It never hurts to find a few extra dollars in your pocket, but the city of Sioux Falls found an extra $4 million. Amidst tough economic times, the city has managed to come out in the black once again this year.
City leaders are still determining what to do with that money, but having a debate over finances is a good sign in the first place.
The biggest project in Sioux Falls history will break ground later this summer. While the $115 million dollar events center isn't considered a bargain by any stretch, the city's been able to keep its checks in balance.
"I think it's a good sign the money is managed well, that our city is doing well financially even through the tough recession and it'll be a slow climb out of that," Sioux Falls city council member Vernon Brown said.
"The community, as a whole, is in a better place," Sioux Falls city council member Sue Aguilar said. "Unemployment is down, sales tax revenue is up."
Mayor Mike Huether wants the extra $4 million to go toward the events center, but other members of the city council have different ideas. Nevertheless, the money is an indicator of how Sioux Falls conducts business.
"We may not agree on everything, but at least once we do come to a decision, we move forward," Sioux Falls city council member Kenny Anderson said.
Perhaps the only downside to the process is there's no clear-cut way to settle the debate over which projects should have priority. But since that's been brought to the council members' attention, they're determined to fix that problem.
"I think you will also see the council will come up with a procedure for the future as far as when we do have those excess dollars, how does the administration and council proceed?" Aguilar said.
But with a positive economic outlook during a time where economic uncertainty has become the norm, city council members are confident Sioux Falls will continue to cash in.
"We're in a great situation," Sioux Falls city council member Michelle Erpenbach said. "We're strong financially. We're strong in terms of how our people perceive life. We're strong in our job market. Sioux Falls is a great place."