Mayor TenHaken Presents State of the City Address
In his 2022 State of the City Address, Mayor Paul TenHaken shared a message of optimism and community spirit that continues to drive Sioux Falls forward.
“We have and are continuing to take thoughtful and sustainable actions to make Sioux Falls a stronger and economically viable community. Thanks to smart decision-making and fiscal responsibility, we are poised to meet today’s challenges and opportunities,” TenHaken said.
He highlighted how 2021 was a historic year for the community, including surpassing $1 billion in building permits valuations, the lowest debt per capita in more than a decade, and sales tax growth exceeding 19 percent, along with welcoming nearly 7,000 new residents to Sioux Falls.
The City also moved forward with public investments to manage Sioux Falls’ record growth, including significant commitments to public safety such as breaking ground on a state of the art public safety training campus and opening The Link community triage center, quality of life investments like expanding the bike trail, and major investments in the City’s roadway network.
TenHaken outlined that, like communities across the country, the City faces challenges due to current economic conditions, including inflationary pressures. Despite those challenges, the City and its partners across the region are working hard to move the community forward and maintain Sioux Falls’ incredible quality of life with a continued focus on accessible housing, infrastructure funding, public safety, and workforce within the One Sioux Falls framework.
The Mayor shared that, in response to the community’s evolving needs, the City has added areas of emphasis to the framework: focusing on kids and families, and focusing on sustainable growth. “By striving to create a city that’s great for kids and families, we continue to create a city that’s great for all,” TenHaken said.
TenHaken drew attention to the improvements being made to Hayward Park and also shared that he would be moving forward with a proposal to the Public Transit Advisory Board and City Council to make public transit free to children across Sioux Falls.
Mayor TenHaken outlined the City’s plan to move forward with public investments in downtown Sioux Falls, including Phase Three of the River Greenway, Jacobson Plaza at Falls Park, and reconstruction of the Sixth Street Bridge and Seventh Street cul-de-sac. The Mayor also shared an overview of upcoming infrastructure investments, including the reconstruction of Minnesota Avenue from Russell Street to 18th Street, and reconstruction of 41st Street from Marion Road to Shirley Avenue, including the Interstate 29 Interchange there.
In addition, he gave an update on the City’s commitments to workforce, including a planned investment of $10 million to the Dakota State University cyber-research initiative, facets of the 2026 Housing Action Plan to address housing challenges, and people-focused initiatives like the Sioux 52 Mentoring Initiative.
The Mayor also recognized several residents, including newcomers to Sioux Falls, as an opportunity to celebrate the city’s vibrant community spirit. He shared that people are “our key ingredient in building an economically viable Sioux Falls. You are who make us the city we are today. And you will help us build an even better Sioux Falls for the future.”
The City will continue making thoughtful, strategic decisions to maintain Sioux Falls’ excellent quality of life today and continue caring for tomorrow. “The work and decisions we are making today will establish a thriving community for future generations, for our grandchildren, and for all those who make Sioux Falls their home,” he said.
The address was simulcast on the City of Sioux Falls’ Facebook page and also included a panel discussion with youth leaders from the 2021-22 Mayor’s Youth Council. For those unable to attend the event or participate live, the address is available for replay on social media and will be rebroadcasted throughout March on CityLink.
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