What have I been saying about informing the public about policy changes? Tomorrow the city council plans to approve this on the consent agenda with NO informational presentation to the public (Item #6, Sub-Item #22);

Homelessness Street Outreach Services Agreement Implemented on the recommendation of homelessness task force. South Dakota Urban Indian Health, Inc., $175K.

While this was recommended by the Homeless task force and was discussed in their meetings, there hasn’t been a broader presentation by the city to the public on how this program will work.

But you can read all about it HERE. I guess the city is relying on bloggers now to put out information. I never thought I would see the day 🙂

While I totally support what Dakota Scout, Sioux Falls Business and Sioux Falls Simplified do, the information needs to first be disseminated by the city. Maybe they can do a quick two minute YT video about how they are serving the UNHOUSED (I’m still getting used to this synonym of homeless and puzzled by what the difference is between the two words).


I found this story amazing (imagine what you can do when you spend actual money on cleaning up the problem);

But now clean up efforts, which started in 2018 as part of what is known as the “Swimming Plan,” are coming to fruition, and local authorities say residents will be able to make use of the river once again as part of the legacy of the Olympics, which is returning to the French capital after 100 years.

They cleaned up the river in 4 years!

Two disinfection units at wastewater treatment plants run by the Paris region public sanitation service will be operational from this summer, and structures that will help to improve water quality, such as a rainwater storage basin, are under construction.

The basin will hold rainwater and gradually release it into the sewage network, preventing pollution when wastewater overflows during periods of rain.

These basins would obviously have to be upstream from Sioux Falls, but we could build a filtration damn in Sioux Falls that would actually help with water flow of the Big Sioux. I heard an estimate several years ago of $75 million (probably closer to $150 million now).

I know a lot of people make fun of the French, but if it wasn’t for them we all would be drinking tea and eating Spotted Dick.


I like to go for nightly bike rides around 8-10 PM Downtown. Last night as I was riding thru Levitt and I saw two separate couples sleeping within 50 feet of each other with blankies on the Levitt Lawn. But Monday night was a real laugher as I saw two private security officers with heaters in their hands (who are supposed to be stationed at Shriver Square) yelling at the homeless who were sitting on a tree bench in front of Oshima. As they were instructing them to leave, one of the fellas says, ‘This is public property we can be here.‘ I had to laugh that a homeless inebriated person knows their civil rights better than the rent-a-cop. We are NOT going to fix the homeless problem downtown overnight, but I am not sure we are approaching this the right way.

UPDATE: Yes, that is a guy passed out on 14th street. Not sure what is going on, but it was an interesting scene.


The mayor is hosting this event tomorrow, and I am wondering who the poor schmuck will be that has to power wash all the goose crap off the sidewalk and around the fitness park before the event? I love this new park, but the only time you can get a real workout is before 7 AM because after that the kids seem to think it is a playground, even though they have a wonderful play set just to the south of the fitness pad. Great edition, the only other critique I would have is that a cover, even something linen like at the DTSF dog park, be put over the pad for shade. Just make sure you show up early so you are not tripping over toddlers to get to the stair stepper.


I believe the final day is July 31st. I put myself to the challenge this year and I am averaging 14 miles per day with 1,331 miles as of yesterday. About 10% was stair stepper, 25% regular bike and the rest E2 on low setting with NO throttle assist (I do not count throttle miles in the challenge). Since the E2 threats from the SFPD I have NOT ridden on the trail with my E2 which has given me a great opportunity to explore residential routes. A great one is if you take 4th Avenue and 26th from Mckennan Park going South to 33rd which takes you all the way to 41st street. Even at 4:30 PM I see very few cars. I know the city is trying to setup residential routes, but I would encourage commuters to avoid all primary and secondary arterials and ride on residential. I can count the number of cars I encounter on one hand and you can cruise along at a safe 15 MPH.


I had a chance encounter last week with an engineer operator from a major energy company in South Dakota, he told me he works at the plant near Sioux Falls and the generators run on Natural Gas. I asked him about the 80% claim. He said that it is NOT wrong, but out of context. He told me that when Hydro, Solar and Wind are at max capacity they supply 80% of the power, the problem is the wind isn’t always blowing, the water isn’t always flowing and well solar doesn’t work real well at night. He said that the yearly average is closer to 45%. He said the advantage of Natural Gas generation is that you can switch it on and have it operational within hours.

In case you missed this a few days ago, I did to;

Meanwhile, in downtown Sioux Falls, the Bishop Dudley House had been looking at the possibility of different temporary family housing locations.

The two partners found each other in large part because ICAP had received federal money that could be used for the former Children’s Inn building and a type of homeless non-congregate temporary housing.

While I would agree converting the former Children’s Inn site into a family transitional homeless facility is probably a good fit, the planning was not. The neighborhood is up in arms over not being brought along in the process or even told about the plans. The rumor is they are planning a petition drive to stop this somehow.

This of course is how we do governmental business now in Sioux Falls. Ramrod it through, don’t tell anyone, and after we get approval apologize for screwing up, and always remember to say, ‘This will never happen again.’

The best way to reassure crap like this never happens again is to vote these sophomoric clowns out of office in the next election, or better yet, recall them NOW!

Precedent after precedent, after precedent. When are we going to learn?

Next week the city council has decided to tackle three big topics all in one game;

• Washington Pavilion Management Agreement Renewal by Shawn Pritchett, Finance Director

(two questions councilors need to ask; 1) what is the current compensation of the CEO, Darrin Smith & 2) Why is there $5.2 million dollars in the management companies savings account? Also curious is how that savings account jumped $2.2 million in one year? I will be honest with you, I think it is wonderful the Pavilion is building such an account, but it should be an endowment. And why do we continue to subsidize them operationally? I don’t take issue with maintenance costs, because as taxpayers, we own the joint, but after over 20 years, when will it become the place for ‘EVERYBODY’?)

• Homeless Task Force Report by Council Member Rich Merkouris Here is a simple breakdown from The Dakota Scout (and me);

• $500,000 – Homeless engagement

The recommendation calls for entering into a contract with a third party on a two-year pilot project referred to as a street outreach team.

The cost estimate of $500,000 includes $300,000 in the first year and another $200,000 the second.

(This is a good step forward, BUT, the SFPD also needs to have officers on follows to learn from this. I guess it has been successful in Rapid City.)

• $125,000 – Public education

The task force wants to tap into the existing nonprofits already working in the social services arena to develop a public education campaign that teaches area residents about the challenges of homelessness, how it can be addressed and how to deal with panhandling.

(I personally think it is ludicrous to have to educate people about panhandling and homelessness, BUT, before I lived in a NW coastal city in my teens, I knew very little about these things so it is merited, BUT, the local media, print, radio and TV need to step up and just do this out of the goodness of their hearts.)

•$352,000 – Rally around Network of Care

A grant program could be created to help more nonprofits and other social service agencies become partners in the Helpline Center’s Network of Care, which was created in 2015 to give social service agencies a mechanism to connect with each other in aiding clients.

Of that $352,000, $250,000 would specifically be used to fund the grant program, while the task force is calling for an additional $102,000 directly for the Helpline Center “for HIPAA compliance,” the recommendation reads.

(This is a wonderful software(?) program, the issue I have is the cost. If every service registered with this program used it, wouldn’t that bring the cost down? A good question to ask.)

• $500,000+ – ‘Housing First wraparound services’

The City Council will be asked to create a joint committee with the Minnehaha County Commission to explore grant funding opportunities for new properties and partnerships that could lead to additional housing stability with associated programming for employment and substance abuse recovery support.

While there’s no finite estimate on what it might cost, Merkouris speculated it could be anywhere from $500,000 to as much as the Council and county might be willing dedicate to the plan.

(I have argued from the beginning that this would be costly, BUT we need a plan to look at before throwing money at it. There are zoning laws and regs we could change to force developers to provide this kind of housing which would cost taxpayers $0.)

• SiouxFalls.org Website Redesign by Allie Hartzler, Communications and Culture Officer; and Justine Murtha, Digital Communications Manager;

• siouxfalls.org was last redesigned in 2016.
• Each month, the website has more than 70,000 monthly users, with 60% of users visiting on mobile devices.
• More than 4,800 pages, 9,000 documents, and 6,000 images* exist today.
• In June 2022, the City selected Granicus as a partner for the redesign.

(This is long overdue, and I feel sorry for Allie for getting this dumped in her lap, and the newly hired(?) Digital Communications Manager. But I also argue that this isn’t rocket science. The internet has been around for 30 years, web programming is mostly on auto-pilot and we can learn from other cities, like Omaha, who has a great city website. And we certainly should NOT be hiring a company that has f’kup our website and council agendas for years. It could be done internally by a very capable IT department (would have been a great work at home Covid project) but once again we are jobbing it out.)

UPDATE: I was informed this morning that the meeting video will not be available due to the audio missing. Not even sure how that happened?

This is the 3rd time I have requested from Chair Merkouris that the video from the latest task force meeting be posted to YouTube. Considering it is Saturday now, it is highly unlikely we will see the video until Monday. I find it interesting the closer they get to making recommendations the meetings being posted are an afterthought.

Most people can’t make the 4 PM Monday meeting time, and why I have asked for it to be live streamed. I have not won that battle. For reference and someone who is familiar to how videos are posted to YT, it literally only takes a couple of hours to post a video, if that, and usually the computer does all the work with very little interaction from the person uploading the video.

A couple of things so far that has come from the meetings is funding a pilot program for a street teams, funding a Helpline software program (to connect the different services and clients) and possibly upping the funding to the different homeless services.