A last-ditch effort to put a Sioux Falls building battle on the ballot is still alive.
City Council voted 5-2 to set up an advisory election in June on the proposed city administration building. That means the public would get to weigh in, but only to give the city a recommendation on how to move forward with the facility.
The election hinges on the city delaying a bond sale for the building, which can take place starting in October. The mayor hasn't said yet whether he'll push that sale back. If the bond sale takes place before the election, the election would be nullified.
A petition drive to force an election failed last week after the city says signatures were submitted on the wrong form.
“That's all water under the bridge at this point. But, I really do believe it does give false hope if we do move forward. Because of that, I will vote no,” says council member Rick Kiley.
Council member Theresa Stehly counters, “We have a right to do this, we're not doing anything illegal. This is well within our right to do this and our authority on the council.”
The item to create an advisory election still needs to pass one more round of voting at City Council next Tuesday.
Supporters of the election say they want the public to decide whether or not the city should build the facility. Many say they want more time to discuss other options before selling nearly $25 million in bonds for the building, which will be paid back using tax dollars. Proponents of building the facility on N. Dakota Avenue say it's needed to house the growing number of city employees and that any delay of the project will cost taxpayers more in the long run.