Sioux Falls, SD
Despite some opposition, work is underway on a new $22 million city administration building in Sioux Falls. On Monday, officials broke ground on the controversial project.
"To borrow a line from The Beatles, 'It has been a long and winding road,'" City Council Member Rick Kiley said.
City leaders are singing a positive tune as they break ground on the first Sioux Falls administration building since 1935.
"Construction costs will never be lower," City Finance Director Tracy Turbak said.
Turbak said the building is needed because city employees need more room.
"The city has gone far enough quite frankly down the path of leasing office space. Owning the building over the long-term will cost significantly less than leasing, saving the taxpayers millions of dollars in the years to come," Turbak said.
The project is going to be paid for through sales tax dollars.
"So we haven't asked taxpayers to pay any more than they're already paying from the city's two percent general sales tax," Turbak said.
Not everyone agrees with that though.
"It's costing the taxpayers a lot," Bruce Danielson said.
Danielson led the effort to stop the new building from being built. He says the money could be better used in other ways.
"We just went through a 30 percent increase in our utility rates just because we're building buildings like this. We have no need for these buildings," Danielson said.
City officials said it will help the community by allowing them to have all of their services at one location along Dakota Avenue.
"All of this will have a positive impact on customer service and lead to improved services to all citizens of Sioux Falls," Kiley said.
A service that's not only digging up ground, but also controversy.
During construction, Van Eps Park along with the west parking lane and western-most driving lane of Dakota Avenue will be closed.
The building is expected to be finished in 2018.
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