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Developers Held Accountable For Unfinished Work

June 25, 2014, 5:02 PM by Sammi Bjelland

Developers Held Accountable For Unfinished Work

The City of Sioux Falls is cracking down on developers who don't do their job. Local streets in subdivisions have been left unfinished by developers all over the city.

When a new subdivision is built, the developer signs an agreement with the City of Sioux Falls-- saying all of the work in that area will be done to the City's standards. But not all developers hold up their end of the bargain.

"The problem with that agreement is that there's no financial security attached to that agreement in case the developer does not complete the improvements. So that's the real risk to the taxpayers and the City of Sioux Falls," city engineer, Chad Huwe said. 

In 2012, there were 32 subdivisions that had not been completed correctly. Many local streets were left without the top layer of asphalt. Fixing them all could have cost the city about $10 million.

So, city officials got to work creating a new contract called the "Subdivision Construction Agreement".

"It's been awhile, it's taken a long time. But you know, our main goal is to protect the taxpayers. And that's what I think we've accomplished through this," Huwe said. 

29 of the 32 incomplete subdivisions are now in compliance, but 3 are still left unfinished. The City is taking the three others to court, and isn't waiting for them to finish the job.

"30 and 31 we've completed the paving, with city forces. Here we're in North Ridge, subdivision 32, and we're completing the improvements this week," Huwe said. 

Finishing these projects has cost the City $230,000. 

City officials believe the new Construction Agreement should prevent this from happening again.

"You know, if you say you're going to build something, you need to follow through it. And a lot of this push came from the developers. The developers that were playing by the rules. Wanting us to hold everybody accountable," Huwe said. 

Hopefully creating a fair playing field and smoother roads for everyone in town.

Moving forward, developers must provide bonds to the city before work beings, that the City will hold until the entire project is done. This way the City has financial security.

The three developers who did not reach compliance are Sunset Development LLC, Meadows Edge LLC and N.J.H.H. LLC. 

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