Entries Tagged 'Downtown Sioux Falls' ↓

Inside Town Hall • Sep 2021

Councilor Selberg starts the show off with patting himself on the back when it comes to cooperation with other local government entities. While there has been a lot of cooperation lately, there has been little interaction with the public except at the actual meetings where the decisions have already been made before the meeting even started. When it came to mask mandates, MED MJ and Covid money they didn’t bother asking citizens and business owners what they wanted they just cowed to special interests which seem to be at city hall quite a bit behind closed doors. This is NOT true open government and cooperation. I also was a bit confused about how road money is being spent. If you walk or ride your bike around the core neighborhoods you would think you are in Baghdad, the roads look like they have been hit with mortar rounds. A Pettigrew Heights resident told me yesterday that there is no intention of fixing core neighborhood roads until 2023 and this is why the public works department doesn’t even bother with maintenance in that neighborhood.

I’m sorry, but when I hear about Federal money going towards butterfly houses and tennis courts it infuriates me. I have long argued lifting up and fixing our core neighborhoods should be the number one infrastructure priority. Not only does it help with combatting crime and poverty, it would be an enormous driver in supplying affordable housing and local construction jobs. The ROI with such an endeavor would be gigantic. Councilor Brekke actually brings it up during the episode. But instead we throw money at Foreign Egg Roll factories and more unneeded parking ramps.

Councilor Soehl brings up that it is hard for developers to build an affordable house. Hogwash. We could change zoning in Sioux Falls to allow half lots in the core. We could also build tiny houses or smaller one bedroom homes with NO garages.

The regular citizen in Sioux Falls no longer has a seat at the table. This is because apparently it costs $120k to win a city council race by 99 votes. Follow the money. If your last name doesn’t start with an S or L you are screwed.

Van Art Studios Exhibit • Sep 3, 2021

Exhibit runs from 5 to 9 pm

Friday, September 3, 2021

120 N. Phillips

Downtown Sioux Falls (across the street to the east from the Wells Fargo parking ramp)

PAve in DTSF; Come for the Drinks stay for the Catfights

And I thought everyone was at Poppadox for the MMA on Saturday? Seems PAve was carrying it live . . .

This is what ALL Levitt Concerts should look like

I was a little surprised yesterday with all the rain that the Levitt concert was NOT cancelled but to start at a later time. The opening act played until 8 and the headliner played to almost 10 PM. It has been my opinion that the concerts should ALL go from 7:30-10 PM on Friday and Saturday nights. As you can see from the pictures, this is what a night time outdoor concert should look like with stage lights. The sound was also cranked up towards the end. I can honestly say, this is the first time I stood in front of the stage and the music was loud. The band, The Foxies are a pop punk band that pulls influences from Green Day, The Cure, Blondie, No Doubt (the lead singer voice and dance moves remind you of Gwen Stefani) and you even hear the Clash, The Smiths and ‘X’ in their songs.

The only unfortunate part of the show was half of it was in the rain (I watched live stream until the rain ended and showed up in person) this also limited the crowd to about 30 people. But the performers treated this like any other show and rocked their asses off.

I have often said it is ‘the little things’ that can make the Levitt better;

• Start the shows at 7:30 PM on Friday and Saturdays

• Turn up the volume

• Allow people to bring their own beer and wine

• Ban pets

The city council has the power to make all 4 things above happen, if they just had the courage to do it (which they don’t).

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 Parks Director brags about the Snowjob pulled on the City Council

(FF 12:10)

Don basically talks about how the city attorney’s office did an outstanding job getting the Sioux Steel easement pushed through. Pretty crazy to hear a city director brag about getting the city council to possibly violate open meeting laws by voting on an agenda item without giving the public the whole story. We still have NO idea how this suddenly became park land or what that process was.

Also note that if you watched the council meeting the assistant city attorney said the council could vote to release that information, but guess when they were told they could vote to release the information? Five minutes before the 2nd reading. Yeah, now that’s transparency.

Also note that the first phase of the project will be the residential portion and not the hotel and entertainment part. Go figure.

Levitt, this one doesn’t go to 11

I finally figured out what the city, or should I say a developer, has requested as a reasonable decibel level for the Levitt. The story I was told is that the Levitt’s decibel level has to read 90 or below by the South Entrance of the Cascade Apartment building/complex, which I find to be an interesting boundary considering the level determined by city ordinance should affect the whole area. I have argued to the do nothing city council, who have literally done nothing about the decibel levels downtown (especially when it comes to trains, planes and motorcycles) that they need to be increased, at least on the Levitt grounds which is a publicly owned park. It is NOT the taxpayers fault or problem that a developer who takes massive amounts of welfare TIFs from the city built apartments across the street from a live outdoor music venue. If I were the Levitt, I would crank it up, and if the private developer doesn’t like it, they can sue the city and we can cancel their TIF. I would also suggest the next time they build an apartment building in a noisy DT area, they need to insulate the windows and walls.

I will say though last night at the Levitt I was pleasantly surprised, the volume was perfect, so they must be experimenting with the Spinal Tap amps after all.

This reminds me of the other issue with Levitt, selling alcohol in a park that by city ordinance bans alcohol. I have told the city council that this is silly and they should just lift the ban, let their be private sales AND let people bring their own. But like I said, when it comes to our city council doing things that benefit the public in general like noise levels and alcohol ordinances they put on the cruise control, look into their laps and do nothing.

Also folks, I am pleading with you to leave your dogs at home. They don’t want to be sitting in the heat and it is not good for their physical or mental health and as an audience member, I really get tired of them pooping and peeing around me. I still think the Levitt in coordination with the City Council should ban pets from the premises, or at least have an area for people that are too dumb to not bring their freaking dog everywhere.

Parks Board stays hands off with Tuthill House Reconstruction

I have to tell you that I was a little astonished with how this is being handled;

Tuthill House Gifting Agreement: Mieras shared details of the Gifting Agreement and also shared concept drawings of the exterior of the property. This Gifting Agreement will provide for exterior and interior house renovations and hardscaping to be funded and completed by the Tuthill Neighborhood Association. Upon satisfactory completion, the improvements will become City property. After some discussion, a motion to recommend approval of the Gifting Agreement was made by Weber and seconded by Nachtigal. Motion passed unanimously with all present Board members voting yes.

I say I am surprised, because normally this is NOT how things are done. Usually the city puts the bids out and pays the contractor. In this case, the neighborhood association is hiring the contractor and paying them. I applaud this. I have surmised while watching this process, this decision was made because often the city doesn’t get the best deal. Yah think? I love it how it took fixing up an old house to show how bloated the city is when it comes to their bids.

There of course was a discussion about how we need more parking for Levitt, or something;

Park Purpose Recommendation—Parking Concept at Levitt Shell East Edge located in Falls Park West, along with the west edge of Kiwanis Park: A motion that the Park Board finds the parking concept would be open and available at all times to the public was made. It further finds such parking stalls as described in the parking concept would provide a convenient supply of parking that would benefit not only access to Levitt Shell but also direct access to Kiwanis Park and the Phase III of the Big Sioux River Greenway. Motion was made by Nachtigal and seconded by Sundleaf. Motion passed unanimously with all present Board members voting yes.

The meeting ended with the City’s Chief Liar and Director of Parks piping off about robbing CARES money, lack of life guards, and the scooter ordinance;

Report of Director of Parks and Recreation: Kearney shared the status of pool openings and staffing. He also shared that City golf courses have been extremely busy with the warm weather. He touched base on some CARES ACT funding and the American Rescue Plan. He also stated there may be more projects that will be able to be completed with these funds. The ordinance change proposed for motor scooters at last month’s meeting did not pass at the City Council level. The Great Bear Recreation Park chairlift is on track with larger pieces being built off-site at this time.

Notice that Don didn’t mention that the real reason he thinks he can’t get lifeguards is because teenagers just don’t want to work because they may be missing out on something (I guess he told city officials this privately). I can tell you why you can’t get lifeguards, YOU DON’T PAY ENOUGH.

Core Neighborhood Opposed to Casino in high crime area

From Egg Rolls to Aces

I guess the Pettigrew/Cathedral neighborhood was a bit surprised when this popped up on the agenda;

Petition: CU-014556-2021: Conditional Use Permit for an On-sale alcoholic beverage establishment within 500 feet of a sensitive use located at 523 W 10TH ST.

Notice staff has stayed out of making a recommendation;

While the zoning is appropriate for an on-sale alcohol use, staff are reluctant to provide a
recommendation as the subject area has enough societal challenges with such establishments in
the immediate vicinity. Management of this facility plays a pivotal in being a good neighbor by
educating staff, enforcing policies, and being proactive with law enforcement.

Well that is certainly refreshing, they shouldn’t be recommending approval for any project.

Many in the neighborhood have asked me how this even got on the agenda. This will be an interesting one to watch, but if I was a betting man it won’t pass.

Is there a connection between Smithfield & Wholestone Foods?

The short answer is I have no idea, and I really didn’t ponder it until someone told me the other day that many of the execs with Wholestone are former Smithfield management.

There is also the question of who really owns the CAFOs that produce the meat for these plants? Is it local farmers or are they simply contracted by the packers like Smithfield and Wholestone which have ownership in the farms? Maybe the producers are merely leasing from the packers?

I don’t know. But I do know that is how it works with poultry.

In my couple minutes of digging on the interwebs I could find little about Chinese investors in CAFOs and Smithfield’s possible investment in Wholestone. Maybe this is a backdoor plan to close the DTSF plant and transfer all operations to the new plant? 

Wondering if one of Sioux Falls’ super talented investigative journalists will dig into this and find a connection, or maybe NO connection. Oh, that’s right, we don’t have any of those in Sioux Falls but we do have a lot of hog sh!t.