Entries Tagged 'Downtown Sioux Falls' ↓

Sioux Falls City Councilor Curt Soehl plays an interesting game tonight

At the council meeting tonight, Soehl recused himself on Item #45, which is a rezone of an historic building in Pettigrew Heights to be converted into a coffee shop. I’m am not sure why he recused himself because he never told the council and the public, but my guess is he may be investing in the project but I do not know for sure. Let’s just say he has a conflict and admitted to it, whatever it is.

After coming back he co-sponsored item #53, a resolution to pull $120K from streets to re-establish the core facade program. He claims he has NO idea who would want to use it but has heard several people are interested.

So imagine my surprise when the main developer of Item #45 was interested in applying for the program after his rezone was approved.

Coincidence? I think not.

So how is it that Soehl walked out on the coffee shop project because of an assumed conflict, then turns around and sponsors a program that MAY benefit the project he has a conflict with?

Hey Curt, we can connect the dots . . . unfortunately you cannot. This will be brought up time and time again when your re-election campaign heats up.

UPDATE: Apparently the Developer of the Coffee Shop is Curt’s re-election campaign treasurer

Someone from the Sioux Falls Media finally covers the Chaos at the Dudley House

Another Broken Poops Promise, when he was running for Mayor he said he would close the Dudley House because he would eliminate homelessness in Sioux Falls. That reminds me of the time I said I would not get drunk on St. Patty’s then 20 minutes later I was finishing my 3rd Irish Car bomb (they are very delicious).

The Argus finally did a story about it, the day they shut off the presses and made it only for online subscribers which is an intriguing editing decision from the braintrust running that joint.

What is that saying about a bear in the woods?

While it is an interesting story (that no one will see or read), this part literally had me fall out of my chair;

Since 2017, failure to vacate has been the top call to police near Eighth Street and Indiana Avenue. Thus far in 2021, it’s accounted for 20% of the 531 criminal reports taken by the police, according to data collected by the Argus Leader.

Maybe I am reading that wrong (I hope I am) but ONE intersection in this city accounts for 20% of the city’s criminal calls and reports in the entire city!? WTF!?

As I have said in the past, there is NO one solution, but in order to have a solution people need to put their heads together. That means people who live in the neighborhood, the businesses, the SFPD the City Council, churches and many others. When is the City Council and Mayor (you know, the supposed leaders of this town who drive autonomous vehicles thru Tuesday night meetings) going to call on a task force to be put together and have aggressive public meetings to combat this? A vigorous open public discussion with the community could put some solutions in motion. Blaming Covid for the problem or as Police Chief Thumbs did the ‘neighborhood’ area just doesn’t cut it.

Of course, you will see little to no action, even though I do know that some councilors and patrol officers do want solutions, but who has time for 8th & Indiana when we have Blizzards to hand out at Dairy Queen?

Did The Sioux Falls Chamber & Experience Sioux Falls (CVB) agree to split?

Not sure. While rumors are going around that a decision to split was made very recently, nobody has said a word publicly, but the Sioux Falls City Council got an update about the possible decision at the 4 PM informational today in which a presentation involving the Falls Park Visitor Center Management Agreement was discussed and these changes;

9 month Term: January 1, 2022 – September 30, 2022
• Discussions are on-going between the Chamber and Experience Sioux Falls regarding potential
separate legal status for Experience Sioux Falls.

• 9/30/21 coincides with the end of the Chambers fiscal year.
• 60 day termination clause exercisable by City, which allows for transition of agreement once an
effective date of separate legal status is determined.

This was first presented at the Parks Board Meeting on November 17, but it was also very sketchy as to what was going on. They called it ‘legal status’ changes between the Chamber and CVB and are having ongoing discussions. Terri Schmidt, head of ESF (CVB) did say;

“ESF becoming independent from the Chamber, that process is really moving along now, and tomorrow there is a major meeting where we are expecting to probably either seal the deal, or being really close to sealing the deal. I don’t know if anyone on the outside will really know the difference, it will be more of back house of becoming independent.”

While NOTHING was said by the presenter at the informational about why this is occurring, the council, who must certainly know, has also chosen to keep this quiet or at least not filling in the blanks. Council Chair Curt Soehl even bragged about keeping it quiet and secretive by saying this at the end of the meeting;

“Thank all those involved for keeping their eye on the ball and realizing there is a lot of external noise going on at this time, for all of this, and to protect the city from everything they do.”

I find it interesting that the council is being publicly noticed about contract changes but during the presentation the public cannot be filled in on the details of a possible split. The hatred towards transparency in this city is even more troubling especially when the chair of the council brags about the secrecy. WOW! Surprised he didn’t just take a potty break during the presentation 🙁

It seems the head of ESF is the only one to at least give an inkling this was going to happen. So was a deal struck last Thursday? We may never know because of all the ‘External Noise.’

I also have a feeling if this was a simple matter of ‘back house’ deals and ‘legal status’ it wouldn’t be that controversial to release that information to the public, especially since it involves our tax dollars. I have a feeling this was a lot messier than they are putting on and they are hiding the sausage making from the citizens.

Does the Sioux Falls City Council already have the power to give property tax cuts?

As l learned on Wednesday there is probably going to be proposed legislation next year that could change TIFs to apply to residential housing. But does the city have to wait for Pierre to make a move?

I don’t think so.

There are already things the city has been doing or are planning on doing;

• A home buying program for police officers and firefighters

• The city can give property tax rebates to homeowners, I think the last mayor to do this city wide was Hanson

• The mayor gives yearly tax rebates to dozens of developers and big employers

• Community development loans either low interest or no interest and federal grants associated with the program

• Councilors Pat Starr and Curt Soehl are exploring elderly property tax rebates

The city council only likely has the power to rebate the city’s portion of the property tax, but over a period of 5-10 years, that is significant savings.

I don’t think the city has to wait for state law to change, I think they have the power right now to start a city property tax rebate program for people who want to buy a home in our core that needs rehabilitation, in fact they could have started this program 20 years ago if they wanted to.

I have been a proponent for over a decade that the city engages in a pilot program in our core that rehabs entire neighborhoods with a combination of public works (streets, sewer, water, lighting, sidewalks, curb and gutter) and individual property owners with fixing up their property with the use of Federal grants, community development loans and city property tax rebates.

So why doesn’t the city pursue this? I don’t have that answer, but if I had to guess it has to do with developer greed and the elite structure of leadership in our city.

So when someone tells you it is hard to rehab poorer neighborhoods in our city because of ‘laws’ I just don’t believe them. The city council in conjunction with the mayor’s office and planning department have all the tools they need to start on a pilot program like this, but their hatred of the working poor is getting in the way of their handouts to the welfare developers.

UPDATE: Have the Sioux Falls Police taken the weekend off?

UPDATE: The official report is the suspect Has not been arrested. One of the 3 victims may have already died. During the briefing there was conflicting stories as to what kind of weapon was used.

There should have been an emergency presser by the Police Chief & Mayor yesterday.

No, they have not, but the people working in the communications office have;

We expect to learn more about the shooting during Monday morning’s police briefing . . .

While an active investigation is going on, no one knows how many people were shot because like Orange City, Iowa we have shut down our communications and functioning government until Monday.

C’mon!

We are the largest city in South Dakota, the SFPD should have held a presser this morning about the situation on one of the busiest streets in the city.

Last I checked the SFPD is responsible for public safety, that means 24/7. Should people be concerned? I don’t know because apparently they don’t work Sundays.

I think if we defunded the police in Sioux Falls, we may not notice, especially on Sundays.

Sioux Falls Panhandling signs are being covered up

I’ll say it again, those who are panhandling are NOT doing it because of food insecurity, they are doing it to get drunk. I have watched this activity for several years in my neighborhood. But I disagree with the signs instructing people to give to charity. I have often said the signs should say something like, ‘GIVING TO PANHANDLERS WHILE THEY OBSTRUCT TRAFFIC IS AGAINST THE LAW’ SD CL 22-18-40

Codified Laws § 22-18-40. Unless otherwise directed by law enforcement or other emergency personnel or to seek assistance for an emergency or inoperable vehicle, no person may stand upon the paved or improved or main-traveled portion of any highway with intent to impede or stop the flow of traffic.

Panhandling is a protected 1st Amendment freedom, what is NOT legal is for the drivers to hand them money from the window of their cars while they impede traffic. I have said we need to change city ordinance so that the panhandler isn’t charged but the driver for luring them into traffic.

Sioux Falls Skate Park Appeal

Robert Jon and the Wreck at Icon Event Hall / SD Cannabis legalization petition drive & fundraiser

More Backroom Shady deals from the TenHaken Administration and the spineless Sioux Falls City Council

While the city councilors did a lot of whining last night, all 8 of them voted for this deal;

The Sioux Falls City Council voted to discontinue parking at a downtown surface lot, as well as declare it surplus property — the first steps in a plan that could add a four-story building and 150 apartments to downtown Sioux Falls.


The pair of 8-0 votes were taken in relation to a 0.5 acre surface parking lot at 400 S. 1st Ave., one of two lots that have been up for sale since September 2020.


The project is not final, with Powers noting the resolutions passed by the council would enable the city to enter into negotiations on the sale of the lot, which was appraised last year at $502,000.


In an informational meeting earlier this year, Soehl had said he didn’t believe the lot could legally be declared surplus, and called the system of informing the council about submitted proposals “inadequate.”


Basically, as I predicted on Sunday (item #47), a backroom deal was concocted with the developer, which seems to be an odd coincidence considering Mayor TenHaken’s Chief of Shaft, Erica Beck, was a former executive with the company and the developer has continued to receive tax incentives, TIFs, land discounts and other goodies from this administration and council.


Just look at the appraisal price. It is laughable considering that an unblighted lot, on prime downtown property with plenty of access to sewer, water, gas and electrical would only be worth $500K. That lot should go for at least 4 times that amount. I would be curious who appraised this lot and how many appraisals were done? Good luck with that request.


While the City Council wrings their hands about how this deal is being done, they voted for it and refuse to remedy the issue. Oh that’s right, because most of their butts are owned by the banksters, bondsters and developers in town, and they know it. This also should NOT have been voted on as a resolution as ‘surplus’ after a deal was already done with a developer without a proper RFP process. The lot should have been voted on as surplus before ANY developer put in a bid. A little game of the cart before the horse. There should have also been a recommendation to only allow workforce housing be sold at the location. Instead, it appears these will be higher rents. The inept council has had ZERO control of this process from the beginning, but golly gee they sure let the city staff have it by voting 8-0 to approve 🙁


The WAR on transparency and open government continues and the rubberstamp council just plays along while ‘pretending’ they are concerned.

Concert Cancellation could be a lesson in Economic Impact

While I understand peeps frustration in Stapleton cancelling his show last night (he really could have done it earlier in the day) I really think this could be a lesson in local economic impact. As we know, the Denty hasn’t really helped the economy in Sioux Falls that much, in fact it is a drain of over $10 million a year to taxpayers, money that could be spent on needed infrastructure instead. As I have said before, besides the little bit of tax revenue we draw from the place each year, almost 100% of the money that is spent at the facility goes straight down the highway. The promoters, management companies (beverage and food included) and the artists get the lion’s share and take it straight out of town. Very little gets recirculated in the community.

But last night, I saw something amazing in DTSF. The streets were filled with flannel wearing, boot scootin’ concert goers that were stuck in town for the night without a show to go to. They were spending the money they intended to throw away at the Denty in our town at local businesses instead of to a corporate giant.

It would be interesting to see what the sales tax boost to the city was from last night.

One of the main reasons I opposed the Denty, wasn’t because of the price tag, it was because it would not benefit local business. When people are dropping $400 per person in one night (tickets, beverages, taxi, hotel, etc.) basically in one place, they have blown their entertainment budget for several months and not spending it locally.

I remember a time around 10-15 years ago when you had oodles of options to see live music and entertainment at a host of different venues. And not just local yocals but National and Regional acts. The money spent got recirculated in our community.

Let us learn from this incident.