Sioux Falls, SD
We're less than two months away from a public vote on a new Sioux Falls events center. Monday afternoon, Mayor Mike Huether and other city leaders gave an update on the current state of the proposal.
Last month, the Sioux Falls City Council voted to put the events center to a public vote. With one month down and two to go in his campaign to get it built, Huether stressed education as his primary goal until election day.
At the latest events center update, Huether claimed there are still a lot of misconceptions about the project.
"The council has worked diligently to try and get the word out on those tough issues, those tough questions," Huether said. "They have challenged the administration and the team and the experts we've hired."
City leaders say cost has been the primary concern among residents. But they reiterated that if the project is voted on now, it won't exceed $115 million and won't affect the city's capital improvement plan. In fact, with low interest rates, payments on the Events Center from 2017-2033 will go down $500,000 per year.
"Things have continued to improve," Sioux Falls finance director Tracy Turbak said. "You might recall that previous projections, we've been using 4-4.5 percent. We're now down in that 3.5-4 percent range."
The other major detail to come out of Monday's meeting was the project's impact on jobs. Leaders claim 184 permanent jobs will be created once the events center is built and even more will come from the construction phase.
"For the type of project the city of Sioux Falls is contemplating, 1,100 jobs over the course of the project," Sioux Falls public works director Mark Cotter said.
While the events center has been discussed ad nauseum, Huether wants to make sure everyone gets a chance to learn as much as they can.
"The council wanted Sioux Falls to make this decision and now we are reaching out to Sioux Falls," Huether said.
City leaders also say the annual economic impact to Sioux Falls will be $36 million per year based on spending within the community. The public vote is set for November 8.