I like to hear visionary ideas like the one that surfaced regarding what to do with Joe Foss School. The thing with visionary ideas is that it requires long range planning including economic trend analysis for feasibility. If you are wondering what and where is Joe Foss School, it is a two story brick building built in 1923 on Cliff Avenue between Second and Third Streets.
You can talk about ideas and take tours and imagine what something could be but the one thing that usually stymies this kind of visionary thinking is the reality of finances. I like the idea that city officials are thinking the "what ifs" when Joe Foss School becomes vacant in 2014. However, the real question is - will there be money in the city's capital program in 2014 and the years beyond for this kind of visionary thinking?
If the event center passes on November 8th, up to $10 million a year for the next 22 years will be sucked out of the city's capital program. Add to that the ongoing maintenance needs AND the growth needs of the city's infrastructure related to streets, water, sewer, storm drainage, fire stations, police and fire staffing and just running general government needs and you wonder whether the city will even be able to fund such visionary ideas like maybe a community center in one of the city's oldest neighborhood much less the "necessary" needs of the community.
Nice thought, but reality usually hits you square between the eyes. Money only goes so far when the promises are no new taxes for a grand idea that will take bucket loads of money for decades and decades to run and maintain in an area of the city that hasn't grown economically for the past couple decades.