Entries Tagged 'Bunker Ramp' ↓

What are the Legal Struggles with the Bunker Ramp?

We have not heard much for awhile. In fact, even if the City Council has heard anything in executive session, they haven’t said much either.

We know that the developer, has put in a counter action asking to complete the project scaled down, but we know that would be a breach of contract.

City Hall moles and others in the media have told me there hasn’t been any lawsuits filed by the city. The reason? The rumor is the mayor has chosen NOT to sue Lamont based on being a nice guy.

Sadly, this isn’t the mayor’s decision. The breach of contract occurred against the taxpayers of Sioux Falls, not his administration, and the citizens should sue based solely on that.

Not only should Lamont NOT be allowed to finish the project half-ass, the taxpayers of this city deserve some kind of compensation for leaving us a hunk of crap. But of course this would mean several past and current councilors and two mayors admit the mistake and apologize for not pumping the brakes early on. Of course, corrupt, authoritarians don’t do things like that.

The real reason the city is NOT suing is because they don’t want this to look like a major F’up, which it is. I wonder if the developer will walk away with no fines and no deal? Don’t know, we may never know.

And I wonder what developer will be waiting in the wings . . . with a TIF to boot?

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.

The Bunker Ramp is going to bite us in the rear

The Audit Committee of Sioux Falls meets tomorrow, and they have some precarious recommendations about the Parking Enterprise Funds.

As you can see our debt service is extremely high (mostly due to an ill-advised Bunker Ramp). There is even suggestions that parking employees work in other departments.

This is what happens when supposed leaders make very bad decisions. Will we ever learn?

City of Sioux Falls decides to cover Downtown Bunker Ramp wall with large banner that says ‘LAWSUIT PENDING’

Okay, just kidding, but one wonders what is going on.

If you nose around on the local dockets you will see there has not been any set court dates to handle the pending lawsuit with the city and the proposed developer. In other words it seems the city is no further along then they were when this whole fiasco was exposed.

Also, parking revenues are down, so it will be interesting to see how the bonds will be paid for an overbuilt parking ramp that no one has used. I have often suggested they build several floors of studio apartments on the site.

Also, why weren’t there any proposals on decorating the Chernobyl like building?

But lastly, I’m still waiting to hear a formal apology from current and past mayors and councilors who put this fraudulent disaster into motion even after they were warned multiple times that this would turn out to be a pile of poo poo.

If there is one thing city government in Sioux Falls is getting better at it is spending large amounts of our tax dollars on failures. As for necessary infrastructure maintenance, we call on church volunteers.

How large of a tube of lipstick do you need to put on a pig that’s six stories high?

Best mural idea so far.

Guest post by Bruce Danielson (edited by publisher)

In the middle of a pandemic we’re going to spend more money on the bunker ramp to cover up the mistake and the error.

A request for proposals issued today calls for submittals involving community art and site enhancements at the new Mall Avenue parking ramp at 110 S. Mall Ave.

Proposers should “consider opportunities to positively impact the experiences of all who may encounter their project, including visitors, residents and employees,” the RFP said.

This is what a colorblind graphic artist does for leadership. How about, we cut a deal and fix the problem?

The downtown business people are so pissed off with how ugly this thing is, the color blind are now looking for sponsors to buy a big old huge tube of lipstick.

Will it be pink, purple or rogue? The optics are very interesting. What sponsors are going to do this and put their names on it?

We have people losing their homes, being food insecure and our administration decides we’re going to find sponsors to put lipstick on a pig. There are only limited dollars in the community and once again we’re having businesses line up at the cosmetics counter at Macys to see if there is enough stock.

Didn’t anybody with a brain get the memo?

Apparently it got to the code enforcement office and this is why they’re trying to change the mural ordinance? Can you imagine after the SouthDaCola story and Cameraman Bruce’s recent City Council comments and photos about the parking ramp somebody in City Hall said “Let’s find a way to paint or install murals on the bunker I mean, blunder, oops I mean, parking ramp and maybe we can hide it?”

Then an over anxious code enforcer reminded the color blinded “Our ordinance won’t let us do it, we’ll have to give the mayor a violation.” Then he added, “Do we just put his ticket in a blue Shopping News plastic bag and tie it to the Mayor’s Office door? Whose going to do tie it and then pay it?”

The brainiacs in City Hall got working, real hard, because it takes a lot to put lipstick on a pig. We should know by now, this town’s administrations do not do anything without an ulterior motive. They are making it look like times are a changing finally but in fact they are dreaming of a pig wearing rogue lipstick while forgetting about the stink permeating around it.

This makes one think of the Dolly Parton line, “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.”

Once again Sioux Falls is using art to cover-up a disaster, 6 months at a time. BTW, where do we get lipstick by the gallon?

Maybe we should put the guilty party on the side of the ramp?

Publisher’s note, I found this little tidbit interesting in the RFP;

• Evoking positivity and exemplifying a One Sioux Falls spirit.

I have been an artist and graphic designer for over 25 years, and over that time I have many people request irrational crap like this. I often just tell clients or commissioners, ‘No really, what do you want it to look like?’ ‘Feelings’ and ‘Emotions’ mean different things to different people. Use Rothko’s work as an example. Many people think it is ugly, boring or meaningless while others look at it and have deep emotions.

And BTW, what does One Sioux Falls even mean? I am still baffled by this initiative that seems like something TenHaken cooked up after taking a Dale Carnegie course and listening to old broadcasts of Norman Vincent Peale. When will our local officials stop trying to sell us stuff?

Former Sioux Falls Mayor Got SH*T Done?

I remember when Bucktooth and Bowlcut was walking out the door, it seemed the last 100 days of his administration we were reminded of all the ‘S**T’ he got accomplished (not my words, his). But only a little over 2 years later, let’s look at those supposed accomplishments;

Railroad Redevelopment. While this hasn’t totally flopped (there are a few projects and apartments being built in the area, after developer friendly deals were cut at taxpayer expense) The major developments flopped due to issues with engineering and bedrock. I actually don’t see this development ever coming to fruition for at least 20 years. It was touted as his greatest accomplishment but really was just a massive waste of Federal tax money that never solved the rail traffic issues downtown. They continue to store rail cars downtown less than a few blocks away. And to add insult to injury, we are spending millions for an overpass on 26th street so the trains can continue to march through downtown.

Events Center. Besides the possible impending doom if Mr. S gets brought up on criminal charges, the Denty has been nothing but a complete failure only 5 short years after it opened. Not just the major screw job on the cheap siding and many other issues with the building, sponsorships have continued to fall and attendance is at near zilch. And that’s not just because of Covid. Last year several businesses in the area complained that there was little activity at the place. Besides the rusted up tin can looking like a total waste, taxpayers are stuck with propping up this place with around a $10 million dollar a year mortgage payment while a majority of the profits go straight out of town. We didn’t need a new Events Center, and I think citizens will come to that realization within the next few years.

City Administration Building. Besides the fact we didn’t need this place, it has had issues from day one. The HVAC that clearly got screwed up by the CMAR had to be replaced at taxpayer’s expense, with still no word from the city attorney’s office if we will get reimbursed (likely not). When we decided to gift the other city building for the TRIAGE center, it proved that we didn’t really need another city office building. This was just another developer handout because of some backdoor promises MMM made .

Indoor Aquatic Center. I haven’t been in the place since it opened, but what I have been hearing from peeps in the neighborhood, it is turning into a real wasteland. There has been issues with the windows, leaks in the pool and extensive rusting. And that’s just the little things. There has also been multiple complaints about customer service and the horrible locker rooms. Attendance was also down before COVID hit and our subsidies grow every year. Now I wasn’t opposed to an indoor public pool, but I think we should have done it with a partnership with Sanford Sports Complex and built the pool out there. So not a total failure, but wrong place and wrong deal. I suspect it will become VA property within 10 years.

Bunker Ramp. This is the disaster that keeps giving. After MMM & Mini-Mike Darrin Smith screwed up the initial development, they marched forward with the guys that were associated with the Copper Lounge collapse LLC debacle. Even though many in the public and in the developer world told them it was a bad idea to get involved with these folks, a majority of the council pushed forward. Then when Mayor Stoneless rolled in, he also passed on the opportunity to kill it (contrary to what many believe, Paul and the council could have stopped the project and paid a bond funding fine, which could have been around $1 million, but saving us about $25 million). Not only did the past mayor and council fail to stop one of the biggest dupes on the public, the current administration continues to bungle with this project. Recently they decided to sell two flat surface parking lots (I’m guessing to push those parking tenants to the ramps). The worst part is that neither the current mayor or past mayor and councils apologized for this massive f’up. That  building will always be a stark final reminder of MMM’s legacy of a multitude of failures.

He did have one success during his administration. He supported and endorsed Snowgates, even though he could not get it passed through the idiots on the council at the time. It took a petition drive by Stehly to get this service. So in a sense, he failed at snowgates also.

When I hear rumors about a possible run for mayor again in 2022, I look at the above screwups and wonder how he even thinks he has a snowball chance in Hell of ever serving in public office again? If I was MMM, I would just plan on spending more time at my trailer house in Wessington Springs.

We need to give credit where credit is due

Over $20 million spent, and they can’t even keep a fence from collapsing.

Slay the Bunker Ramp

The Bunker Ramp, the gift that keeps giving

So we hire someone with (several) conflicts of interest and we have to make new ordinances to tamp them down. Dumb.

Guidelines for dealing with conflicts of interests between auditors and city staff who oversee parking first need to be in place, said Councilor Greg Neitzert, who chairs the city’s audit committee.

“First we need to get the conflict of interest policy in place. Then you can start the process of who’s going to run point on (an audit),” Neitzert said. 

When Shana Nelson was hired as internal audit manager for the city last year, officials stated then that should the parking system ever be audited, Nelson wouldn’t be a part of that work. Nelson is married to Sioux Falls Parking Manager Matt Nelson.

Gee, Councilor ‘Friends and Family Plan’ wasn’t this brought up when we were basically moving Shana from one department to another? It seems we will never get to the bottom of what the Hell is going on with the parking department and Bunker Ramp.

I’m not sure a policy needs to be in place, maybe we should just hire someone who doesn’t have a conflict. Though I will admit that I have been impressed with Shana’s professionalism in the audits she has presented so far. Maybe she really is a ‘Rock Star’?

I have also been made aware that Greg pulled this from his sanitized butt and other councilors/members on the audit committee had no idea he was going to propose this and first found out about it reading the article.

Like the hiring of Nelson, I guess Greg thinks the audit committee is his little dictatorship. It’s good to be King.

Angela didn’t have to drive to Tripp, SD to find corruption

While I appreciate Stormland-TV‘s heartwarming Christmas story from Tripp, SD, they really didn’t have to trudge over there to get a juicy one, they could have just walked a couple of blocks around the studio offices.

At 10th and Phillips they could see the site of the Copper Lounge collapse that the State’s Attorney, the Attorney General, the Public Assurance Alliance and the City of Sioux Falls failed to investigate, oh but the Feds did, and $50 dollars later, problem solved.

Or they could have went just one block east of the collapse site and admired our Bunker Ramp and how no one has yet to explain how we got there, oh, and no explanations from the guy who once hired Angela’s daughter to be his nanny.

It would be a few more blocks, but they could make the trek to city hall at 9th and Main and ask Paul himself.

While in the neighborhood, why not pop over to the Minnehaha Courthouse and ask the County Commission liaison, Cindy Heiberger why she didn’t keep better tabs on the State’s Attorney.

While it’s fun driving to Tripp and admiring the scenery (I made the ‘trip’ today in the vicinity). You really only have to stroll around the neighborhood to uncover corruption and bribery.