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Spellerberg Master Plan Stirs Debate



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A master plan to reconstruct Spellerberg Park in Sioux Falls to include an indoor water facility has continued to raise questions.

Park officials have held meetings, drawn out plans and discussed funding, however the city council hasn't voted whether to move forward with the reconstruction just yet.

Some concerned citizens against the master plan, said they hope more research is done before a final decision is made.

"I felt very betrayed," said Charlie Roberts, a concerned citizen.

"They've chosen this location and they are determined to put it here instead of looking at all their options," said Liz Muilenburg, a concerned citizen.

Charlie Roberts and Liz Muilenburg, said during the city council meeting Tuesday night,
Park Officials talked about Spellerberg Park's master plan, as if it was a done deal.

"What they were going to do, what's it's going to cost, how much, who was going to meet, the amenities," said Roberts.

Roberts and Muilenburg have concerns about this location, such as not enough parking, creating more traffic to the area and getting rid of the park's green space.

Despite neighborhood concerns, in August, the city council authorized a handful of planning projects for Sioux Falls, including a draft to re-do Spellerberg Park to add an indoor pool.

"We want people to have a flavor of what this thing could look like," said Don Kearney, Parks and Recreation Director.

Parks & Recreation Director Don Kearney and his team have been busy, detailing cost estimates, outlining changes and drawing up plans.

For some council members, the progress in planning is feeling a little too concrete.

"It does seem like this is a done deal is that right," said Kermit Staggers, city council member.

"I think it was in bad form for the administration to address the funding for something that hasn't been decided by the community," said Greg Jamison, city council member.

Park officials said they're just being pro-active, hoping to keep citizens and city officials up to date on progress.

Ultimately, the city council will make the final decision whether to move forward with the plans at a later date.

In the meantime, both Roberts and Muilenburg, hope Park officials will explore alternative locations.

"I would hope that they actually do a site project study," said Roberts.

"I hope there's open and honest determination to do the right thing for the citizens," said Muilenberg.

Some people have also questioned whether Mayor Mike Huether believed Spellerberg's master plan is a done deal and in a statement, he responded by saying, " It is no surprise that I fully support the effort to build an indoor aquatic facility that the folks of Sioux Falls can utilize every day versus the limited times with our outdoor pools.  However, that does not mean it is a done deal at all," said Huether.

The mayor continued on to say he looks forward to more discussion on a location for an indoor aquatic center.  
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