SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Saturday brought a Neighborhood Summit in Sioux Falls, and Nancy Tapken of Sioux Falls explains that she’s here to be in the know.
“I am part of the Terrace Park Neighborhood Association,” Tapken said. “We’ve just crossed the five-year mark. So for me it’s really about staying in the loop, like I want to be in the flow, I want to know who the people are in a position to help our neighborhood. So really about being informed, showing myself new ideas of other neighborhood associations.”
For Mitchell Ohnstad, of Sioux Falls, it’s about resources.
“There’s a lot of resources out there for us as a community that we don’t take full advantage of, and so I’m hoping to learn a little bit more about those resources,” Ohnstad said.
A number of topics came up during this Neighborhood Summit, including neighborhood watches, National Night Out, code enforcement, lighting, speeding and housing.
“It’s really important for the residents of Sioux Falls to be engaged with the city, to make sure that we are listening to what their concerns are,” said Diane deKoeyer, neighborhood planner with the City of Sioux Falls. “Certainly having strong neighborhoods builds a much stronger city, and we all want that. We want people to know each other.”
“The purpose of this meeting was to begin an ongoing dialogue with those parts of the neighborhoods that are organized, because we want to work with our neighborhoods, and so we want to identify those leaders and those people who are willing to become leaders,” city councilor Janet Brekke said.
Ohnstad is already looking ahead to the future.
“I would like to see more young people showing up, to really show an effort, but really I think it’s just that a lot of us didn’t know, didn’t know about it,” Ohnstad said.
Tapken also brings up numbers.
“Neighborhood associations should keep at it, and if you don’t already have one, I really highly encourage you to start one,” Tapken said. “It’s a really good way to have your voice heard. One person complaining all the time is a lot different than 20 people coming together for a common cause, so really a better way to make your voice heard.”
The City of Sioux Falls’ website includes a section on neighborhood associations.