Simplified: It's budget season at the City of Sioux Falls. While the City Council will ultimately decide how money gets spent, Mayor Paul TenHaken's administration is providing lots of ideas – including a five-year capital spending plan released Friday. Here's a look at what's included.

Why it matters

  • TenHaken's proposed capital spending plan totals $1.1 billion – the second year in a row the city has seen a plan exceed $1 billion. The city's annual five-year spending plan has more than doubled over the last decade.
  • This year's plan follows a trend in TenHaken's administration of prioritizing funding for roads – a nearly $500 million chunk of the budget. For context, then-Mayor Mike Huether's entire five-year spending plan in 2014 was less than $500 million.
  • The proposed five-year plan also includes funding for parks, for purchasing land to build a future downtown convention center, for a new fire station and for a new report-to-work station for police.
β€œJust like our residents continually reprioritize where they spend their money based on their personal circumstances, the city follows the same practice to stay fiscally responsible as stewards of the community’s tax dollars," Mayor Paul TenHaken said in a statement.

Tell me more about what's in the plan

A lot. It takes a 162-page document to lay it all out (you can find that here, if you're curious).

That said, here's a brief overview of some of the big stuff, broken down by department.


The plan includes spending to maintain existing roads as well as build new ones.

  • About $64 million would fund asphalt overlays and the neighborhood street rehabilitation program.
  • Another $12 million is earmarked for surface treatments, and about $28 million more for repairing concrete around the city.

The capital plan would also allocate $82 million for major reconstruction of intersections including:

  • Arrowhead Parkway and Veterans Parkway,
  • Minnesota Avenue from 2nd to 18th Street,
  • 33rd Street from Grange to Cliff Avenue,
  • and 41st Street from Shirley to Minnesota Avenue.

Another $102 million would fund arterial street improvements associated with the new South Veterans Parkway, including intersections with:

  • Louise, Tallgrass and Southeastern Avenues,
  • 57th and 69th Streets,
  • and several other arterial roads.

Additional funds would improve roads at:

  • 85th Street and Interstate 29,
  • Cliff Avenue and Interstate 229,
  • Arrowhead Parkway,
  • an extended 49th Street.

Parks and Recreation

Highlights of the $53 million parks and recreation spending plan include:

  • $4.9 million to finish Jacobson Plaza downtown and fund the Levitt expansion,
  • $3 million for zoo master plan improvements,
  • $7.5 million for greenway and trail improvements,
  • various plans to improve playground equipment, acquire new park land and plan for future parks.

Public Safety

Fire Rescue would have a $22.4 million capital budget, including $6 million for a new Fire Station #13.

The police capital budget would be just shy of $18 million, including new west-side and east-side report-to-work locations, patrol vehicles, radios and a line item to spend $170,000 on a "bomb robot" in 2029.

Entertainment Venues

The $41.7 million proposal would include:

  • $8.1 million to buy eight acres of land near 10th Street and Cliff Avenue – the site proposed for a future downtown convention center,
  • $8.4 million in improvements to the Premier Center,
  • $1.2 million in improvements to the Convention Center,
  • $10.3 million in improvements to the Washington Pavilion,
  • $780,000 in improvements to the Birdcage,
  • $2.6 million in improvements to the Orpheum,

Other interesting stuff

  • In total, about one-third of the five-year spending plan is on utilities, including water reclamation, water, power and funding to expand the landfill.
  • About $41 million is slated for the city's fleet of vehicles, including plans to purchase a $45,000 amphibious vehicle.
  • The budget also includes plans to spend $300,000 on a new Bookmobile for the library system in 2029.
  • About $600,000 will fund parking lot and ramp improvements over the next five years.

What happens next?

The mayor will deliver his annual budget address on July 25, where he'll lay out his plans for spending in the next year, as well as plans to spend about $253 million to further the capital plan outlined above.

Then, it'll be up to the City Council to put together a final budget for 2025 to be approved in September.