Photo looking up into dome of capitol building in Pierre, SD

Chamber Advocate 6/11/21

City Council actions

Motorized foot scooter ordinance withdrawn
Council members Jensen and Erickson requested the City Council withdraw the motorized foot scooter ordinance explaining the ordinance still needs some refining before it is considered by the council. The ordinance would have provided a motorized foot scooter with a maximum speed of up to 15 miles per hour would be available for use through a vendor within a limited area in downtown Sioux Falls.

Councilor Jensen indicated he will be working with members of the community and looking at a possible additional change to state law. State law was changed earlier this year through HB 1192, which provided for the use of motorized scooters on sidewalks. The proposed ordinance provided that the motorizes scooters would drive on sidewalks within the downtown area in accordance with the newly passed HB1292. Councilor Jensen indicated there would need to be further changes to state law to allow the motorized scooters to drive on streets.

When the ordinance was first introduced, the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce held a town hall to collect the thoughts and opinions of its members and the downtown business community. Approximately 20 individuals attended. The discussion was robust and helped gauge our community’s interest in motorized electric scooters which will be used in future conversations on this topic.

Temporary ordinance established regarding medical cannabis
With City Council’s passage of the temporary ordinance for medical marijuana (cannabis), the city will wait on the State of South Dakota for their promulgation of regulations relating to the permit and or licensure of operating a medical cannabis establishment as defined by South Dakota Codified Law 34-20G-1. Reminder, the Initiated Measure 26 (IM-26) was passed by the voters in 2020 November election. IM-26 provided for the legalization of medical marijuana. IM-26 takes effect on July 1, 2021.


Ellsworth is now official home for b21 Raider

Hats off to our sister city from the west, Rapid City, and congratulations to Ellsworth Air Force Base on this week’s formal announcement of being the official home of the B21 Raider! This win is shared by many in our state who helped to position Ellsworth to be selected as the first site in the nation to be the home and training center for the B21 Raiders.

First, the Chamber extends a hearty thank you to Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds and Representative Dusty Johnson for your support of this honored designation for South Dakota. Senator Thune’s efforts with establishing the Powder River Basin that allows for high altitude flight training was key to positioning Ellsworth as an attractive site for the B21s.

The Chamber also extends a hearty thank you for Governors Dennis Daugaard and Kristi Noem for their significant contributions, such as securing the land around Ellsworth to prevent entities from building too close to the base. In addition, the Ellsworth Authority along with the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce has worked diligently to welcome the military families to the Black Hills, including bring a change to state law that would expedite the licensure process for military spouses to practice their profession while their family is stationed in South Dakota.

The Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce joined the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce in Washington on a joint D.C. Fly-in two years ago. The group visited with dignitaries at the Pentagon in an effort better understand the criteria and concerns relating to the B21 Raider decision. At that time there were other cities under consideration as well.


Legislative Workforce Housing Needs Committee meets

The Legislative Workforce Housing Needs Interim Committee met in Pierre this week. The Committee leadership includes Representative Roger Chase, Chair and Senator Casey Crabtree, Vice-Chair.

Participants in the discussion included: Todd Kays, First District Association of Local Governments; Tim Dougherty, South Dakota Home Builders Association; Lorraine Polak, South Dakota Housing, Matt Krogman; South Dakota Association of Retailers, Julie Johnson; Public Housing Financing, Toby Morris; Homes for South Dakota Affordable Housing, Julie Johnson, and South Dakota Multi Family Association, Denise Hanzlik. In addition, the Interim Committee heard the testimony of three Economic Development Executive Directors: David Lambert, Mitchell; Mike Bockorny, Aberdeen and Tom Johnson, Rapid City.

If you would like to listen to the meeting please click here.