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The Corps of Engineers recently sent $10 million to the City of Sioux Falls as partial payback for the flood control and environmental project mandated by the Corps, but paid for by the city.

This money should be invested in the same basic areas.  Here are six places this money should go to improve the local environment and living conditions of those in need of help:

  • $2 million should be given to the Parks Department to ensure that all parks property especially along the Big Sioux River, and Skunk Creek, are models for proper soil and water conservation. The parks system should be leading the effort to clean up the River and do so by example.
  • $2 million should go to Public Works for further improvements in the various drainage ways in the City. The emphasis should be on controlling sediment and fecal material.
  • $2 million should be used to obtain and ensure the maintenance of Skunk Creek and Big Sioux River watershed areas upstream from Sioux Falls, which are known for sediment and fecal problems.
  • $2 million should be given to create sustainable and affordable housing in our city. This should include buying and clearing a block of the worst housing in the city.  In its place, build passive solar and other energy efficient and conservation oriented housing to serve as an example of creative, green living environments. Make the units “affordable” thru the use of the usual tax credits, and other incentives available. Require the residents to allow for twice yearly open houses so the public can see, and feel, that affordable and green can go together.
  • $1 million should be given the Banquet/Food Pantry/ and other agencies providing food for the hungry. It could be used for classes on how to cook with what you have, actual food stuffs, or for brick and mortar.
  • $1 million should be given to Minnehaha County to build more units for those folks in dire need of housing and treatment assistance.

This plan is neat, clean, and does great work which will benefit all of us. All those in favor say, “Aye.”