Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Parks and Rec' ↓

Did Mayor Poops vow to get rid of the Poop?

During Mayor TenHaken’s re-election campaign announcement the infamous ‘Sh!t Birds’ that have made a manure monstrosity of our bike trails downtown started to squawk. Paul jokingly said he was going to get rid of them. I hope he keeps his promise. I have suggested for several years they can use air cannons to scare the birds and they will eventually move out of the area. But the biggest opponent of moving the fowl butt birds out of downtown has been the airport saying if the birds moved they could possibly get caught in jet’s engines. Probably just another empty promise from Stoneless.

When will Levitt share its financials?

While Levitt was very quick to tell us attendance this past season (Thank You!) they have yet to share the financials with us.

Here’s what I would like to know;

What was the budget for Levitt in 2021?

Salaries
Promotion/marketing
Artists Fees
Equipment Rental
Other

I would like to know where the money came from;

Individual donations
Corporate sponsorships
National Foundation donation
City of Sioux Falls funding
Rental Fees
Alcohol sales (what did Levitt receive and the percentage)
Special grants, etc.

There has been a lot of smoke blowing (not by the Levitt employees) by ‘other’ sponsors of Levitt about how much they give to the Foundation. It would be really good to know the actual numbers. Hopefully Director Halverson will be presenting those numbers to the public soon.

UPDATE: Is QAnon sponsoring a park bench in Sioux Falls?

UPDATE: Last week I noticed that the ‘Q’ on this bench was removed. It was confirmed to me by a reader that it was ‘professionally’ removed and not just tore off by some punks after he inspected it. So was it really sponsored by a ‘Q’ supporter? Another city mystery like the 24 hour Panhandler Sign 🙁

So this is an interesting new sponsored bench next to bike trail in Yankton Trail Park. I would be curious who paid for this and what it stands for? Is it a person? Not sure.

City of Sioux Falls could make small changes to the bike trail to make it safer

I have argued for years that the Sioux Falls bike trail is unsafe and simple things could be done to make it safer and some wouldn’t cost that much to implement;

Signage. The city has it’s own sign department, so making some simple signs on the trail every ¼ to ½ mile would be very cost effective. They could remind people to stay to the right of the trail, yielding to bicyclists, etc.

Painted Lines. This would cost a little more, but by simply painting a line down the center with directional arrows you could gently remind people to stay in their lanes.

Separate Walking trail. In larger cities they have a separate, narrower walking trail about 4 to 2 feet parallel from the main bike trail. We could do something like this in the higher traffic areas.

Lighting. I have recommended that the trail go 24/7 by installing solar lighting in the darker areas that have tree cover so more people could utilize at night safely.

Electric vehicle enforcement. The police need to do a better job of enforcing this. I ride the trail almost every day during the summer, I will encounter multiple electric vehicles at dangerous speeds. Foot scooters, one wheels, and skate boards doing close to 20 MPH. I have even encountered a couple of smaller ATV’s and mopeds.

High Speeds. To bicyclists and E-Bike riders that like to go fast, may I suggest you ride on the shoulder of a country road. It is not the peds you are zooming by that make the trail unsafe, it is you. Technically the bike trail is really a recreational trail and everyone has a right to it, so if you are training for the Tour De France, do it somewhere else. I do ride my bike on the trail, but I only ride one-speed bikes, so keep my speed down. I also drive defensively.

Clean up homeless camps. I know it is probably hard to see from the trail, but there are several homeless camps, tents, clothing and blankets strewn along the river banks. The city should clean this up and cut back some of the weeds and dead trees.

I have felt for a long time that the bike trail in Sioux Falls is our greatest investment and asset. It is FREE to use, it promotes good health and it is a safe way to commute to work. We have given away almost $200 Million this year in tax breaks to big development, just imagine spending just a portion of that money to improve the trail. That of course would take leadership.

City of Sioux Falls’ settlement for Midco Aquatic Center windows

I wasn’t sure if the city did a press release on this or if this was in the media, so I requested a copy of the settlement from the city in which I received last week. Pursuant to state law, settlements have to be released to the public.

LETTER from CITY, COPY of SETTLEMENT

While the city providing me a copy of the settlement was good, the settlement itself was questionable.

Basically the city didn’t get a CASH settlement so they could hire another contractor to fix the issue. This would have been the best way to go. Instead the contractor that built the facility agreed to replace the windows at NO cost. The kicker is they are taking NO responsibility for the 24 windows being defective, and will not guarantee or warranty the replacement work. Like I said, it would have been better to get a CASH settlement from them so we could hire a NEW contractor to FIX and WARRANTY the windows. We should also acknowledge that the contractor did shoddy work and exclude them from working on future city projects.

You will also see the conflict of interest in the settlement with a Planning Commission member signing off on the architectural portion.

While this settlement won’t rock our city to the core, it certainly wasn’t handled correctly. We should have sued them and hired a reputable contractor to do the job correctly.

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).

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.

Is the City of Sioux Falls secretly planning $40 Million in Quality of Life bonds after the 2022 election?

I got word from some city hall moles yesterday that the Parks Department in cahoots with the Mayor’s office is rumored to be planning around $40 million in quality of life bonds for two new swimming pools (I think outdoor) after the 2022 municipal election is over.

It’s no secret a couple of pools are at their life, but what I find ironic about this rumored proposal is the fact that we can’t even get lifeguards to work for the city, because of low pay and no paid certification.

What makes it even more egregious is that we need to prop up our infrastructure, workforce, housing and crime prevention before we think about building under staffed pools. This is just another handout to contractor buddies of city hall, much like the Bunker Ramp, Admin building, Indoor Pool and Events Center.

When are we going to get a city government that works for the people instead of the developers? This is what happens when you give executive authority to your chief of staff that was a former executive with the largest developer and TIF welfare recipient in the city, and possibly the state. Lots and Lots and Lots of payback.

The running joke amongst my political friends in the city on the right and the left is that the developers run city hall and the city council. Sadly, it’s not a fictional joke anymore, it’s fact.

UPDATE: Sioux Falls Planning Department & City Attorney’s Office hid information from the City Council and Public

UPDATE: Cameraman Bruce wanted me to remind you of this post from March of 2020, and this added commentary;

The article is credited to me and the maps are still true.

The river bed was never owned by anyone but the federal government and since it was part of a navigable it cannot be taken over by anyone without the Corp of Engineers releasing it and likely an act of congress. Sioux Steel never owned the river bed filled in by garbage. The reason the city is not releasing any of their documentation is due to the faulty “quit claim” deeds they might be citing.

The city attorney, Lloyd Companies and Sioux Steel are playing fast and loose with the facts to seal the property permanently. Sioux Steel cannot give away property then never owned. They were and are squatters with no real claims to the property.

The parties to the development including the Sioux Falls city attorney, Lloyd Companies and Sioux Steel must prove they have the rights to continue building on and trading property they do not own or have rights of fee simple.

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So if you watch the city council meeting tonight, Item #12 is a land easement deal with the developer of the Sioux Steel project. While that certainly isn’t anything to raise eyebrows over since the city does these kind of deals several times a year, what makes it concerning as you watch the discussion is that the Planning Department, the City Attorney’s office and likely the Mayor’s office hid this information from us and the city council for over 18 months. Wouldn’t this land transfer deal be something that should have been presented to the citizens before BOTH TIFs for this project were presented? What makes it even more interesting is that it seems some of the information remains confidential even though the city is having a public meeting, discussion and 1st vote on this land deal. Remember when they terminated former City Clerk Debra Owen? Deja Vu.

It also gets even more nefarious when you consider that this land transfer will end up costing taxpayers millions more because the land we are getting from the developers will suddenly become river greenway property that we will be responsible to develop.

Luckily this is only 1st reading, and hopefully the council will be able to really dig into what is going on here, and hopefully by 2nd reading some of those secret legal documents will appear.

At first glance, it is my guess that this was kept from the public and the city council for this long because it is NOT a good deal for us, and they tried to skate this as long as they could (or at least until they got their precious TIF).

I keep telling you folks, there is a lot of ‘stuff’ going on behind closed doors at city hall, and it is NOT to our benefit. And the irony is this is all occurring while the head city attorney is rumored to be on an extended vacation – how convenient for him?

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.