Happy Wednesday! Megan here.

Weather check: The infamous, wintery "s-word" may be on the horizon

This week, I've got a look at plans to update how the City of Sioux Falls regulates both short- and long-term rental properties. You'll also find a big development when it comes to giving kids a place to go after school, find some Super Simplified Stories and you'll get to meet the new leader of the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance.

And now, news:


Why City Council is looking to update rental rules

Simplified: The Sioux Falls City Council on Tuesday got a first look at proposed changes to how the city regulates both short-term and long-term rentals. Here's a look at what's coming and what it means for property owners.

white wooden framed glass window
Photo by Aaron Sousa / Unsplash

Why it matters

  • Sioux Falls' existing rental ordinance dates back to 2003, with an update in 2017 to define short-term rentals (i.e. Airbnb, VRBO, etc.) and require owners to register those properties with the city.
  • Short-term rentals have received a fair amount of attention in the area this year. Minnehaha County adopted an ordinance this spring to require short-term rentals to get a conditional use permit, and Tuesday night the County Commission and City Council voted to approve similar rules for the joint jurisdiction area.
  • A proposed update to the city's ordinance brought by Councilor Rich Merkouris would affect both short- and long-term rentals by requiring permits, a one-time fee and some degree of landlord training.
"The goal here is straightforward, clear regulations that are intended to provide certainty for our rental industry," Merkouris said.

Tell me more: What's being proposed?


Meet the region's new economic development leader

This is a paid piece from the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance.

Simplified: Tyler Tordsen is the new president and CEO of the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance, the state's largest regional nonprofit economic development organization. He sat down with Sioux Falls Simplified to talk about his top priorities to help bring more people and more businesses to the metro.

Why it matters

  • The Sioux Metro Growth Alliance (SMGA) has been serving the region for more than 30 years – previously under the names Minnehaha County and Lincoln County Economic Development Associations.
  • The mission of SMGA is to empower communities to grow, which is accomplished by connecting community leaders to resources to help them develop infrastructure, attract businesses and collaborate with others in their same position.
  • Tordsen is bringing both state and federal expertise to SMGA. A lifelong South Dakotan, he most recently worked as the southeast regional director for Sen. Mike Rounds, as well as the state director of tribal affairs. Tordsen is also serving in his first term as a state representative in the South Dakota Legislature.
“Tyler’s experience building teams, connecting resources, and navigating economic policies will be a tremendous asset to SMGA and our members," SMGA Chair Jay Buchholz said.

Q&A: Get to know Tyler Tordsen


Super Simplified Stories

  • New Public Safety Campus opens this weekend. The city's new $55 million public safety training campus is set to open Saturday. Here's a closer look at everything that's included, from a new dispatch center for Metro Communications to new fire training facilities to a 13-acre vehicle operation course.
  • B-O-L-O-G-N-A. Catch the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile in town this week. It'll be making stops at the Country Apple Orchard on Friday evening, the Downtown Zombie Walk Saturday afternoon and Zoo Boo on Sunday.
  • Pavilion announces new services. The Washington Pavilion this week announced new art consulting services including art selection, customization, curation and coordination. Learn more here.
  • Check yourself. It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Here's a summary of what you need to know from Sanford Health, including a handy little graphic of what to look out for as warning signs of breast cancer.


Middle schoolers will soon have a new place to go after class

Simplified: Boys and Girls Club of the Sioux Empire announced this week plans to build a new facility at George McGovern Middle School. It's part of a community-wide effort to ensure kids across town have a place to go after school. Here's what you need to know.

Rendering of the future space at George McGovern Middle School. Courtesy of Boys & Girls Club of the Sioux Empire.

Why it matters

  • Thousands of Sioux Falls kids don't currently have a place to go after school, according to a 2018 Augustana Research Intitute study. It's research that helped create a new Community Learning Center model at all of Sioux Falls' elementary schools in the last year.
  • The Boys & Girls Club is already serving kids across the city, but with an addition to George McGovern Middle School, they'll be taking a more direct approach by eliminating barriers to get kids involved. It's a model that could potentially be replicated in other schools in town, said Rebecca Wimmer, coordinator of community partnerships for the district.
  • The new facility will attach directly to the school building, and all students will be eligible to attend after-school programming at no cost, Boys & Girls Club CEO Stacy Jones said. It'll include a teaching kitchen, an innovation lab, a full-sized gymnasium, and a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) classroom.
"They’re not just hanging out," Jones said. "They are going to be experiencing things from culinary classes to virtual reality to business development. It really depends on what the interests are of the students, and we'll meet those interests with effective and really exciting programming."

How did we get here?

And what happens next?


What I'm falling for this week


More simplified headlines

Get smart about haunted houses with Jaycees Feargrounds
It’s the 50th anniversary of the Jaycees Feargrounds. Here’s a look at how it all comes together.
The city set out to build ‘complete streets.’ How’s it doing?
The city formally reviewed its Complete Streets resolution this year for the first time since 2016
Why more animals are getting adopted
The Sioux Falls Area Humane Society has seen a nearly 23% increase in animal adoptions this year over last. Leadership credits community partnerships, open doors and Tik Tok.


How to support Sioux Falls Simplified

Has Sioux Falls Simplified made you feel smarter about where you live?

Here are a few ways to ensure this smarter, easier local news outlet is here to stay:

  • Become a member. Consider buying into a smarter Sioux Falls by becoming a member and offering financial support to the no B.S. journalism you've been reading here.
  • Give a one-time gift. Not ready to commit to a membership? That's OK! If you want to help in a smaller way, you can give a one-time gift via buy me a coffee. :)
  • Advertise with us. Tell the "simplified" story of your business to your target audience. Want more info? Reach out to Sales & Socials Director Olivia Bertino at olivia@sfsimplified.com or check out our media kit.
Want the process to be even simpler? You can schedule a newsletter or event sponsorship right here with just a few clicks and a few questions.

Reach out

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

Thank you

Thank you to Sioux Falls Simplified sponsors, including the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Sioux Empire United Way, the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, Barre3 Sioux Falls, Midco, the Great Plains Zoo, the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance and Voyage Federal Credit Union. When you support them, you're also supporting Sioux Falls Simplified.