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SF Deciding What To Do With Extra $3.8 Million

March 24, 2011, 9:55 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

SF Deciding What To Do With Extra $3.8 Million
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Figuring out what to do with extra money is not a problem a lot of cities are dealing with right now.

In the next few weeks, the Sioux Falls City Council will be looking to spend an extra $3.8 million that is left over from last year's capital budget for large projects.

"Things that we thought might take $1 million to get done only took $800,000, and there's $200,000 there and it just kind of adds up," City Council Member Greg Jamison said. 

Those projects have added up to nearly $4 million in left-over money.

It's something that isn't unusual, but this year it presents the council with some crucial decisions because of all the plans they've pushed back for the last few years.

"This time is a little unique because there are some priorities we've been putting off because we felt like the economy is in a tough spot," Jamison said. 

"Are there some projects that are ready to go? I think we're waiting for some of our department directors to give us that answer," City Council Member Jim Entenman said.

Members of Mayor Mike Huether's administration have told the council the money should be set aside in an effort to save up for an events center.

But, that plan hasn't even been approved yet and some on the council don't agree with saving the money already. 

"It's a little presumptious to start saving money for something that has not been approved in the CIP," Jamison said.

Several council members have their sights set on streets, and say that's where the millions should be spent. 

"We've got to make sure that this infrastructure stuff is taken care of. We cannot get caught again like we did last year and get some of our roads and some of the infrastructure deteriorated like it has been," City Council member Rex Rolfing said. 

"Here's an opportunity to put $3.8 million back into our streets. I think anyone driving through our city would realize there are roads that need attention," Jamison said.

Before the council makes any decisions they are going to wait until after bids for this summer's construction projects come in at the beginning of April. Then, they will know if the money will be needed to pay for those projects, or be used to cover other costs.

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