Mayor TenHaken Presents State of the City Address
Mayor Paul TenHaken shared a message of optimism, strength and resilience today in his 2021 State of the City Address.
“The state of our city is strong. Despite the challenges of the past three years, I am confident that we have a bright future ahead of us,” TenHaken said. “We are prepared for long-term sustainability and prosperity due to the decisions we have made thus far, along with our plans and determination for the future. It truly is an exciting time to be a resident of Sioux Falls.”
Mayor TenHaken shared how his Administration and City team have continued to move Sioux Falls forward even throughout the pandemic. “Guided by the One Sioux Falls framework, we have strengthened partnerships to sustainably grow an economically diverse region and improve the lives of our residents,” TenHaken said.
He highlighted key accomplishments of 2020, including infrastructure improvements such as completion of the Eighth Street Bridge rehabilitation; 26th Street and Interstate 229 Interchange; and securing the partnership agreement with the State of South Dakota for funding the 8.5 additional miles of Veteran’s Parkway. The City also received unanimous Council support to move forward with a $50 million bond for a premier Public Safety Training Facility and saw a record-setting year for building permit activity.
Thanks to the City’s strong economic foundation prior to the pandemic, the City was able to make additional investments to benefit residents, including retiring $25.2 million in debt and using $11 million of local government assistance funding to advance Phase I of the Sioux Falls for All initiative to support quality of life improvement projects. Mayor TenHaken also reflected on the community’s generosity in raising more than $3.4 million to support residents with housing costs during the pandemic through the One Sioux Falls housing fund.
The mayor outlined focused efforts in workforce, safety and housing within the One Sioux Falls framework to position the community for success in the decades to come. That will include a continued focus on being proactive in workforce through key partnerships and continuing a multi-faceted housing plan to include a new City neighborhood revitalization division to deliver services more efficiently to residents.
Investments in safety and health, including the Link community triage center, which is scheduled to open in June, are moving forward, along with significant investments in Sioux Falls’ roadway network. The City continues to invest about 80 percent of the capital sales tax budget on roads.
Mayor TenHaken also outlined the City’s intent to move forward key public investments in downtown Sioux Falls, including the planned launch of the River Greenway Project Phase III and reconstruction of the Sixth Street Bridge and Seventh Street cul-de-sac. The mayor also shared details on initiatives to engage people, including continued support for the Sioux 52 Mentoring Initiative and plans to establish a Mayor’s Youth Council—both programs being proactive drivers to addressing juvenile crime.
The City will keep building upon past successes and moving forward with a growth mindset to preserve and expand the community’s great quality of life, TenHaken said.
“We will continue to work collaboratively to grow our brand as a family-friendly community and a stable place to grow a business,” TenHaken said. “We will continue to focus on our people—including preparing our future leaders, taking time to understand each other, and leaning into mentorship. And we will continue to innovate to deliver high-quality services to our residents.”
The address was simulcast on the City of Sioux Falls’ Facebook page. For those unable to attend the event or participate live, the address is available for replay on social media and will be rebroadcasted throughout May on CityLink.
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