Who is looking into building an Indoor Water Park in Sioux Falls?

While I do know the name of the real estate broker asking questions about this project, I have a feeling they are not the ‘real player’ in this deal. I believe they are a hired gun to do some nosing around.

I guess whoever is exploring this has been asking what the city would be willing to invest. I’m not sure if that is a public private partnership, a TIF, tax rebates or all of the above. I do know they want to build it ‘around’ the Sanford Sports Complex area.

The city already loses around a cool half million on the MAC a year, and I can’t see us investing in this. I guess I could see Sanford chipping in since they have already mentioned they may want to build an indoor pool at the sports complex.

But an indoor water park is a whole other ball of wax. On the cheap you might be able to build a stand alone facility for around $35 million, but if you want all the bells and whistles you are looking at well over $50 million.

Could it make money? I believe it could in the long run, but your initial investment might be a little hard to come up with.

We have seen this quite often in Sioux Falls, big ideas and big projects but when it comes to getting the investors, it falls through. We saw this with Village on the River who asked to reduce the size of the project.

It amazes me with the billions of dollars we hold in South Dakota for private trusts that we can’t somehow find a way to tap into that money. Oh that’s right, the state is controlled by anti-tax right wingers.

American Legion is considering a partnership to purchase Badlands Pawn

I don’t think this is a bad idea. The letter below (I found on FB) details what they would like to do with the facility and the multiple veteran and military charities/non-profits that would use it and occupy it. I am told that no tax dollars would be used to purchase or run the facility. I guess also the city attorney is working (privately) with the group to help them thru the process, but he is volunteering his time and doesn’t interfere with his public duties.

UPDATE: Dave Mathews in Sioux Falls for 3 nights, who knew?

Every year Sanford holds a big party for it’s employees, they usually bring in a well known performer.

UPDATE: Employees had to pay $10 a ticket with a limit of two. It was a fundraiser for Sanford’s Employee Emergency fund. Tickets were available to Sanford employees as well as First Premier, Unity Point and GSS.

This year apparently they brought in Dave Matthews and Grace Potter (which I was told was fantastic). While I am not really a fan anymore (because all his stuff sounds the same) when he first got popular about 20 years ago, I did like some of that early stuff.

But what is disappointing is that Sanford kept this all to themselves. What would have been the harm in selling tickets to a public concert? Could Matthews sell out the Denty? Probably not, but heck, I guarantee he could have sold out the Pavilion.

Once again we see the sword Sanford wields on us. I was at a family event yesterday and one of my second cousins from Yankton asked me, “When is Sioux Falls going to rename itself to Sanford Falls?” It may be sooner then we think.

The Bonus Round Bar doesn’t charge a cover to get in

Oh, the bar business in Sioux Falls. Apparently it is so competitive that competing bars and patrons start rumors.

When the Bonus Round opened their tally ho second location downtown, they had a fantastic idea – pay 10 bucks at the door and get a free beer and unlimited pinball play. Pretty good deal. I would say a great deal if you are a pinball maniac.

Well apparently a bunch monkeys around town decided to turn this into the classic elementary school game of ‘around the world’. It’s an interesting game where you whisper a FACT into the person next to you and it travels around the room and the last one proclaims what they heard.

It never turns out well or truthful.

You can walk into either location and NOT pay a cover. It was a marketing idea, and a good one that turned into a vicious rumor.

I have a special place in my heart for Ike and Cricket who opened a cool bar in my neighborhood and now downtown. They are hardworking people who started a grassroots business that makes people happy. Micro brews and pinball. They love what they do, and they literally would give the shirts off their backs to patrons, and I have seen it.

So please, stop the BS rumors. They are just trying to irk out a living just like the rest of us working stiffs.

Why is the city so right and we are so wrong?

The defenders of open government often miss some important points, mainly delivering information uninterrupted.

As if SIRE used by the city of Sioux Falls wasn’t built on absolute crap, we now can’t get anything off the SIRE system without annoying pauses, spinning arrows or plain dead links. The Tuesday October 16th, 2019 meetings were bad enough but now we get to see the Charter Revision Meeting prove it again. 

The system just proves the system is built on crap and will continue to be crap. The IT and Innovation Department must be in place just to find innovative ways to kill public involvement in Sioux Falls city government. Sure am glad the city spent a lot of hard cash to get this upgrade.

This was the response from City Clerk Greco in an email;


I appreciate your bringing up the streaming issue from Tuesday night; we also noted the same issue during the meeting.  We contacted the vendor asking them to review any issues they may have had Tuesday night or last night.  There were no issues associated with recording the meeting and it was uploaded immediately after the meeting adjourned. 

Of the 125 or so meetings we’ve streamed since deploying the new software, we’ve had great success particularly when compared to the previous system. To date, we’ve experienced one other streaming issue in December for an informational immediately after deployment. Our protocol is to conduct a web streaming test prior to each meeting.  We also intend to upload videos at the conclusion of each meeting– there were short interruptions in 2 recordings a few weeks ago requiring additional time for upload to ensure the complete video was posted online; Tuesday night I stopped the informational upload so I could begin the City Council meeting recording.

Despite the problem Tuesday night, we’ve found great benefits from the new software.  Among those are the ability to view meetings on all types of devices, a significantly better search capability through the agenda program of the more than 1,800 meetings online, and closed captioning during the streaming of City Council Meetings.  Additionally, the software has provided for public access to over 26,000 original ordinances, resolutions, minutes, election returns– some of which date back to 1907–  campaign finance documents, and raffle notifications.  This can now be found through our webpage under “records” and I hope you find it useful.

Thanks, Thomas Greco • City Clerk • City of Sioux Falls

I actually thanked Greco for his ‘in depth’ explanation. But when it comes to open government, and failures a simple ‘sorry’ would suffice

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda – Kinda

So the city council decided to take a bus ride this Tuesday then a nice evening of rubbing elbows with Chamber folks;

Council Working Session – Capital Projects Tour • 1 PM

I especially liked this note;

This Working Session will not be recorded or broadcast live.

They should have also said, ‘Unless Bruce shows up.’

Should all local races be non-partisan?

I have been enjoying Dave Baumeister’s columns on Cory’s blog as of late. Dave touches on a lot of topics I do, and puts a different twist on them. I guess it is probably because he is a real journalist and I’m a hack.

Dave’s latest column is about having local non-partisan races, particularly the county commission;

Two of the local governing bodies, school and city, exist as non-political positions. Why doesn’t the same hold true for county elections?

I totally agree with Dave on this issue, but . . .

The city council and school board have become very politically motivated. Did you know that the city council has only ONE Democrat and NO indys? The Minnehaha County Commission isn’t much different, one Dem, no indys. You can do the math on the other members. I actually believe one of the top reasons councilor Starr wasn’t elected to leadership this past year was because of his blueness. I don’t know what the make up of the school board is, but I will say that Mickelson would have never gotten elected if it wasn’t for the Republican Party throwing oodles of money at her (and putting yard signs in the Tea School district).

So while Dave’s sentiment is nice, and noted, living in a red state, non partisan races don’t really matter, because you are still going to end up with a basket of deplorables on your local boards.

UPDATE: This should happen more often in SD, especially in Sioux Falls

I’m sure you saw this in the news this week. I asked myself, ‘Why hasn’t this happened more often in South Dakota?’;

The Walworth County auditor faces charges of violating South Dakota law after she was arrested and charged with failing to follow state public meeting laws.

Walworth County Auditor Rebecca Krein is accused of violating a law that requires government entities to make documents available to the public when they are used during official meetings. Walworth County State’s Attorney James Hare issued a warrant for her arrest last week after he received a complaint that Krein failed to make documents available for an Aug. 6 meeting.

Cory touches on the topic;

Did I miss the memo declaring that public officials should no longer experience shame for breaking the law? Publicly shaming elected officials for breaking the law is moral, necessary, and effective, even, sometimes, against the most shameless and corrupt of elected officials. We don’t hesitate to arrest and shame run-of-the-mill hoodlums on the street who wave shotguns and vandal murals. Why should elected officials not face cuffs and guff for violating the public trust?

I can’t speak for the rest of the state, but I can tell you that this happens quite often in Sioux Falls. In fact Cameraman Bruce and myself and several other citizens have complained about this multiple times. Some examples that have happened quite often in Sioux Falls at public meetings are starting meetings early (before posted time) and not handing out paper copies of the agenda at the meetings. The city council usually has this handled, but there have been several occasions in other city board and commission meetings where it has NOT happened. I would even dare to say that I could come up with over a dozen instances every year. So I find it a bit ironic that the state arrested this person in lowly Walworth County but NOT in Sioux Falls.

You know my soapbox by now. No local government agency (that I know of) in SD has ever gotten in trouble for being too open. In fact, state law is pretty clear about open meetings, they leave it up to the local agencies. The state legislature has essentially said, you can tell the public as much as you want to, but too often they choose not to. I was glad to see this arrest, but I would like to see a lot more of it. Putting these public officials in handcuffs may be the ultimate solution to opening up our books. As I have said before, not only is open government good for governing, it saves taxpayers money. Dictatorships only occur when the people in power have taken away our access to information, once that happens the dominos fall, really, really fast.

Patrick Lalley Podcast

This week Pat revives Hudson’s get out of town and has a debate with a person about bonding.

Hudson kicked out KSFY for their purchase of KDLT, it was enlightening.

Need to fast track a mural in Sioux Falls? Talk to the mayor.

I found out yesterday that the new murals being painted in the South part of the new Raven’s parking lot may have gotten a fast track due to who owns the wall – the mayor.

While I have been literally bitching for years that more public art and murals should be downtown and across the city (in which I agree with Mayor TenHaken) I still think that the approval of these pieces should go through the proper channels.

For the record, the murals do follow the sign code ordinances and don’t advertise a specific business, and the ones that are done so far are pretty cool. That aside, it seems there really wasn’t a real process in getting these murals approved, and now I know why. The mayor still owns the building his former business, Click Rain occupies, so the murals are being painted on his property.

In all fairness to the process and openness I guess I would have let it play out like any other property owner asking for the same thing. Maybe it did, and if so, why not SHOW the public how this process works for educating others who want to pursue it?

I often tell people that government officials have a duty to not only delegate and lead, but they also have a greater duty of informing and educating the public on why they make decisions. It’s unfortunate I had to hear this thru the grapevine instead of from the administration.

But this of course doesn’t surprise me, just look at the 5G expansion.

Some people think great things get done in government if we keep it from the public. I have a word that describes those people; Dictators.