Friday, January 6, 2012

We Have Enough Water - At the Moment.

Once again, we see that the current Administration is not into long term planning. The latest short term sightedness is illustrated in their agenda to sell land the city has been methodically planning and buying for the past several decades. The administration wants to sell the Slip Up Creek watershed northeast of Sioux Falls.

Water solutions are not for short time thinking. There are certain things in managing city government infrastructure needs that take a long term vision. Shape Sioux Falls 2035 is a comprehensive plan adopted by the City Council on December 7, 2009 with policies that help guide future ordinances, budgets and master plans. This is what the plan says about the Slip Up Creek Growth Area:

At one point, Slip Up Creek was identified as a future reservoir area for City water needs. However, following the emergence of the Lewis and Clark water project, the reservoir is no longer being considered for that purpose. Instead, the Slip Up Creek area should be preserved as a rural agricultural area. In the later half of the growth horizon, the southern section of the growth area will urbanize. The Slip Up Creek floodplain area should be protected, and existing City-owned parcels in the floodplain should be preserved as flooding buffer and future park area.

So, why sell the land now? Well, for one thing, that land will bring in $2.4 million dollars to go back into the water fund to help the water rates. Short term thinking. How do we know that the money from this sale won't be used to deal with the water issues at the event center construction site?  Once sold, gone forever. Once put into the water fund, spent forever. I have an extended family of farmers who say never sell the land.

I agree with former mayor Gary Hanson when he says the city is making a mistake giving up on Slip Up Creek. Why even the city's own comprehensive plan says the existing city-owned parcels in the floodplain should be preserved as flooding buffer and future park area. Once that land is sold, it is gone forever. Land is gold and holds the future to this city. Think of the long term uses for this land. A possible reservoir for recreational use? Forward quality of life thinking for this community.

But it appears this administration lives in the moment. At the moment, selling the land means dollar signs and using it for short term water rate relief is an "in the moment" mentality. I hope the City Council has some sense to stop this proposed sale.


  1. MMM treats city government like it's his personal Pawn Shop - this is just the first of many assets he will try to unload to pay for his new White Elephant in the industrial park. Such a visionary!

  2. Shame on Mark Cotter for going along with this plan of Huethers. But what do you expect from City Directors who are too fearful of their jobs that they won't stand up for the better good and what's right. How do they sleep at night when they compromise their principles ?

  3. the idea of slip up creek as water storage came about in the late 1970's when the big sioux river was nearly dry.

    the city spent much time and money developing the concept and putting it in our plans. when it became obvious the cost of moving spring run off on the big sioux into slip up creek, the evaporation factor and the recreational use we were hoping for would not work, because the draw down would be the greatest in the late summer months at the same time recreational demand would be highest, other ideas were pursued. one of those ideas, the lewis and clark rural water system, is now near reality.

    i believe selling the land acquired for the slip up creek project IS wrong. it may never be used for long term water storage, but it could make a wonderful retention/detention pond and park area.

    been involved is selling "surplus" city property. there are a few pieces i wish we had not sold... ironically the city had to buy one back for 49th street east of western avenue.

    i strongly suggest our city fathers and mothers think about this a long time. talk with the county, the east dakota water district, state game fish and parks, and make a plan for the long term with those entities involved.

    a one time infusion of cash might actually cost the city much more in the next 30 years.

    rick knobe

  4. I had an ex-husband who wanted to sell rental property we had. As soon as we did, all the money vanished. He'd spent it for his own pleasure-just gambled it away.

    I know MMM can't literally gamble it away by going to a casino like my ex did, but he will find a way to use it for whatever pet project he wants, that's the way he operates

  5. ...or maybe putit in the the Events Center coffers? Very short-sighted thinking!! The Lewis and Clark water project is not done yet, either!!

  6. Lets spend today what we can worry about paying for it later. Then sell off personsl items to make the payments. Wonder where MMM learned this. Now he is having the city leaders thinking the same way. I can only imagine what he will do if he gets the charter changed with all his newly appointed citizen board members. Can you say RECALL

  7. Yet another shining example of the total lack of long term vision our Yanktonian Mayor has. Whether its the Events Center, the Stockyards, Willow Run, and now Slip Up this guy simply can't see further down the road than the next election.