. In the last meeting the Anti-Annexation peeps (most of the crowd) conducted their own in depth survey and study. Their conclusion? It would be way to expensive for individual homeowners to annex AND almost 90% of them are opposed.

As I pointed out in the past using Flopdation Park as an example, why doesn’t the city help pay for the majority of the cost for the annexation? If we are willing to handout welfare to corporations in annexation costs, why not to homeowners?

I agree with them, the only way I would support such an annexation is if the city paid for most of the upgrades. Otherwise it makes ZERO economic sense to the homeowners to annex. Which brings us to the next question. If the city wants the homeowners to pay most of the cost of the annexation, it must mean it is not economical for the city either to annex the property.

Watching the backlash play out over the past meetings, it’s pretty clear to me the annexation probably won’t happen unless it is forced by the city, and they could have one Hell of a fight on their hands . . . is it really worth it? Not really.

As a longtime reader of DaCola pointed out a few days ago;

Warren Phear;

Speaking of foundation park. Something I would love to see the Argus follow up on. This I know. 820 acres were purchased by whoever for $24,000 an acre. The anchor tenant just bought 54 acres for $106,000 an acre. How did this land come to be worth so much? It came to be worth so much on the backs of SF water users. Getting the needed infrastructure to foundation is costing tens of millions of dollars. To pay for water and sewer to foundation the city raised those rates. Not once, but each year. The gift that keeps on giving. In the 2018 CIP the city allocated $29,000,000 to just get sewer to foundation. Stop and think about it. That is more than the admin building. 5 million more than the indoor pool. All for what? So somebody, don’t know who for sure, can make $80,000 an acre in profit. For 820 acres. Not a bad deal, once you consider who made that land worth that much.

I’ve been following the Annexation study group meetings lately, and one of the main points of the people that may be affected is, “How will this benefit me?”

As you can see from Warren’s comments, annexation was essential to launching Flopdation Park, and the benefits are numerous. The park is receiving millions in corporate welfare in the form of city infrastructure. Of course, the city ‘thinks’ they will recoup these costs in property tax revenue and platting fees. There is also the economic impact and job growth. I don’t think those costs will be recouped for decades, if ever.

So why would we charge annexation neighborhoods directly for these same kind of infrastructure upgrades? Shouldn’t the city just absorb these costs since they would essentially recoup some of this with new frontage fees and property taxes? While I am on the fence whether to NOT charge them nothing, I don’t think the current proposals are equitable, especially for properties that are older. I think maybe an additional fee of $500 a year for the next 20 years may be more palatable, or less.

But there is the bigger question here. If the city feels that they would have to charge homeowners directly for the annexation upgrades, is the annexation even worth it to the city coffers? I guess what I am trying to say is if the city can’t just absorb these costs equitably, is it really worth annexing them? Show to me that it will make our city stronger financially by annexing these islands than I would be all for it, if not, like Flopdation Park, it’s just a handout that benefits no one, and maybe that is why they think they should charge for the upgrades upfront. Now if we could only apply that philosophy to tax dodging Iowa ice cream makers.

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