Happy Friday! Megan here.

Cool thing: Stop by and say hi to me at the Falls Park Art Market tomorrow at BronzeAge Art Casting! I'll have some Sioux Falls Simplified stickers, coloring sheets for the kids and some type of little candy or treat (if my 3-year-old doesn't eat it all first).

Weather check: Hot, hot hot!

This weekend, I'm keeping it short and sweet after a very newsy Wednesday issue. I'll give you the simplified version of Mayor Paul TenHaken's budget address, some Super Simplified Stories, and a look at a new Hartford development. And don't miss our weekly roundup of events!

And now, news:


Here's how the mayor wants to spend city money next year

Simplified: Mayor Paul TenHaken on Thursday released a $790 million 2024 budget for the City of Sioux Falls, and one of the most-used words in his 35-minute presentation to the City Council on Thursday was "balance." Here's a closer look.

Why it matters

  • TenHaken focused his budget address on the need to balance spending on infrastructure projects – like roads and water reclamation – with spending on quality of life projects – like parks and pools.
  • The proposed 2024 budget is a more than 20% increase from the current budget of about $646 million. TenHaken noted the continued growth of Sioux Falls, calling out specific couples who have moved to the city from out of state. He also touted the latest tourism data, which showed southeastern South Dakota as the most-visited part of the state.
  • The majority of spending – about 75% of the proposed budget – is for infrastructure and public safety, but the address also focused on a number of quality of life improvements, including future pool replacements, bike trail expansion and more opportunities for indoor recreation in the future.
  • Overall, the budget is 172 pages and, as TenHaken admits, a lot of numbers. But at the end of the day, most of the money behind those numbers are tied directly to tax dollars.
"These numbers affect every single person in our community," TenHaken said. "It is essential to remember that a better tomorrow relies on strategic decisions made today."

So, what are some of the big-ticket items?

Find that and some surprises from Thursday's address here.


Get to know a new development in downtown Hartford

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

Simplified: A new mixed-use development is coming to downtown Hartford. Here's a look at what's to come, including a new community gathering space.

Why it matters

  • Hartford's downtown area has seen renewed energy in recent years with new businesses and events. This new development on the south side of downtown will further that progress and bring even more opportunity to the area.
  • Two local couples – Stacey and Don Sieverding, and Joel and Michele Boy – teamed up to purchase two parcels of land where they plan to build two mixed-use properties including residential lofts, retail space and additional green space to downtown Hartford.
  • The new development will also bring a community gathering space where residents can host events – something that's been on the city's wish list since the creation of its community development plan, Economic Development Director Amy M. Farr said.
"We want to be a part of revitalizing downtown, bringing business back downtown and making it a place to live, work, spend time and play," Stacey Sieverding said.

Tell me more about the new development

Get the details here.


Super Simplified Stories

  • Help plan a park. The city is hosting a public input session as it begins planning the long-term future for Family Park, located a half-mile north of West 12th Street off of Ellis Road. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. Monday, July 24 at Jefferson High School.
  • Avera announces interim president. Julie Lautt will serve as Avera Health's interim president effective Aug. 5. She's currently the chief financial officer. She'll replace Bob Sutton, who announced in April that he's stepping down after receiving a serious medical diagnosis that requires an intensive care regimen, according to a news release.
  • πŸ’ͺ Set a fitness record. Mayor Paul TenHaken is teaming up with Great Life for a "Fitness Court Challenge" at the new Rotary Park fitness court. Starting at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 27, you can compete for a variety of records including most pushups, longest bar hang and most pull-ups. Details here.
  • SMGA president takes on new statewide role. Jesse Fonkert, president and CEO of the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance (SMGA), has been hired as the new deputy commissioner of the Governor's Office of Economic Development. SMGA annoucned this week it'll start the search for a new leader immediately. Editor's note: SMGA is one of Sioux Falls Simplified's advertisers.


Stuff to do: July 21-27

  • Take the family for a cruise. Hood Magazine's fourth annual Familyfest Fun Cruise kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday. Visit businesses around town and find special activities, giveaways and raffles. Get a map and a list of participating locations here.
  • Take yourself to the zoo. Leave the kids at home this time. The Great Plains Zoo is hosting an after-hours, 21+ event – Zoofari – starting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 27. Enjoy food trucks, beer and wine, lawn games and unique animal encounters. Plus, your ticket will help support the zoo's mission. Tickets here.
  • Do something for the dogs. Severance Brewing Company is hosting a "Barket" dog-friendly pop-up shop from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Bring your pup, grab a beer and shop some local dog-friendly retailers. DeTAILS here (see what we did there?).
  • Shop 'til you drop. It's "Crazy Days" downtown, which means lots of good deals from local businesses. Find a list of participating retailers (and some of the deals you'll find) here.
  • Wish Brandon a happy birthday. It's the 50th birthday of the City of Brandon, and the celebrations run all weekend long. Check out a citywide scavenger hunt, a street dance, pickleball and more. Details here.
  • Get folk-sy. Ten musical acts will compete for cash and a chance to perform at the Sioux River Folk Festival. The competition runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday at Calico Skies Vinyard and Winery. Details and tickets here.


More recent headlines

Most daycares could take more kids if they could hire staff
Childcare centers in Sioux Falls struggle to hire, retain and pay workers.
Why public safety costs are rising in Minnehaha County
Public safety costs in Minnehaha County have increased 47% in the last five years, according to budget data shared this week with the county commission.
You probably didn’t know this about the Butterfly House
Here’s a look at some hidden gems and fun facts to make your next visit even more impressive.


What I'm falling for this weekend:

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Thank you

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