Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Airport' ↓

Airport moving ahead with ‘fiscally’ responsible parking ramp

As I posted about in 2017, the airport is building a fiscally responsible structure that maximized their parking needs at a fair price. But here is the real kick in the shorts;

But that’s not a long-term solution, so the Sioux Falls Airport Authority, the governmental entity that oversees the airport, has been saving for a permanent fix.

Did you catch that word ‘SAVING’. Maybe our city leaders could learn something about saving for projects, or at least completing them as planned. Not possible, that takes GUTS.

Sioux Falls Airport could see some hiccups

Besides the fact that Delta has stopped their non-stop flight to Atlanta from Sioux Falls, now Allegiant pilots may strike;

Pilots at Allegiant Air are prepared to strike if the airline doesn’t come to an agreement with them.

The dispute revolves around a scheduling system, which the pilots say has negatively impacted their lives and their families.

Also add that the airlines pay very low wages to ground crew and we could see many issues at the airport if they don’t start diversifying options for consumers. I have often wondered why it is so difficult for the state’s largest city to have good, reliable air service.

Airport plans to build 2021 Modern Parking Ramp for half the cost of the DTSF ramp

This was from a March 24, 2017 presentation Dan Letellier did at Democratic Forum (FF: 26:00 in the below video).

Notice they are getting 1,100 parking stalls for about $20-22,000 per stall. The Downtown parking ramp is proposing 525 stalls (over a 100 will be leased privately and not for public use) for $40,500 per stall.

Now if the DT ramp’s cost was even just a little bit more, I wouldn’t balk, but the proposed DT ramp is TWICE as much per stall than the airport.

As I have said, industry standard for building parking ramps is about $25,000 per stall. When this high cost for the stalls was brought up to the Community Development manager Daren Ketchum yesterday, he blew it off and said that he wasn’t concerned about the ‘stall’ cost. WHAT!?

It is pretty common in the parking ramp construction business to price parking ramps per stall. That’s just how it is done. Secondly the airport ramp is a very fair comparison because both ramps are being built on land that is already owned by the builder and the airport authority will be paying down the bonds using user fees. It is apples to apples.

Where this deal gets even more curious is that the developer of the hotel will be paying a one-time 80 year lease to the city of $1 million. This comes to about $1,042 per month for a 120 room, 13 story hotel. You can’t get a decent downtown loft for $1,000 a month.

So why so much? Well let’s start with the obvious. This is a taxpayer subsidized welfare to a developer, and mind you, a developer who was involved with the Copper Lounge collapse, which OSHA is still pending their investigation.

So why an extra $10 million to build this parking ramp compared to the airport ramp? Besides the obvious welfare, I speculate, it is because the ramp is on the bottom of the structure and will have to be extra reinforced to support the PRIVATE hotel construction. In other words we are subsidizing the hotel construction by $10 million.

I support downtown growth and a parking ramp. I do NOT support getting hosed by a private developer. The city needs to build this ramp for $10 million or build a ramp twice the size at a different location.

Dan Letellier at Democratic Forum, 3/24/2017

Want to catch up on happenings at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport? Executive Director Dan Letellier spoke to the Democratic Forum on March 24, 2017 with many interesting items.

Isn’t it interesting the we could get a parking ramp at Joe Foss Field with 1,100 spots for $24 million and our esteemed city government will get a couple of hundred for $18 million? Another reason we look forward to a new administration in 2018.

Dan Letellier at Democratic Forum, 3/24/2017

Dan, Executive Director of the SF Airport Authority was the guest at Forum today (we should have video up soon). He gave a great presentation of some of the things going on at the airport. I also appreciated his truthfulness in answering questions, and NOT dodging them. It was refreshing to see someone in a leadership role with some integrity.

One of the highlights was when he presented the future parking ramp. They plan to have it finished by 2021. It will be 4 stories and 1,100 spaces. The cost? About $20,000 a space (which is a common going rate). Ironically, the parking ramp Downtown that will have a tenant on it, will cost us about $25,000 a space. Things that make you go Hmmmm.

I asked Dan about the low wages the airlines pay to employees at the airport and if the Airport Authority had any control of those wages (between $9-11 an hour). He said unfortunately they do not, and he was frustrated by the low wages the airlines pay, because it effects customer service. He said the airport has even explored hiring their OWN ground crew so they could get around some of the poor service issues. He said cities like San Francisco and Seattle actually mandate a certain wage is paid. I asked him if our city council and mayor could do the same, he was unsure.

I have suggested that the next mayor and city council pass a city ordinance that mandates a business to pay at least $10 an hour minimum wage within the city limits. Ironically the city pays some seasonal workers under $10 an hour.

Sioux Falls is out of the running for the F-35 Lemon Noise Machine

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Well, for once, I am happy to say ‘Thanks for Nothing’ to Thune, Rounds and Noem;

Jacksonville will have to beat out at least three of the other bases in consideration since two of the five will ultimately receive F-35 squadrons.

The other locations in contention are Montgomery, Ala.; Boise, Idaho; Selfridge, Mich., and Dane County, Wis.

Maybe we were never in the running for the F-35?

dodo-bird

So this happened back in April of this year;

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force officials announced April 12 that Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona; Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida; Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas; and Whiteman AFB, Missouri, are candidate bases for the first Reserve-led F-35A Lightning II location.
The preferred and reasonable alternatives are expected to be selected in the fall and the F-35As are slated to begin arriving at the first Reserve-led F-35A location by the summer of 2023.
Maybe I missed the fine print, but it seems Sioux Falls isn’t even in the running.

VOTE EARLY – VOTE SMART

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I have voted early in almost every election for the past 4-5 years, ever since musical precincts started. The nice part is it is at your convenience, and it is fast (I have never had to wait in a line) You simply go to the County Auditor’s office, show them your ID, they hand you a ballot for your precinct, you vote at at the box and turn in your ballot. A lot easier then trying to find time on election day.

South DaCola’s voting guide/endorsements;

Entire City (Minnehaha & Lincoln County)

School Board: Randy Dobberpuhl (The two top vote getters win seats)

At-Large City Council: Theresa Stehly

Amendments to City Charter: YES on all (A-C & E) EXCEPT NO on ‘D’ which could have a mayor serve up to 10 years. Full explanation in this PDF Document; charter-amend

District Races

Northeast: Pat Starr

Northwest: Greg Neitzert

Southwest: Manny Steele

I believe all the candidates I have chosen will be the most ready on day 1 to serve the public. I also believe this group of candidates are good legislators who would build bridges, get important work done for all citizens and support open and transparent government.

Remember, in the council races, a candidate must receive at least 34% of the vote to avoid a run-off election.

Mayor Huether appoints VP of Commercial Properties for the city’s largest developer to Airport Authority Board

It’s one thing to have Craig Lloyd’s wife on the Parks Board, now one of his highest ranking executives will serve on the Airport Board. Talk about stacking the deck. In fact the mayor is so proud of the appointment (Item#68), he is throwing Raquel Blount a press conference celebrating her appointment;

Airport Authority Board members are responsible for managing and maintaining the Sioux Falls Regional Airport, a pivotal role for a growing city. Come to this news conference to hear from Mayor Huether why the new board member was chosen and why this is an important step to keep the Sioux Falls Regional Airport moving forward and thriving.

We can look at this several different ways, but if this doesn’t scream conflict of interest call me a wanker and send me to bed without dinner.

The cost of low wages

#!dcdisplay fp\b0\i0\fs10Date~27.09.2001; Slug=Joe_Foss_statue; Source=Local:Staff; Time~14:57; Type=Picture; ÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐ fs16\bJoe Foss statuefs12\b0 <> The statue of Joe Foss will be moved to the center of the airport's main lobby. (Lloyd B. Cunningham) (slug: Joe Foss statue) fp\b0\i0\fs10ÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐ fp\i0\b\fs16Digital Collections/IPTC fp\b0\i0\fs10Date Shot=20010927; Photographer=Lloyd_B._Cunningham;

Welcome to the Sioux Falls Airport, your low wage tour of our city starts here.

Ever stare at the person behind a (customer service) counter and wonder how they could be so incredibly miserable, ignorant or apathetic? Ever think that maybe because they have to put up with people like you all day when they don’t make a living wage, or they have several part-time jobs like this just to pay their health insurance and get by. Maybe they are not stupid, maybe they are zombified into exhaustion.

Recently a friend of mine told me that one of the airlines contracted at the Sioux Falls Airport suddenly lost their contract. They got dinged on something, my friend thought maybe it was for screwing up on baggage delivery too much. Either way, another airline is replacing them.

The worst part is that the airline that is leaving only paid $10.16 an hour to it’s customer service reps BUT they offered free travel benefits and even their part-time employees could buy into reasonable health benefits. They also offered a $.50 raise after a short review period.

Not a living wage, but at least their were other benefits to subset the crappy hourly.

The new contractor isn’t having it. Not only are they starting anyone who wants to come to work with them from the old contractor (you have to go through an interview first) a lesser wage (I believe $10 an hour) NO raises for almost 3 years and NO health benefits to anyone who works under 30 hours a week. The rumor going around is that they will have no one working over 30 hours a week.

I find this all ironic with the recent proposal to take money from essentially the airport authority to pay for infrastructure for wealthy companies to come into our community. Maybe the airport needs to figure out ways (fees) so they can pay their workers more? While we can hoop and holler all we want about our world class airport, in reality it is being ran by poverty wage workers, while the rich developers and shakers in town are trying to squander the money for wealthy corporations who can pay for their own infrastructure (and should). If they can’t and are not willing to provide a living wage, why do we even want them here? I would rather see Foundation Park grow slow and provide solid jobs, then to pop up over night with trailer parks and low income apartments surrounding the area with it’s workers.

Sioux Falls certainly has an image crisis, and it has to do with the kind of wages it is paying to people. You get what you pay for, a miserable, ignorant, apathetic and an exhausted workforce being squandered by the greed of few who have to have secret and possibly illegal meetings with local elected officials to get their plans pushed through. They were foiled this time.