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

Chamber Advocate 6/18/21

City Council Meeting Highlights

Proposed changes to building fee structure

The City Council will be voting on raising building related fees on July 6, 2021. The Council was briefed on the proposed changes to the following ordinances which updates an antiquated system and provides efficiencies for builders. Earlier this month the Planning Department provided a briefing to the Council and discussed the efficiencies the proposal. In addition, at the Informational community builders publicly supported the proposed changes.

To learn more about the proposed changes to the mechanical and fuel gas code click here.
To learn more about the proposed changes to the uniform plumbing code click here.
To learn more about the proposed changes to the electrical code click here.

Temporary medical cannabis ordinance passed

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 administrative rules relating to the regulation of permitting and 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. To learn more about the ordinance click here.

Briefing on USD Discovery District

Bob Mundt, President & CEO of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, presented an update on the USD Discovery District (District) to the City Council this week. The District is a corporate and academic research park located on the northwest side of Sioux Falls. The District is a partnership with Forward Sioux Falls, the City of Sioux Falls, the South Dakota Board of Regents and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and is managed by the University of South Dakota.

The programs at the District include the Community College for Sioux Falls, the USD Discovery District and the Graduate Education and Applied Research (GEAR) Center. The shared goals at the District include:

  • Fostering innovation focused on economic development to keep South Dakota graduates in in our state;
  • Strengthening the regions capacity to support, grow and attract innovation based on bio-science and high-tech businesses resulting in new, high wage jobs and new tax base; and
  • Utilizing the collaborative resources of regional medical centers, regional education institutions and private sector partnerships to create a top-notch regional bio-sciences center in Sioux Falls.

To learn more about the USD Discovery District click here.

May financials outlined

The Sioux Falls City Council received a presentation on the financial and economic indicators from this past month. The report includes figures such as sales tax collections, unemployment rate, labor force and inflation. Here are the highlights:

Sales tax collections: 4.8% (12-month rolling average)
The 12-month rolling average (less audits) ended the month at 4.8%. On a year-over-year basis, collections for May 2021 were up 34.6% over May 2021.

Entertainment tax collections: -2.3% (12-month rolling average)
The 12-month rolling average (less audits) ended the month at -2.3%. However, on a year-over-year basis, collections for May 2021 were 125.1% above May 2020.

Unemployment: 2.6%
The City of Sioux Falls’ unemployment rate peaked at almost 11% in April 2020 and has since decreased steadily. As of April 2021, we are down to 2.6% which continues to be lower than the national and state unemployment rate.

Employment: Increased to 154,724
Employment numbers for the City of Sioux Falls has witnessed some recovery since the downturn last year because of the pandemic. Growth is overall steady.

Labor Force: 158,885
Labor force has increased to 158,885 in April. This figure continues to steadily grow.

Inflation: 5.0%
Inflation has jumped to 5.0%. It was closer to 0% at the start of the pandemic. This number continues to trend upward and is currently at it highest mark since 2009.

Building Permits: $396 million through May
Through May, the City has processed over $396 million dollars’ worth of building permits. This is significantly outpacing 2019 and 2020 when the City processed $274.5 and $233.3 million dollars’ worth respectively.