Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls' ↓

With a wink and a Nod

Jamie Smith Meet & Greet

Proposed Coffee Shop at 9th & Grange is becoming quite the city welfare project

The property owned by Alex Halbach (who just happened to be the Campaign treasurer for Central District Councilor Curt Soehl) may get a FREE parking lot. Item #32. (FF:55:30)

Mr. Halbach decided to skip the meeting last night, but his neighbors did not, and they said they have been trying to meet with him but he ignores them. The council deferred it 30 days. Rumor has it that Halbach made threats about stopping the project if he didn’t get this to go thru so there may be a re-consideration vote on the matter next week.

Interesting that Curt Soehl did not recuse himself from the vote because of his conflicts. So far Soehl has re-instated the facade easement program (so Halbach could apply for it).

Getting him a free parking lot (Halbach says he doesn’t want to ruin the greenspace in his backyard) and when he applies for the facade easement that will likely pass also.

This is how councilors pay back supporters with YOUR tax money.

Pettigrew & Cathedral Neighborhood Associations Body Check the City & School District

I attended the almost 90 minute meeting tonight (I will have a YT video up soon if you don’t have FB) and it was pretty clear what the neighborhood wanted, GREENSPACE! There was a standing vote, and besides the reporters and city/school staff, everyone was standing in approval of leaving it a park.

The most interesting part was that it seems now the staff from the city and the school district said they have NO PLANS for it. Kevin Smith from the city further pointed out that they don’t own the property but help maintain it.

Funny how transparency works, SUNSHINE WINS THE DAY!

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, May 10, 2022 & the Affordable Housing Surprise & the $30K Mentor Mandate

Between the 4 PM and 6 PM meetings there is a recognition ceremony for the exiting councilors, Janet Brekke, Christine Erickson, and Rick Kiley at 5 PM.

MEETING CALENDAR

Informational Meeting • 4 PM

• Presentation from the Sioux Empire Housing Partnership Introduction by Hugo Barron, Sioux Empire Housing Partnership (not sure if this has anything to do with the plan to move 14 affordable houses to Pettigrew? )

The two neighborhoods will meet Monday, May 9th at 7:30 PM at the downtown Central Church to share their hopes for the future of the space.

Representatives from the City of Sioux Falls and the Sioux Falls School District will be at the meeting.

The unofficial story is that the school district is planning to move homes that they bought by Whittier (for its expansion) to this green space that they own. The neighborhoods (Cathedral and Pettigrew) did a survey with residents of the neighborhood that will be shared Monday Night. As I understand it the over 100 residents that responded said they want to keep it as green space.

I will try to attend the meeting to hear what the city and school district have to say about keeping this on the down low. I was told several months ago by a school district official that they had a plan to move the houses out of Whittier and re-use them within the city limits, they never mentioned this plan. My assumption was that they were just going to move them to various available lots in the core of the city, which I fully support, I see their intentions may be something else.

The worst part about this is the total lack of transparency. They kept this quiet because they knew there would be pushback.

Regular Meeting • 6 PM

Item #4, While four councilors are getting recognition awards, for some reason the Mayor’s Youth Council is getting an award, and they should! Anyone who could sit through those meetings after the Mayor’s friends kids were forced to go to them not only deserve an award but a college credit.

Item #7, Approval of Contracts, Sub-Item #16, Helpline Center Inc., $30K, To Provide Staffing and Support for the Sioux 52 Mentorship Initiative Agreement.

While I support mentorship, I was always under the assumption that if this gets public funding it should come from the School District coffers. But let’s remember, the Sioux 52 program was setup to be funded by the DT Rotary as a non-profit and not something taxpayers would kick into. This is also an initiative the mayor pushed as HIS pet project, and I commend him for it, so to suddenly shove it in the consent agenda as a spending item that the council has to approve without a presentation is speculative (see the email below). Just because it is coming out of the mayor’s office budget doesn’t mean this is FREE money. A better way to approach it would be for him to use his fundraising skills and clout to get this supplemented by non-profits (you know like church volunteers cleaning up after a tornado). Hopefully this will be pulled for discussion since this is just another backdoor approach for taxpayers to fund something on the mayor’s wish list.

Item #22, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS TO SET ASIDE TWO ON-SALE LIQUOR LICENSES FROM THE ON-SALE LICENSE LOTTERY FOR USE AT THE CITY’S GOLF COURSES. (So the Pavilion which is ran by a private management company yet owned by the city and taxpayers went out and and bought a license (I think?) on the open market but the city courses that are owned by taxpayers and ran by a private contractor just get licenses for free? Very random. And since these are city owned licenses does that mean the city receives all the profits from liquor sales?

Items 30-35, RESOLUTIONS OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS APPROVING DIAGONAL PARKING (I find it interesting that several of these project areas are not even finished yet and the city is suddenly being proactive about it. I’m all for it as it is a better use of space, but a part of me wonders in 10-20 years if we are going to need it. I have argued that the use of self-driving cars will eliminate the need for parking in our core.)

New Skatepark has Green Light!

Tomorrow the Skatepark Association is having a celebration for hitting their fundraising goal.

Buy Art, Help People

My weirdo pieces;

Levitt FREE Concert Series is Stellar

I have made it about half way thru my personal review of the bands playing the Levitt this year, and the lineup is chucked full of great Blues, Ethnic, Country, Rock, Local and Contemporary. 50 SHOWS! ALL FREE! Plus Lee Rocker closes it out!

Besides our Parks and Bike Trail, the Levitt is one of the best taxpayer investments in this city! Now if they would let us bring our own beer* and ban pets**, it would be even better 🙂

*Last year an individual alcoholic beverage was $7. It will be interesting to see if that gets raised to $8 this year. While the beverage sales do help the Levitt with contributions, I think it has been overinflated. I am waiting for the financials from 2021 to see what that percentage is. Even if we allowed people to bring their own beer and wine (no liquor) they could still keep the bar and maybe even have a cooler fee you would have to pay to receive 21+ armbands.

**My biggest concern about pets has always been about the well being of the pets. The crowd and noise can cause anxiety (I’ve witnessed many close dog fights) it is often to hot and what I see the most of is them pooping and peeing all over the lawn, and I have witnessed many people walk thru it. Can people just leave their pets at home for a couple of hours without dragging them around like some trophy everywhere? Unless it is a service dog, leave them at home. PLEASE! JazzFest always had a ban on pets, and it worked great!

Robert tells us about future council appointments

Was the City of Sioux Falls planning an affordable housing project without Neighborhood input?

It appears that the city was working behind the scenes with the Sioux Falls School District to build around 14 single family affordable houses on this empty lot owned by the school district. The Pettigrew Heights Neighborhood association got wind of the back door negotiations (they were NOT included in the discussions) and put out a survey to the neighborhood (it is closed now) to see what the neighbors think.

Let’s just say they are NOT happy about how this was being planned (in the dark). While I certainly would support a project like this, I don’t live near it or in that neighborhood so I can’t speak for the people who live there, but it seems they would like to keep it as is and add a park instead.

No matter who is involved with this backdoor plan, I will say this is NOT how you go about it. You have to engage the citizens in the neighborhood in a public meeting setting and work with them on shaping the project.

THE WAR ON TRANSPARENCY IN THIS CITY MUST END!

I think a mixed use of townhomes, apartments and homes with a park and urban garden in the center would be a good way to go. But we NEED the public’s input first and foremost.

They are having a meeting Monday to address the issue. I think some city staff from the planning office are going to be in attendance.