Mayor TenHaken Presents 2021 Budget
Mayor Paul TenHaken presented his administration’s proposal for the 2021 budget to the Sioux Falls City Council and public on Tuesday, July 21. The total City budget for 2021 is $593.6 million, which includes operating, capital and internal service expenses.
While the proposed 2021 budget reflects adjusted revenue expectations from the COVID-19 pandemic, TenHaken stressed that decades of financial responsibility and smart borrowing has offered the opportunity to move key community investments forward to meet the needs of Sioux Falls both today and for the future. That includes a focus on reinvesting in maintaining the City’s existing assets to ensure the continued delivery of quality City services and recreational options to the community.
TenHaken reiterated that the 2021 budget priorities are in alignment with the One Sioux Falls framework and are focused on engaging people, investing in the public safety and health of Sioux Falls residents and the community, promoting access to housing, and developing a workforce that grows the economy.
The 2021 budget has a focus on investments in critical public safety and health projects, including a state-of-the-art Public Safety Training Facility and Metro 911 center; the personnel to staff the City’s newest Fire Station in southeast Sioux Falls; and the Sioux Empire Community Triage Center, or Link, which will help the community begin to assess and triage the mental health and addiction needs of residents.
The Mayor discussed Community Bond 2020, which will support a 50-year investment into premier training facilities for the City’s Fire Rescue and Police Department personnel and house a Metro 911 center. The ordinance for Community Bond 2020 will be brought forward to the City Council within the next several weeks in conjunction with the Council’s review of the 2021 budget.
The budget also completes the investment the City began two years ago in purchasing an additional 150 body cameras for all uniformed services patrol officers. These cameras will record officers’ interactions while executing their duties, and will help our police force better serve and protect our community.
The proposed budget emphasizes TenHaken’s commitment to investing in foundational infrastructure improvements including streets and utilities. The capital program invests a higher portion of the sales and use tax to street construction and maintenance than it did on average over the last decade. The City also continues its expansion of the wastewater system and treatment facility, and is working on construction on a new Main Pump Station that will replace an aging facility and add capacity. Furthermore, the City of Sioux Falls is using technology to optimize the delivery of services to residents. For example, the City is implementing Automatic Vehicle Locating technology across the Street Division fleet. Through this technology, GPS will be used to track vehicle locations, better equipping the team to respond to changing conditions in order to more effectively serve the community.
In addition, the budget also accounts for cultural and recreational investments, including construction of the initial phase of the Cherry Creek Trail Corridor in northwest Sioux Falls and updates to the Visitors Center at Falls Park.
TenHaken conveyed that even though the community has faced challenges over the past several months, we must unite in order to be successful.
“It is our community’s financial stewardship, economic strength and philanthropic heart that has made us successful in the past. Relying on all three will continue to move us forward and ensure a bright future for everyone,” he said.
The proposed 2021 Budget is available at siouxfalls.org/mayor. The City Council will hold budget hearings on the proposed Capital Program and operating budget in August and consider approval of the 2021 budget in September.