SF Mayor Presents Conservative 5-Year Plan
"Back to the basics"
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Going back to the basics. That’s what Mayor Mike Huether is suggesting to Sioux Falls City Council members when it comes to city-wide projects. Huether presented his last-ever five-year capital improvement plan Tuesday afternoon, and it’s much more conservative than years past.
“Some of the fun stuff is going to have to be delayed or canceled in its entirety,” says Huether.
Huether isn’t suggesting the city invest in new, huge projects like they did with the Denny Sanford Premier Center or the Midco Aquatic Center.
“We’ve put together a plan where we made $45 million in cuts to the capitol plan that we presented to you just a year ago,” he explains.
So projects to improve bike trails, park areas or the construction of a new fire station, may have to wait.
“People enjoy that stuff, when it’s free, so it’s one of the toughest things that you do as a mayor,” says Huether.
The shift comes from declining revenue. Sales tax growth is continuously slowing down, the agricultural economy is dropping and online sales are going up.
“We can’t spend more than what we take in,” says Huether.
But that doesn’t mean no money will be spent. In fact he says from 2018 to 2022, Sioux Falls will invest 548 million dollars thanks to sales tax, user fees and state loans. So where will the money go?
“We put 9 out of every $10 dollars toward street and utilities,” says Huether.
Huether wants to put $159 million on the pavement, improving streets in Sioux Falls.
“You don’t want to fall behind, you don’t,” says Huether. “If you think it’s expensive to repair them now, just wait 5 years from now.”
Huether says Madison Street, Minnesota Avenue and 41st street are among the roads that would receive major street reconstruction. He says 821 city blocks will be repaired in 2018 alone. The mayor also wants to spend $189 on utilities, $20 million on public safety and $10 million on public transit. In three weeks, council members will meet to discuss the 2018 budget.