Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Parks and Rec' ↓

The Sioux Falls Parks Foundation

I don’t have an issue with an organization like this to help raise private money for our parks, but I question this;

“The whole idea is to find donors that might have an interest in supporting the parks system with projects we’ve identified as priorities,” said Don Kearney, the city’s parks and recreation director.

Like an ice ribbon? Notice how that rolled out, once a donor said they wanted to give, their name was put on it and the tax payers had to pony up (while still having to pay an admission). While I am all for private donations to our parks, that donation should never be dictated to what it should be used for since taxpayers will likely have to maintain the project after it is built and likely contribute a matching donation to build it.

This is also why I take issue with it being a ‘private’ foundation where decisions about our parks will be made in private by a bunch of rich people who want to plaster their names all over our parks with their pet projects. I have always been a big believer of giving anonymously, modestly and having that gift go to an organization as a whole. It almost seems some of the elites in town are upset they are NOT getting the projects they want to see, so they will circumvent the legislative process.

The irony of this is that we could fund all of these projects through tax dollars (and charge no admission) if we stopped spending CIP money on play palaces we don’t need. I think we have an amazing parks system and for the most part it is FREE and almost 100% funded through tax dollars. I mean how many more Sanford parks do we need?!

And BTW, what happened to all the Sioux Falls logos matching???? I’m going to have to turn you into the Graphic Design Police.

City of Sioux Falls Thursday’s Tidbits

Sioux Falls Ethics Commission met today, but we don’t know why

It says in the agenda;

CONFIDENTIAL REQUEST FOR ADVISORY OPINION 21-1 RECEIVED 10-14-2021 (EXECUTIVE SESSION TO DISCUSS PERSONNEL MATTERS PURSUANT TO SDCL 1-25-2(1) AND CONSULTING WITH LEGAL COUNSEL PURSUANT TO SDCL 1-25-2(3))

This could be anyone with the city, employee or elected official. Since it is confidential we will never know. I think even if these meetings are in private, they should at least release the question and the decision without exposing who is asking. How do we know if the Ethics Commission made the right decision if we cannot watch the proceedings?

Will the Washington Pavilion be hired to run the Ice Ribbon?

With the new ice ribbon set to be built soon down by Falls Park, some are wondering if the Parks Department has what it takes to run the paid admission facility. Since they will have to have a ticketing booth and some kind of staff to assist people, they will likely have to hire a contractor to do it. While I am sure the Pavilion could handle it, what I don’t understand is why can’t the Parks Department? Oh that’s right, besides the department being ran by a two-faced liar, they can’t even hire part-time lifeguards, now try to find part-time ice guards. Maybe we should just let the Pavilion run our entire parks department, they are already draining our entertainment tax fund every year, might as well put them to work.

Available Liquor Licenses in Sioux Falls

After the 2020 Census, Sioux Falls has become eligible for more ON and OFF-SALE liquor licenses, I am awaiting the official numbers from the city but what I have heard unofficially is there is 27 additional Package (off-sale) licenses and 19 Retail (on-sale) licenses available. Not sure how many are already spoken for. Once I get more information I will let you know.

The Curbside Garbage ordinance is already on next week’s docket

I can almost guarantee the Rubberstamp Council will pass the curbside garbage ordinance and allow haulers to charge extra for valet service:

The Sioux Falls City Council will likely consider an amendment to the city’s garbage ordinances that could allow garbage haulers to require curbside placement of garbage cans for pickup or charge extra to continue valet service.

It should be up to the consumer if they want to do it and there should be NO extra charge for the service. But it sounds like the hauler wants the city to force the consumer to do it, and if they don’t want to, they will be charged extra.

Whether the city council will support the move is another issue. In his Facebook post, Neitzert said he was “torn on this issue,” and asked for feedback from residents, and Councilor Rick Kiley said earlier this year he’d be against any such change if haulers weren’t planning on lowering rates for reduced service.


Councilor Janet Brekke has also regularly expressed her support for the current ordinance and how it keeps trash cans away from the street, improving the city’s aesthetics.

You never know, it might come to a tie vote with Poops siding with the haulers, we will see. You know my feelings on it, I think the city should contract with 4 major PRIVATE haulers and divide the city into 4 sections and pay our garbage bill with our water and sewer. We already own the landfill, why would we charge tipping fees? Yesterday while driving to work thru Cathedral neighborhood I saw two trucks parked next to each other from different haulers collecting cans at the same time on the same street. Dumb.

Oh, and let’s hear about 3 city councilors who profess about apartment dwellers being great for a neighborhood, but don’t live next to them. I do, and I love apartments, but I love my house more.

Sioux Falls Skate Park Appeal

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.