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Extra $4 Million Could Go Toward Other Projects

April 16, 2012, 6:04 PM by Brady Mallory

Extra $4 Million Could Go Toward Other Projects
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

There is a $4 million sales tax surplus burning a hole in the city's pocket. 

Mayor Mike Huether wants the council to put the extra money toward the Events Center, but the Council voted down the Mayor's plan.

"Everybody who sees me seems to have an idea of where that money could be spent," Sioux Falls City Council member Greg Jamison said.

According to Jamison, the money is crucial for repairing rough roads, upgrading city parks and finishing the River Greenway project.

"The council is ready to spend that money on our city.  We're just waiting," Jamison said.

Waiting for direction.  Jamison said before the money can go anywhere, the city administration needs to say which projects are shovel ready.

"The fiscal committee asked for the list (of improvement projects) and they essentially said, 'No.  We're not going to give it to you,'" Jamison said.  "The fiscal committee is working on an alternative plan so we don't have to do this political dance every year."

Outgoing City Council member Vernon Brown has another road project in mind. He said there is a possibility the money could help finish South Dakota Highway 100.

"$4 million would do a mile of the road," Brown said.

A mile does not seem like much, but it would bring us one step closer to finishing the major traffic artery.  According to Brown, the council promised to finish the highway.  A finished highway means more traffic, which could bring more business to the stores at Dawley Farm.  More business means more sales tax dollars for Sioux Falls.  Both council members feel these projects should be in front of the Events Center.

"It kind of made us scratch our heads because there was no discussion.  No asking, as near as we can tell, of the directors where the dollars could most effectively be used.  There certainly wasn't questions of the city council where the money could be used," Brown said.

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