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May 13, 2011 06:01 PM

Huether Wants EC Vote This November

Sioux Falls, SD

We all know about the debate between downtown and the Arena site for a new Sioux Falls Events Center. But now that the Mayor's recommended the Arena location, what happens next?

Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether officially recommended the Arena site to the Sioux Falls City Council on May 2nd. That doesn't set things in stone quite yet.  But, the mayor's goal is to make evidence of the Arena as the correct location more concrete.

Since making his recommendation more than a week ago, Mayor Mike Huether says he now has to show what he calls more 'meat on the bone' to the City Council.

"I think we spent so much time on this location debate that we have lost some ground when it's come to what I think are the two most important topics," Huether said. "And that is not only the expenses and how to finance it, but what is the return."

Huether says he'll spend the next couple of months lining up public and private sources of financing, clarifying the parking situation and having the architectural firms create an artist's rendering of the building.

"Both the construction firm as well as the design firm, they've been working diligently on this probably ever since we've hired them," Huether said.

The goal is to present as much as possible to the City Council by the end of July, so that it can be put to a public vote this November.

"That's the goal I outlined when I was first elected Mayor," Huether said. "It's the goal that I outlined when I first made my presentation on the Events Center and it's still my goal today."

Huether says he doesn't want to rush anything, but worries the project will cost more down the line if it's not put to a public vote this year.

"If we don't do it by then, my recommendation would be to delay it at least a year to November 2012," Huether said. "And if we do that, it's going to cost us another $8-10 million and we're going to lose out on all that economic development opportunity."

The Mayor's monthly update on the Events Center happens Monday at 4 p.m.
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