Engaged Public at Sioux Falls Annexation Task Force Session
An estimated three hundred people were gathered to listen and comment on the annexation process in Sioux Falls on Wednesday (April 26) at Carnegie Town Hall.
Every chair in the City Council Chamber was full as was the adjacent overflow room watching on a monitor. A few people were even standing in the lobby as the meeting lingered for about an hour past its scheduled conclusion.
Assistant City Attorney Danny Brown and Albert Schmidt with the planning office were the city’s representatives. They were called upon to present different facets of the city’s annexation process.
A lot of Schmidt’s role was to break down what annexation would cost homeowners in a general sense. In specific cases, the cost would likely be different. Schmidt commented that in many cases the city is estimating high to prevent sticker shock.
Brown explained at one point that the city could force annexation in extreme cases. When asked about citizen recourse, Brown outlined the process. First you address the City Council. If needed, a referendum could be organized. It would take 55 percent approval from residents to send it back to the City Council. Next step if residents don’t find satisfaction would be in the courts.
Among the residents who spoke, a main concern they want addressed is communication between the city and homeowners. Additionally, there seemed to be great concern of the advance of urban areas into rural communities. Residents applauded a comment desiring preservation of a rural setting.
The Annexation Task Force composed of three City Councilors (Rick Kiley, Greg Neitzert, Marshall Sellberg) and four citizens (Tena Haraldson, Greg Starnes, Jeff Davis, Matt Metzger) know they have an arduous task ahead of them. Kiley and Neitzert both stated the need to proceed as slowly and thoroughly as possible.
More meetings were added to the schedule with each to be held at Carnegie Town Hall.
Annexation Task Force Upcoming Meeting Schedule:
- Thursday, May 18 5:30-7:00 PM
- Wednesday, June 14 5:30-7:00 PM
- Monday July 10 5:30-7:00 PM