Happy Wednesday! Megan here.

Shoutout to Mother Nature for this week of summer weather (potential thunderstorms and all).

Also, thanks again to those of you who've signed up to be a Sioux Falls Simplified member! You're contributing to a smarter Sioux Falls and buying in to locally owned local news. Thank you.

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Oh! And speaking of summer, this week we take a look at state park traffic, get tips on how to stay grounded during this season and see some ideas the City Council will consider when spending millions in supplemental funds.

And now, news:


State Parks were busy in 2020, and it's not slowing down this year

Simplified: 2020 was a record year for South Dakota state parks, and data through the end of April shows 2021 might be just as bustling.

On our way to Kedarkantha Trek, the perfect night one can ask for.
Photo by Sayan Nath / Unsplash

Why it matters: The extra traffic means more money for the state Parks and Recreation Division.

  • It also means camp sites are booking faster, so travelers will need to plan accordingly.
  • That extra revenue comes at a time when the parks division really needs it, said Deputy Director Al Nedved. In 2019, the state saw flooding that caused millions of dollars in damage to the parks system.
"In a lot of cases, those projects were denied FEMA funding," Nedved said. "(The surge in park traffic) came at a unique time to be able to fund (repairs to) a lot of the damage that took place the year before, which was very significant."

Learn more about what to watch in 2021 here.


Sioux Falls has cash to burn – here's an early look at how councilors could spend it

Simplified: Between a budget surplus and federal relief funds, Sioux Falls has millions in extra money and a list of potential uses. Nothing is set in stone, but here's an early look at where some of that money could go.

Why it matters: Sioux Falls received $48 million in federal funds through the CARES Act last year, and another $25 million is expected over the next couple years with the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

  • There's also a budget surplus, plus some money saved due to CARES Act funds that's still in the city's reserves.

See an early list of potential projects that money could fund.

Stuff to watch:

  • Graduation. Sioux Falls public schools all graduate this weekend. Congrats from Sioux Falls Simplified to the Class of 2021!
  • Pools. School's out, summer's on! City pools will open May 28.
  • ARPA. It's the American Rescue Plan Act, and it's bringing $25 million in COVID-19 relief funds to Sioux Falls. Councilors will learn more this morning and discuss possible uses in the coming weeks.


Get in on a car wash secret

This is a paid piece from Silverstar Car Wash

Simplified: Dirty floor mats? Silverstar can help.

Tell me more

It's an inevitable problem, especially this time of year. Snow melts, rain falls, and the mud sticking to your shoes is bound to end up on the floor mats in your car.

You can shake them out all you want, but that level of dirt and grime can only really be cleaned with a hose and sprayer.

Enter Silverstar

Silverstar unlimited pass holders know this trick, but now it's time to share it with the world.

  • Bring your floor mats to the front of the wash, and a Silverstar attendant will spray it down for you.

They've got powerful sprayers that will do a better job cleaning than your hose at home, and you can leave with a clean car inside and out.


How Sioux Falls is preparing for medical marijuana

Simplified: Sioux Falls' City Council is looking at the options it has to regulate pot in city limits as medical marijuana becomes legal in the state July 1.

Cannabis leaves
Photo by Jeff W / Unsplash

Why it matters: Voters approved legal medical marijuana by a 68 percent margin in the November election.

  • The state Department of Health will lay out the rules for marijuana businesses by Oct. 29, but the city is already drafting rules based on the limited information they have at this point, City Attorney Stacy Kooistra told councilors Tuesday.
  • The city is limited on what it can do. It has no jurisdiction over who gets medical marijuana.
  • But it can regulate the time, place, manner and number of dispensaries or other establishments cultivating, testing or manufacturing weed products.
"The bottom line today is we've got to go with something," Councilor Pat Starr said Tuesday. "We've got to get started today."  

Learn more and see more City Council reaction here.


Don't get lost in your summer. Use these tips to stay present and grounded.

This is a paid piece from Selah Space.

Simplified: Enjoy your summer, but don't get so caught up in activities, travel and sunshine that you lose track of your wellness goals.

Why it matters: Schools are out (or will be soon), and as lake days, bonfires, vacations and parties start to fill up the calendar, it'll be hard to not get lost in the hustle and bustle.

  • Selah Space is here to help. Owner Jada Dobesh came up with a short list of ways to stay organized and grounded all summer long.

Get four tips to stay grounded this summer here.


What I'm falling for this week:

Reach out

What story do you want to see simplified? Falling for something local? Send any news tips, attaboys, missed typos or pictures of your garden to megan@sfsimplified.com.

Thank you

Thank you to Sioux Falls Simplified sponsors, including Sioux Metro Growth Alliance, Selah Space, Silverstar Car Wash and the Sioux Falls Sunfish. When you support them, you're also supporting Sioux Falls Simplified.

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