Mayor TenHaken Presents 2022 Operating Budget, 2022–2026 Capital Program
Mayor Paul TenHaken presented an overview of his administration’s proposal for the 2022 budget and the 2022–2026 Capital Program to the Sioux Falls City Council and public on Thursday, July 22, 2021. The 2022 City Budget totals $654.2 million, which includes operating, capital, and internal service expenses. The next five-year capital program includes investments of $812.8 million focused on infrastructure, quality of life improvements, and public safety. The first year of the capital program is incorporated into the fiscal year 2022 budget.
Mayor TenHaken shared that the City of Sioux Falls is in a solid financial position, and with this budget proposal, the City is investing in maintaining current assets while preparing for future growth. “Sioux Falls has accomplished great things in recent years, and the future ahead looks extremely bright. Today’s proposal is the product of sound fiscal stewardship to tackle the infrastructure and quality of life needs of the city while also preparing for our continued growth,” TenHaken said.
Mayor TenHaken outlined markers of the city’s strong economic outlook, including a low unemployment rate, labor force growth, sales tax growth tracking over 16 percent this year, and building permit growth that is already 50 percent ahead of the last three-year average.
The budget prioritizes essential infrastructure investments, including expansion of the City’s wastewater treatment plant and an increased investment in the City’s roadway network, public safety investments in equipment and facility needs for Sioux Falls Police and Fire Rescue, and quality of life investments in the expansion of the City’s bike trail system and construction of the City’s first outdoor fitness court at Rotary Park.
Under the five-year capital program, the City’s Highways and Streets budget will see an increase of $28 million, which is a 12 percent increase over the previous five-year capital program. Those funds will support street rehabilitation projects to maintain existing traffic corridors and neighborhood streets while expanding capacity in new areas and preparing the City’s roadway network for projected traffic increases.
Mayor TenHaken also highlighted the progress the community has seen in downtown Sioux Falls, thanks to investments and support from community leaders, and he stressed the value of public and private partnerships to move investments forward. “With projects at the Sioux Steel site and Cherapa Place, the upward trajectory for downtown is tremendous,” he said.
The budget and capital program support exciting development projects in downtown Sioux Falls, including funding to rebuild the Sixth Street bridge and reconstruct portions of Phillips Avenue. The Mayor also noted that in the coming weeks, separate one-time funding requests will be brought forward to the City Council to support the construction of Phase III of the River Greenway and the reconstruction of the Seventh Street cul-de-sac.
The largest single investment planned with the capital program—second only to roadway network investments—is the wastewater treatment plant expansion. A key project for the city’s growth, this expansion will increase wastewater treatment capacity by 50 percent with expected completion in 2025.
Mayor TenHaken conveyed how the city continues to receive national acclaim for our high quality of life. The City’s various outdoor pools are some of the most valued recreational assets in the community. Several pools, including those at McKennan, Kuehn, and Frank Olson Parks, are 40 to 50 years old and reaching the end of their useful life. As a result, the capital program plans for a quality of life bond to be issued in 2023 to replace each of these pools while also replacing the outdated Elmwood Golf Course Clubhouse.
For years, the City of Sioux Falls has maintained the lowest per capita debt of any of our peer communities, and the proposed capital program continues this balanced approach. Even with the additional quality of life bond proposed for 2023, the total debt service scheduled in the new five-year capital program is $8 million lower than the previous capital program.
“These are exciting projects that will breathe new life into various parks and neighborhoods, and I look forward to discussing them more in the months ahead,” TenHaken said.
The City’s operating budget priorities are aligned with managing the City’s growth strategically and in a fiscally responsible fashion. The budget focuses on “straightforward investments and commonsense projects that benefit every member of our community,” TenHaken said.
The City’s operating budget renews our focus on housing accessibility, public safety, and ensuring the City continues to deliver quality services to residents, businesses, and visitors. The 2022 budget includes a request to add four additional positions for Police, as well as an increased investment in Metro Communications to ensure our 911 dispatch service continues to meet the growing public safety needs of the community. To enhance the City’s commitment to accessible housing, additional funds are proposed to strategically invest with nonprofit and private sector partners to implement creative solutions to address our community’s evolving housing needs.
The proposed 2022 Budget and 2022–2026 Capital Program are available at siouxfalls.org/finance. The City Council will hold budget hearings on the proposed capital program and operating budget in August and will consider approval of the 2022 budget in September.