#1. Pension changes in City Government will save taxpayers millions!
We successfully identified strategic pension changes affecting current and future employees in order to reduce and stabilize rising pension costs. The savings over the next 30 years from these changes is estimated to be over $300 million!
Current employees voted to contribute 2% more of their pay (1% in 2014 and 1% in 2015) to fund pensions and agreed that future retirees would no longer participate in the City’s health/dental plan. Instead, current employees retiring after December 31, 2013, will receive a monthly stipend toward purchasing their own insurance starting in 2014.
Future City employees hired after June 30, 2013, are targeted to join the South Dakota Retirement System (SDRS). SDRS approved legislative and administrative changes to allow future City of Sioux Falls employees to join their system. Legislation is currently pending in the 2013 Legislative session to allow this action.
#2. Sioux Falls inks record-breaking naming rights deal for Events Center!
We successfully negotiated and signed one of the richest naming rights deals in history for a market our size when the City inked a $20.75 million, 25-year deal with Sanford Health, First PREMIER Bank, and PREMIER Bankcard to name the new Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.
#3. Big-time economic development, job creation and growth!
• $490 million of construction activity permitted, the second highest year in history.
• Over 2,000 jobs created.
• 3.7% unemployment rate.
• Glanbia Nutritionals, Twin City Fan, Metal Sales Manufacturing, and Worthington Ag Parts.
• Great teamwork with Sioux Falls Development and the Governor’s Office.
• Record boardings at Sioux Falls Airport.
• 158,800 citizens now call Sioux Falls home!
#4. The old River Ramp comes down. A new Hilton Hotel sprouts up!
A goal of the City for more than a decade was finally accomplished in 2012 with the removal of the 50-year-old River Ramp parking garage in downtown Sioux Falls. Ground was broken on a much-anticipated 136-room Hilton Garden Inn & Suites complete with conference room meeting space, restaurant, and lounge estimated at $30 million. The City sold the property to make the project possible and approved a Tax Increment Finance District (TIF 14) and Business Improvement District (BID) assessment incentives to support the project.
#5. Team Policing is a huge success in keeping citizens safe!
The Police Department’s reorganization effort and Team Policing Initiative resulted in many cutting-edge programs. Trust and communication between Police and community members have been enhanced along with providing education on personal safety and the security of property. The Pettigrew Heights neighborhood is just one of many success stories in 2012. F010024.ai
#6. “Our new Events Center” is going up and taxpayers secured incredible interest rates!
The official ground breaking for the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center was held on August 30. The foundation systems and on-site utilities were completed and the McCart Park parking lot and the new gravity flow sanitary sewer main were constructed off site. We are ahead of our goal to have 85% of the work performed by local subcontractors and suppliers.
An overall interest rate of 3.13% was achieved on two bond sales composed of taxable and tax-exempt bonds to raise the needed $114.5 million in financing. These outstanding rates will result in interest savings of millions of dollars when compared to the interest costs initially forecast for the Events Center project.
#7. Lewis & Clark water is flowing into Sioux Falls just in time!
A new and critical supply of water from the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System, which draws water from the Missouri River, was tapped on July 30. Construction was completed on a one-mile, 20-inch diameter water transmission main to connect the Sioux Falls water distribution system. Lewis & Clark water provides Sioux Falls with a drought-resistant supply offsetting demand on the Big Sioux Aquifer, the main source for the city. Without the Lewis & Clark water, lawn watering schedules and restrictions would be much more restrictive in an extended drought period. Our maximum usage of Lewis & Clark water to date was 10.342 million gallons on September 26.
#8. Surpassed the 200-mile mark of our “SMOOTHER ROADS AHEAD” campaign!
In the past three construction seasons, we have repaired, rebuilt, and/or replaced over 200 lane miles of inner core roads. This work improved the driving surface, reduces driver delay, creates safer roads and adds capacity to the arterial street system. We are now primed to “KEEP SIOUX FALLS MOVING!”
#9. www.siouxfalls.org website is completely redesigned and receiving rave reviews!
There has been a complete redesign of the City’s official website, www.siouxfalls.org. The new website provides a more intuitive navigation structure, modern unified design, and an improved search function. Over 20,000 pages of content and 20 GB of data were restructured for maximum efficiency and aesthetic improvements. Please check us out today!
#10. Our City’s “piggy bank” keeps growing. We balance progress with prudence in Sioux Falls!
Despite news of governments at all levels around the country struggling to live within their means, the Finance department is anticipating the City of Sioux Falls will add dollars to its general operating reserves for the THIRD YEAR IN A ROW. Although originally budgeting to use $3.8M in reserves, the City’s modest revenue estimates and strong budgetary management practices ensured the City remains fiscally strong with General Fund reserves that exceed policy targets. Finance is also forecasting excess capital Improvement Plan money that will be utilized to its fullest soon.