At the informational on Wednesday council got some updates on our new transit provider (FF 19:00). The Planning Director told council that last year the legislature permitted agencies like Dakotabilities and Lifescape to take a 100% reimbursement on Medicade for transit services. Jeff asked if the city would be repaid that money and the agencies said they are using the money and they are only getting 80% from the state right now. Hopefully in the future the Feds will reimburse us for Paratransit rides.


At the regular council meeting Wednesday night the council pulled the item that will fund the fitness center we are buying from Sanford for $9 million. (FF: 8:30);

A motion was made by Council Member Merkouris and seconded by Council Member Soehl to approve Sub-Item 5, Parks/Recreation: Offer to Purchase Commercial Real Estate and Asset Agreement, 24-0070, Sanford Wellness Center; Sanford Medical Center; $9,000,000.
Roll call vote to approve7 Yes: Basye, Cole, Merkouris, Sigette, Soehl, Spellerberg, Barranco; 1 No: Thomason. Motion Passed.

During the discussion, Jeff mentions that Sanford will have to lease back the property until January 1st until the city takes it over. Sanford sent club members an email;

Valued member,  

We have some brief updates to share regarding the timeline for the proposed purchase of Sanford Wellness Center Tea-Ellis by the City of Sioux Falls. Following final approval from the City Council at this week’s meeting, Mayor TenHaken signed the purchase agreement with a tentative closing date later this fall.

We acknowledge and appreciate that this approval represents a major change for our members along with some temporary uncertainty as details are worked out. With that in mind, we continue to reiterate and reassure you that nothing will change with your Sanford Wellness Center membership at this time.

Here are a some additional details:

  • The purchase process will move forward with an expected closing date within the next three months.
  • On the closing date, the City will officially own the building; however, we will continue to operate Tea-Ellis as a Sanford Health facility until the City is prepared to take over operations.
    • Tentatively, the City will take over in late 2024 and no later than Jan. 1, 2025.
    • This purchase does not include our Oxbow location, which will remain a Sanford Health facility.
  • The City’s next steps include developing plans for operations as well as membership and programming options.

Throughout the purchase and transition period, we continue to welcome questions and conversations. To help address some of your most frequently asked questions so far, we have the following resources available:

  • An FAQs page has been added to the Wellness Center website.
  • Members can also email with questions.
  • Posters with our question submission QR code have been placed at Oxbow and Tea-Ellis and are available for anyone to ask a question.
    • Answers to these questions are primarily available on the FAQs page referenced above.

We look forward to sharing more details with our members in the coming months.

Thank you for your patience, and importantly, for choosing Sanford Wellness Center to be part of your health journey.

Be Well, 

Mike Davidson, General Manger, Sanford Wellness Center
Scott Hettenbach, Director, Sports Performance and Wellness Centers

I also found it interesting that Thomason voted against the measure after asking about membership fees. I have a question into Richard asking him why he voted NO and wait to hear back from him.

You can also listen to my public input about the Dakota Scout becoming the legal paper for the city and during public input I said this;

Scott Ehrisman spoke on TIFs, development & project costs, and a previous Councilor not living in the district he represented.

This was in the notes, notice they didn’t put the name of the councilor in the minutes, I said the name, Marshall Selberg. Sneaky. I should ask the clerk’s office to amend the minutes.

The police have been patrolling the bike trails to check speeds and E-Bike classifications. Only E1s and E2s are allowed. E3s and any other electric mobility devices that are not for ADA use are NOT allowed.

Make sure your E-Bike classification sticker is visible for police if they stop you. If you don’t have a sticker the police WILL look up your bike online to see the classification.

They are also checking speeds! Which is great! Remember the speed is 15 MPH. I have settings on my bike so I set it at 13 MPH, I recommend everyone else does the same. Always use extreme caution when passing others.

We have to exhibit to the council over the next year that as citizens we can handle the responsibility of riding an electric bike on the rec trail. If you want to horse around or haul ass, take it to the streets!

Probably one of the main reasons peeps did not vote in the city election and recent primaries is because the government doesn’t engage them. They have no clue of what is going on so why vote?

I will give you an example. I like to ride around town at night and look at public/private partnerships. It is intriguing to me how some partners really take it one step further and some just cash the check and say, oh well.

So I was riding on the river greenway tonight by the Steel District project admiring the cheap exterior elements 🙁 and some random dude in a random car (not security) told me I needed to leave the PRIVATE property. I told him it was NOT private property and pointed to the greenway while I was sitting on a public street attached to a parking ramp that got a $25 million dollar TIF.

He wanted to argue, but I informed him I was sitting on public property and had every right to be there. He didn’t know what to say except, “This is private property.”

It just goes to show just how little the general public knows. We are paying for that patio, we are paying for the infrastructure, we own that damn project whether we like it or not yet some clown in a random car needed to somehow school me. Poor fella.

UPDATE: I just got a tip this morning that the project for the RR Redevelopment will be requesting a TIF. With inflation and property taxes going thru the roof this is a horrible time to be handing out TIFS. 80% of property taxes in SF are paid by residential property owners. Why are we subsidizing parking ramps for NOT workforce or even low income housing!?

Maybe we could afford a food tax cut, if we would just stop giving these Developer Welfare Queen Grifters massive tax breaks! Want to jump start the economy in SF, lower property taxes and stop giving OUT GODDAMN TIFS! THEY DO NOT WORK!

Still waiting for that independent comprehensive study on TIFs in Sioux Falls and the State. Oh that’s right, we can’t do a study showing how awful they are, then we would have to stop handing them out to our friends.


At the informational meeting (Wednesday) the city council will get an update on our public transit system and an update on the supposed development directly east of the 8th & RR Building. It seems they will contract with a developer from Des Moines (you can see they do the boring crap SF likes). I do know that some local developers proposed some housing in the area and their RFP was declined and it wasn’t Lloyd 🙂

At the regular meeting, also on Wednesday, they will be voting on sending the tiny house community more money (Item #46, 1st reading);

This ordinance will provide an additional $200,000 of funding for the ongoing construction of the Veterans Community Project tiny home village. The funding will come from the restricted cash balance, in the General Fund, set aside by Ordinance 52-23 – Liquor License Proceeds.

I supported this project initially, but over the past couple of years I have gotten suspicious of this private non-profit. I have asked several friends who work with or at the VA and DAV if they work with this group and they said NO. I have also asked people who work at affordable housing solutions if they work with the group and they said NO. So why are we giving them money? And why don’t they work with veterans and housing partners? Seems odd to me you call yourself a Veteran’s Community but you don’t work with some of the largest Veteran organizations in our country.

I also see we are taking the money out of the Liquor License Fund. I thought that money was going to be used for youth prevention? Maybe we should use the money to give every adult a beer at the July 4th hot dog festival. Makes about as much sense.