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Issue Position: Parks/Center/Zoo - Events Center/ Rec Center /Zoo

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

I want to see Sioux Falls grow. As a RN (and Biology teacher) I know that all growth is not necessarily good. Some growths are cancerous…even in a city. If streets are not constructed to match the population concentration, like the poor access we have to the West side, you get major congestion and traffic accidents - some fatal. If commercial growth is concentrated to tightly in one district, you get major parking problems and eventual death of the businesses there. Also, if a too large of an undertaking is forced on a city, under use could kill its business potential.

The Rec Center was an idea to add amenities to Sioux Falls. But its potential cost verses return on investment was never properly presented to the people. It was voted down because it seemed too costly for the average Joe.

When asked if I feel we need a place for hockey and ice skating, I share this story; when my children were young there were no ice skating rinks on the West side of Sioux Falls. I called the Parks Department and was told that there were no plans for ice skating rinks or more parks on the West side. So I bought a huge tarp, built up the edges and flooded our back yard. The kids loved it. Contrary to what my husband predicted, we did have grass there in the spring!

I pledge let the people vote on a new Events Center proposal; both the viability and location. I urge the voters to be suspicious of any Mayoral candidate who refuses to take this same pledge as they may try to build an Events Center downtown by denying the citizens a chance to vote on the proposal. I believe the people f Sioux Falls will make the best decision when given a full disclosure of costs, benefits, usability and profitability.

However, another way to add to Sioux Falls' amenities by upgrading what we already have - the Zoo. Private and Corporate money could be used to revamp our zoo on par with Omaha's Henry Dorley Zoo. A hospital could have naming rights to an avian wing, for example. A bank could upgrade and design a primate campus. And someone else could help the cats and penguins out so they would have a better place to live. We could partner with the universities in animal education displays. How would we get to the Zoo? Directly from I-29 for easy access. This project would also solve the problem of cutting off the West side from the rest of Sioux Falls.

Growth is exciting and necessary for a city. But uncontrolled and understudied growth can be disastrous. I want to keep Sioux Falls on the forefront of business and culture - by taking calculated risks, watching costs for the taxpayer, and encouraging new ideas.

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