Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Parks and Rec' ↓

City of Sioux Falls River Greenway and Falls Park design competition is actually a wonderful idea

When I first saw this on Tuesday, I thought to myself, “The city should do this more often.” For the small investment of $40K to selected competitors, we will probably get some innovative designs, save money, and encourage artistic competition.

If there is one thing I know about designers and artists, they love to compete, and they love to outdo each other. In a traditional sense of the RFP process, sometimes those bids go to the ones most connected and have insider information. What happens is we probably don’t get the best design, because we stifle creativity.

For years the city has used the same contractor over and over for these projects. I’m not saying they suck, but if you don’t know what other people have to offer, how will you ever know?

Of course, I am not naive, the selection process will probably be chocked full of backroom deals, and we will probably end up with the same contractor.

I challenge the city to post images of the submissions online and have residents vote on the final four. I think this would even the keel and be a wonderful way of having the public participate in the process. Great ideas die in the dark.

Stehly brings up costs of other ‘Quality of Life’ Projects in comparison to Project TRIM

During the Informational meeting yesterday, Stehly thanked the Parks Department for doing the Project TRIM experiment. She also brought up other things we subsidize each year. She said that the money could easily be budgeted for the city to trim their own trees in the boulevard.

There was also a discussion about the golf contract with Landscapes Unlimited and how they want to amend the contract so they can possibly provide management for Brandon’s Municipal Course (which I think is a conflict). They cleverly claim that people who will work at the Sioux Falls city courses won’t work at the Brandon course, yet what they fail to mention is that LU is a corporation with multiple management locations all over the United States. Corporate headquarters knows exactly what is going on at both locations simultaneously. They also talked about ‘opportunities’ between the two locations. I’m not sure how people paying to golf at Brandon’s course is an ‘opportunity’ for the taxpayers of Sioux Falls. I have often said we should just have a flat lease for the courses and let the contractor do as they please, and maintain them at their expense. This would be more beneficial to taxpayers, and would eliminate any contract conflicts.

There has also NOT been any determination on how the golf cart shed fire started. During the contract discussion, LU admitted they received $100K from insurance for lost carts, etc. When the Director of Parks, Ding-Dong Don was asked how much the city got from insurance for the destruction of the facility, he responded that they have received nothing yet. When asked why, he said it is because they haven’t figured out yet how they are going to replace the facility (stand alone or along with a new clubhouse). Sorry, but a damaged building value has NOTHING to do with what the new facility will cost. I find this very odd, and wonder if a determination on the cause of the fire will ever be revealed. Of course, this is coming from the same guy who lied about no-mow zones (and various other crap). Can we impeach him?

Midco Aquatic Center subsidy in 2019 double of what predicted

I just about fell out of my chair when a city official sent me this;

Aquatic Subsidies for 2019

Total $2,335,028

Indoor $794,913   34% of the subsidy

Outdoor $1,540,115   66% of the subsidy

*2019 financials are not final until after the Audit is completed.

We were originally told that the yearly subsidy for the MAC would be around $400K, it is almost double that. We were also told that it would be so popular that that subsidy would possibly get smaller the longer it was open. Not the case. Just imagine if the Sanford Sports Complex opens an indoor pool, than what will happen? I said before it opened that it was in the wrong location, it didn’t include other stuff like a fitness area, it was too small and didn’t have enough space for expansion. It also has a lot of private competition. As predicted, the MAC will be a yolk around the taxpayers necks for years to come.

The City of Sioux Falls turns an inexpensive retaining wall fix into a contractor boondoggle

Man, can you say ‘Overkill’. You would think they were building a multi-million dollar Bunker Ramp to support a mega-story hotel.


Spencer ‘Duck’ park officially open

I had to laugh today as I cruised by the Spencer Dog Park, The Sioux Falls Headliner predicted this back in May. I have often felt this was one of the dumbest places to put this park. It’s central location is OK, but this area has flooded almost every year since it has been there. It’s almost like the Parks department wanted to put it there so they have something to cleanup after.

Sioux Falls Parks board August meeting minutes and video absent

I asked a city official yesterday why it takes over a week to post the minutes and video of the Parks Board meetings. We were promised more transparency of the meetings by recording not only audio but visual, yet it takes over a week to post it. What is even more troubling is that it takes that long to produce minutes from the meeting. Why?

Maybe the person in charge of the minutes is also in charge of the NO MOW list and they have conveniently lost them, until they conveniently found them. I suspect they will magically show up by the end of the day.

Changes for Levitt 2020

I first want to say that Nancy Halverson and crew knocked it out of the park. I think only 2 concerts had to be completely cancelled, and a couple, including Friday night’s show had to end early due to weather. We expected that.

While they planned on 30 concerts this year, they plan to have 50 next year, I’m excited about it.

Here are some changes I would like to see made next year to make Levitt even better;

Allowing people to bring their own beer or wine. I think it should be limited to that and NOT liquor. I also think that if people bring their own, they should have to get an ID badge. While JJ’s did a fine job, I think the city council could change the very simple ordinance that says Falls Park West (where the Levitt resides) to allow this. It really is as simple as an ordinance change.

Put in permanent bike racks. I think they could be easily be put in along the sidewalk on the West side of the restroom. I do know that FAB is working with the city to do something better and I appreciate it.

• Plant more shade trees around the grounds. I also think that they should get a sponsor to put an awning coming off the restroom to the East.

Take down bag search signs. You can’t search people’s bags without a warrant of probable cause. Maybe a sign that says “Suspicious bags subject to search.”

• No pets allowed. This of course would require a city ordinance that basically says pets are not allowed to the Levitt grounds area. JazzFest has NOT allowed pets for years. It’s not good for their health and they don’t want to be there anyway.

Have Friday and Saturday night concerts from 8-10 PM. It was disappointing to see a concert end at 9 PM right when the sun was going down. As I understand it noise ordinance is 11 PM.

• Move the restroom drinking fountains to the Eastside of the building. Those fountains sit in the sun ALL day long, I have never gotten a cold drink of water from them, at best tepid.

• Don’t bring a lawn chair if you don’t need to. This of course will be something people who are attending will have to do on their own. I never sat in a chair all season long and only sat on the ground a few times. Dance and enjoy yourself.

I think with some minor tweaks (I think Levitt will propose some of their own) the 2020 season will be fantastic.

Kory & the Fireflies played the last show of the season last night.

Parks Survey Results

Here are the results to the Parks Survey: DOCUMENT

What ‘might’ have caused the fire at Elmwood?

While we still really haven’t heard what caused the Elmwood golf shed to burn to the ground (even though there has been conflicting stories about a completed investigation) I have heard what the ‘possible’ cause could be.

Apparently there have been problems with the battery chargers overheating with the particular models that Elmwood was using. Sometimes it’s installation, sometimes it is just a bad charger. I guess on these carts the battery chargers are a separate unit that have to be manually attached to the battery to charge them (unlike an electric car, like a Tesla, that has an onboard charger). If an overheating occurs, it is most likely the CHARGER not the BATTERY.

It will be interesting to see ‘IF’ we ever get a straight answer on what caused the fire. I’m sure the final paperwork will be filed with the Parks ‘No Mow’ list and Councilor Neitzert’s text message meme’s of Stehly.

STOP bringing your dogs to Levitt

Before we get to the recommendations of animal health experts on the topic, I want to clarify, I love dogs. I had one for several years. I would take him on walks regularly and had a fenced in backyard for his outdoor enjoyment. Dogs make great companions and we love to show them off. Unfortunately I think that is the main reason why people bring them to outdoor concerts.

I wasn’t going to say anything about it until I came to a boiling point on Saturday. Two teenage girls decided to bring their very large, black, pit bull mix dog to the Levitt and sit directly in the sun. He was NOT a happy camper. He was visibly uncomfortable and panting at a very high rate. I politely asked them to first get him some water and take him home. I informed them that his high rate of panting was a sign of dehydration and heat exhaustion. They did move to the shade, and then I think they eventually left.

Besides this example, animal health experts have warned about bringing your dog to outdoor concerts for several ‘common sense’ reasons;

It’s Extremely Loud

Worst Place for Socialization

Your Dog Will Get Hurt

Food on the Ground

And as I mentioned above, depending on the weather, it can be extremely uncomfortable for them. While you may be very proud of your St. Charles you had to take a 2nd mortgage out to afford to buy him, in the future if you want to show them off to me, keep some cute pictures on your phone to show me, and let your dog relax at home while you enjoy the concert.