Simplified: Mayor Paul TenHaken covered a wide swath of topics during his State of the City address Monday, but there was a common theme: growth.
Why it matters:
- TenHaken is three years in to a four-year mayoral term, and paperwork filed recently shows his eyes are on re-election.
- His term has been marked by natural disasters and a global pandemic, but it's also seen new records in building permits and the lowest debt per capita in over a decade.
- Looking ahead, TenHaken said he's looking forward to getting back to focusing on the areas that led him to run for office in the first place, including infrastructure improvements, accessible housing, public safety and helping Sioux Falls youth.
"The spotlight on our city is not going to fade," TenHaken told an audience of dozens at the State Theatre Monday afternoon.
2020 by the numbers
- 55: miles of roadway constructed, repaired or rehabbed.
- $50 million: amount of money in a bond to finance construction of a new public safety training center
- $919.6 million: Valuation of 2020 building permits
- $3.4 million: Money raised for the One Sioux Falls fund aimed at providing housing assistance during the pandemic, including $1 million from the city.
- $1,475: Sioux Falls' current debt per capita rate, the lowest in over a decade, TenHaken said.
- 7,000: Number of homes needed to meet projected growth by 2025.
TenHaken's goals, simplified:
Workforce: TenHaken said he wants the city to continue to partner with "community stakeholders" including tech schools and businesses to be proactive in building a workforce.
Accessible housing: TenHaken is proposing a comprehensive strategy, including a reworked city division called the "Neighborhood Revitalization Division," which will focus on restoring existing homes and adding new ones (especially apartments) across town and in core neighborhoods.
Roads and bridges: The mayor also hopes to oversee redesign of the Sixth Street Bridge, to be called the "Unity bridge."
Public safety: There are two major projects on the horizon in this: the new public safety training center and The Link triage center (which you can learn more about here).
Youth council: TenHaken wants to do more to engage kids and teens in Sioux Falls.
"We will continue to work collaboratively to grow our brand as a family-friendly community and a stable place to grow a business," he said.
What are people saying:
"I think the overall theme is that with all of this growth comes a lot of great new things, but also some significant challenges," Councilor Greg Neitzert said. "So we can’t lose focus on the challenges that are in front of us."
Councilor Alex Jensen noted that the city is also sitting in a strong financial position, which allows it flexibility to hit TenHaken's goal to innovate.
"If an opportunity comes along, we can act on it because we are in a strong financial position," Jensen said.