SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A controversial parking ramp in downtown Sioux Falls has received a lot of attention in recent months. And it’s not over.
Next Tuesday night at their regular meeting, the Sioux Falls City Council is set to hear a resolution that would boost funding for a new parking facility.
For this story, KELOLAND News reached out to the mayor’s office, which declined comment. We also reached out to all eight city councilors, and only councilor Theresa Stehly was available for an interview.
Stehly says that the parking facility in question is the one that was supposed to be attached to the Village on the River development. Tuesday’s resolution would raise construction funding by $1.5 million this year, and “public parking user fees” would pay for it.
The Village on the River was set to be a mixed-use project standing 15 stories tall, including a parking ramp, hotels, restaurants and more. In May, the private development project was put on hold.
The taxpayers’ share is $21 million, and it cost the city an extra $6 million to make the ramp fit a multi-use project.
In August, the public parking facilities manager said the city was redesigning parts of the ramp. Now, the council is set to hear a resolution that would increase funding by $1.5 million.
“One thing I want the public to understand is that I care about their investment, their taxpayer investment, and I don’t plan to invest one more penny in that thing until we have a thorough vetting by an independent audit of the whole parking system,” Stehly said.
Stehly stresses that it’s the public’s development.
“This is the city’s, the citizens’ project,” Stehly said. “It’s all about the citizens. It’s always been about the public.”
With regard to Tuesday’s resolution to boost funding by $1.5 million, she knows where she stands.
“I’m planning to vote against this, yes,” Stehly said.