SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A meeting of the Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation Board scheduled for noon Wednesday has been canceled. 

An agenda for the meeting posted on the city’s website said the park board meeting was going to discuss “a motion to recommend that the city surplus the Brockhouse animal collection and the other mounts acquired over the years, collectively referred to as the collection.” 

The city’s website now says the meeting has been canceled and a City of Sioux Falls employee confirmed to KELOLAND News the meeting has been canceled.

Parks and rec director Don Kearney told KELOLAND News the city and partners at the Great Plains Zoo are outlining next steps for the public and our elected officials.

“More details will be forthcoming,” Kearney said in an emailed statement.  

The canceled meeting comes after city councilors and the public discussed the future of Brockhouse collection and the Delbridge Museum of Natural History at the Great Plains Zoo.

The museum was closed by zoo and city officials on Aug. 17 because about 80% of the mounts tested positive for arsenic. The closure was a precaution for safety because the zoo doesn’t have the needed mitigation in place, officials said.

Zoo and parks and recreation officials including the mayor recommended the collection be declared a surplus and be decommissioned. The parks and rec board was going to vote on the surplus recommendation Wednesday before the meeting was canceled.

The Sioux Falls city council would need to declare the specimens as surplus and they would be decommissioned.

The information also said the taxidermy collection was valued at $430,000 in 2022. That was prior to any testing conducted, said Don Kearney, the director of the city’s parks and recreation.

The city issued $1.9 million in bonds for the space for Delbridge back in 1985, Kearney said.

Council member Curt Soehl asked if the zoo and parks and recreation officials considered going the public with a bond for needed work today.

Kearney said zoo and parks officials involved did not consider a public bond for needed work, but that it could be a possibility.