City of SF officials: private money an option for parks financing

Local News

Mayor Paul TenHaken’s 2020-2024 capital program proposal for the City of Sioux Falls includes less money for parks.

City of Sioux Falls Director of Finance Shawn Pritchett uses the word “outlook” to describe a capital program- it looks ahead at planned spending.

In his letter to the Sioux Falls City Council talking about the 2020-2024 capital program, Mayor Paul TenHaken wrote that “some park projects” will see change and less money. Director of Parks and Recreation Don Kearney highlights one at Great Bear Ski Valley.

“We’re looking for a private donor that would be able to step in and help us with the cost of that lift, it’s about a $1.7 million project, and so we’re hoping to get about a $800,000 donation, or donors to help step up to be able to fund that lift,” Kearney said.

“There are opportunities to leverage private investments into our parks and recreation system,” City of Sioux Falls Director of Finance Shawn Pritchett said. “People get excited about parks and rec, it’s a great front face for our community … but people don’t typically want to invest in a road or a streetlight, and so those are the basic needs that really we’re focusing as a priority for the city dollars.”

Pritchett says that when it comes to parks, it’s about taking care of what the city has right now.

“We are trying to take care of what we have, so for right now, our focus is on maintaining the existing assets that we’ve invested significantly in over the last several years, and really taking care of those assets, and then taking the funds that we have available and reallocating and really making a push on the road system,” Pritchett said.

A man KELOLAND News met Monday night at Sertoma Park is a fan of using private money for quality of life improvements.

“I’m all for it, I really think, I think that’s a good way to … have the great quality of life that we want and still have good roads, and still have water systems that work well, and all the things that government is supposed to pay for,” Michael Tolliver of Lennox said.

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