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Sioux Falls mayor calls for $429M in improvements

The Associated Press

7/3/2013

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The mayor of South Dakota's largest city has outlined $429 million in projects he wants funded during the next five years to improve Sioux Falls.

Mike Huether's plan emphasizes parks and infrastructure expansion and is in line with improvements residents said they wanted in a recent survey, the Argus Leader newspaper reported (http://argusne.ws/14PjWpL ).

"We're not going to spend this money just to spend it," Huether told the City Council on Tuesday. "We think that the taxpayer of this city should have the major say in what we do."

The city would add two fire stations, a number of new parks including dog parks, and $4 out of every $10 in the budget would go to road repairs. The plan would allocate $175 million for highways and streets; $136 million for utilities and infrastructure; $68 million for parks, entertainment and libraries; and $18 million for public safety needs. The majority of the money would come from sales tax revenue.

Huether called it "one of the grandest plans in our city's history."

Some City Council members said they were pleased with the mayor's plan but they look forward to delving deeper into its specifics.

"I thought the presentation was really great, and it proves that we are continuing to progress as we go ahead," Councilman Jim Entenman told the Argus Leader. "It's the first step in the process."

Council members will discuss the plan during a series of meetings this summer and make final decisions in September.

A heavy emphasis on roadwork could affect customer traffic for some businesses — something Tony Kellar knows well. His restaurant has been impacted by a construction project just outside his front door this summer.

"I'd be lying if I said it hasn't made a dent," he told KELO-TV. "It'll make the neighborhood better, safer, more beautiful and even better access. So, we're just hanging in there and making the best of it; running a lot of specials."

Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com


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JB Hunt