SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — All this snow, freezing and melting cycles is taking a toll on roads in the form of potholes. In Sioux Falls, that also means a need for additional money to fix the problem.
Two members of the Sioux Falls City Council asked to move $500,000 from the general fund to the highways and streets department for pothole repair. The ordinance passed 7-1 with councilor Greg Neitzert the only one voting no.
Drive around Sioux Falls and you’ve likely noticed and felt potholes. A lot of them. That’s why councilors Curt Soehl and Sarah Cole brought forward an ordinance to address the expanding pothole problem.
“This year with all the snow we’ve had, and certainly we’re going to get more this week, it’s created a lot of problems. The potholes are the worst I’ve seen them in 40 years,” Soehl said.
According to Soehl’s presentation,1,900 potholes were filled in 2022. They estimate 3,700 total potholes will be filled this year at the cost of $1.29 million. Even with the extra money, Soehl says they may still fall short.
“We’re going to overshoot the budgeted money, so that’s why I’d like to move some money over there so they can get the additional help they need to get the potholes fixed,” Soehl said.
Greg Neitzert was the only councelor opposed to the ordinance saying the money is not needed now but will be later. He adds that filling the potholes is a “temporary solution at best.”
“The real solution is the capital budget, the overlays, the slurry seals, the concrete joint repairs. Unfortunately, we expended $9 million extra on a bridge because we decided we had to get it done now which is going to create problems for the next several years trying to make up for all that money that could have gone into roads,” Neitzert said.
Director of public works Mark Cotter says this winter has been intense and more expensive.
“We’re running six to seven crews during the week when we’re not doing snowplow operations like we are today and then up to three on the weekends, and so if this winter continues to be long and protracted, those costs continue to escalate and very likely we’ll end up needing it,” Cotter said.
Cotter says that any extra money not used in the winter pothole program will be used in the summer for asphalt correction issues.
He also says their department wants to hear from residents who spot some bad potholes. He encourages people to use the OneLink app to submit requests or call public works at 605-367-8600.