SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Every year, the mayor of Sioux Falls gives a State of the City Address to the city councilors and community. The 2020 address is coming up in just two days, but it’s going to look a little different.
Tuesday, Mayor Paul TenHaken will deliver the annual State of the City address, but in a way that’s different from any other year. The address will be given virtually.
“Having this virtually, it’s hard because I’d rather have this be in person, but I think one thing COVID has taught us, amongst many, is that people are getting more comfortable having virtual conversations, virtual meetings, virtual addresses and adapting. So I think it’s, in a lot of ways, very fitting that we’re doing this remotely and virtually during this time,” TenHaken said.
TenHaken says the COVID-19 pandemic will be a topic in the address in terms of how it’s affected the city, but it’s not the only topic he’ll be covering.
“Specifically we’ll highlight some of the projects that continue to move forward during this time. A lot of the discussion, conversation is around COVID, but in the meantime, we’re expanding our wastewater treatment plant — the largest infrastructure project in the history of the city — our 26th and Southeastern project continues forward — a huge infrastructure project — the progress on the State Theater continues and that will still plan to open this summer,” TenHaken said.
TenHaken says he will also spend time talking about narcotics, addiction and mental illness in the city.
“All of the things that we talk about in terms of the state of our city focus around this One Sioux Falls framework that we’ve really modeled a lot of our decision making after for the last couple years. That focuses on housing, it focuses on public health and safety, it focuses on workforce challenges,” TenHaken said.
Many people might be struggling with the feeling of uncertainty right now. TenHaken hopes he can bring a little hope to the city in his address.
“It’s very important that people tune in and listen to this to hear the positivity and the optimism that we feel in the city of Sioux Falls right now on why we are confident in the responses the city has taken to COVID and why we feel that we’re going to come out of this in a strong fashion and in a fashion I feel is going to be quicker than a lot of the country,” TenHaken said.
Mayor TenHaken will deliver the address at 1 p.m. on Tuesday from the stage of the Washington Pavilion.
You can watch a livestream of the State of the City address on KELOLAND.com on Tuesday.