On November 5, 2010, I wrote a blog titled Downtown Development/Railroad Relocation Project (City Business label). I cited the following in part:
In the Mayor’s first Ask the Mayor segment on Citilink/Channel 16 one of his priorities coming into office was the railroad relocation project. He said, “We believe strongly that we can get that accomplished pretty quickly and we need to. It’s money sitting out there that can help us grow jobs, grow the economy as well as get us prepared for development in downtown Sioux Falls, so let’s take advantage of it.”
Mayor Huether made another comment on the first Ask the Mayor program about not knowing why former Mayor Munson hadn’t got this done but that it was a priority for him. He said it should have been done a few years ago because it will develop Sioux Falls, develop downtown and that we needed to take advantage of the dollars by the Federal government. He said he tasked Cotter and his team to get this done.
On November 15, 2010 the mayor and staff gave a presentation to the city council in which they laid out a plan and timeline whereby the tracks would be removed by 2014. http://siouxfalls.org/~/media/documents/publicworks/engineering/projects/rr_relocation/rr_reloc_council_presentation_111910.ashx
The architect from Denver recently said the tracks won't be moved in time for the Event Center project. Has the timeline for this project changed from the target date of 2014 for the removal of the railroad tracks?
Where are those quarterly updates promised last year? It's the end of March 2011 and nothing yet from the administration. What is the status of that congressional earmark of $40 million? What about that Environmental Assessment? It would be nice to hear a status update from the consultants and staff on this project soon.
This railroad relocation project impacts the parking criteria related to the site evaluation for an Event Center. Between 800 to 1200 parking spaces are in question because of these railroad tracks. There is speculation of some feet dragging on this project in order to cement the parking issue for an event center location.
A lot of questions about a project that the mayor said was his top priority when he began his term as mayor. I think the good folks of Sioux Falls need an explanation on this railroad relocation project.