Well, there is a least one good thing that came from the ice storm, during the city council meeting last night, Finance Director, Tracy Turbak admitted that we will ‘probably’ be getting FEMA money, after the State and FEMA evaluate the city’s expenses associated with the cleanup. But we probably won’t be compensated until 2014.

So please, let’s drop it.

If you watch last night’s  meeting what stuck out was how much money went towards ‘private contractors’ (DOC: ICESTORM )

Out of the $9 million total cost of cleanup, $6.2 million went to hire private contractors. City Personnel costs were only $1.1 million. This kind of surprised me, because if you were following our local media, listening to the mayor or city council, they were throwing out Kudos to city employees and volunteers like root beer candies at a Fourth of July parade.

Sure, there was a ‘mention’ of private contractors ‘helping out’ but not to this extent. Two-Thirds of the total cost went towards them.

On a positive note, that is REAL economic impact. Unfortunately many of the contractors were from out of state, and that money won’t be recirculated into our community.

But one wonders how much of this money made some local contractors very rich, very quick?

No doubt, the city could not have cleaned up this storm on their own, and independent contractors were needed, but I think in the future there should be a constingency plan put in place for such emergencies to make sure contractors are not gouging tax payers or individual property owners.

Without a doubt the city with the help of the private contractors did a fine job of cleaning up our city so quickly, but why do I feel like the ‘cleanup’ took us to the ‘cleaners’?

Why are we so adamant about not excepting this money?

A few questions to ask;

Would this allocation come with an audit of how the city spends the money? Are some in the city wanting to hide our books?

Remember when we refused to WAIT for CORPs money for the levees and paid for it ourselves? Why?

How about all the dilly-dallying around on the RR relocation project and money promised after environmental assessments?

And now we don’t want to take the money for ice storm cleanup.

You also have to take into account that this is OUR money. We pay federal income taxes, so this really isn’t a handout, it is money we paid in.

What is the city hiding that they don’t want us to know? Hmmm.

So let me get this straight . . .

We don’t want to take money from FEMA because they are the big bad Feds (who we actually pay taxes to, so we are essentially taking money from OURSELVES to fix a problem WE have).

Then we find out we don’t need to take the money because the city is in ‘fine financial shape’ so we pay for this branch cleanup out of the city coffers (also our money).

Factor in that the city has saved millions this winter due to the lack of snow and snow removal (somewhere around $7 million).

So why hasn’t the city been budgeting for tree trimming all along? We apparently have the money to do the ENTIRE city at one fast blast, why not section it off over a 5 year cycle?

Funny how the city conveniently ‘doesn’t have the money’ in a normal budget cycle, but when a natural disaster occurs we have all kinds of cashola, enough to give the FEDS a middle finger and to cleanup the whole kit and kaboodle.

My suggestion is to implement a program every year to trim the trees in the boulevard, because, you know, like, we have the money. Oh, yeah, and F’CK the Feds who wants their (our) money anyhoo?

As I said all along, this is the REAL reason the levees had to be raised;

Once the flood-control measures are in place, probably by the end of next year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will redo its flood-plain maps and. In turn, fewer properties will be in the flood plain – saving money for property owners.

Walmart, Sam’s Club, The Empire Mall, Target are some of the businesses” that will be taken out of the flood plain, said project manager Tom Berkland.

Instead of worrying about the 1% chance that Walfart might get flooded we should have been more concerned about all the poopy in people’s basements. And isn’t that the crux of it all? While we received record rains, besides a little street flooding, no where along the river (within Sioux Falls) there was flooding. Imagine that!?

It’s not only a state policy but a city policy;

“Big Business first, citizens second.”


The situation in Haiti is only going to get worse as time goes on. Respiratory illness and infection will kill more people in the coming weeks than the earthquake did.

Take a second away from drinking your morning starbucks & bottled water while reading this stupid blog on your fancy computer which runs on the electricity you take for granted, whip your phone out and text ‘HAITI’ to 90999. This will tack a much needed $10 onto your next wireless bill as a donation to the Red Cross.  You might have to share a meal next time you eat out at the Texas Roadhouse instead of getting your own texas toothpicks. But it will taste better, trust me.

That is all. Thank you.