Simplified: Mayor Paul TenHaken pitched a $654 million budget for next year, the largest in city history. But, TenHaken said the growing budget is needed to manage a growing city.
Why it matters
- The 2022 budget proposal shows about a 10 percent increase in spending compared to the current year. It's also a more than 30 percent increase from TenHaken's first budget proposal as mayor, which at the time was the largest budget in city history.
- With the increased spending comes an increase in projected revenues from taxes, charges for goods and services, investments and other financing. Total projected revenue is just under $660 million.
- Overall, TenHaken describes it as a "meat and potatoes" budget with the largest chunks of change going to water reclamation, roads and public safety.
"There's a lot of other fun things, quite honestly, I'd love to spend money on than a wastewater plant and record spending on roads," TenHaken said. "But those are the critical things, and there's a little bit of catch-up that we have to do to make sure we're ready for this growth."
What's behind the big numbers?
A lot, obviously, and it's a topic that'll you'll see quite a bit over the next month or so. Here's a few things to note early on.
More than 700 blocks of street rehabilitation and reconstruction are in the budget proposal, including:
- Reconstruction of the 41st Street and Interstate 29 interchange
- Improvements to Cliff Avenue, Sycamore Avenue and Arrowhead Parkway
The budget includes 23 new full-time positions, including four police officers and five new public works employees (the folks who work on highways and streets, specifically).
TenHaken is also proposing $3.6 million in wage and benefit adjustments. Sioux Falls is "not immune to staffing shortages," he said.
TenHaken's proposal also includes funding for park projects including:
- Renovations of the McKennan Park bandshell
- Improvements to Hayward Park (background on that here), and
- Funding Jacobson Plaza at Falls Park.
What happens next?
City Councilors will have their first budget hearing on Tuesday, Aug. 3 in which they'll dig into the specifics of TenHaken's proposal and start piecing together a final budget to vote on in the coming weeks.