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Sioux Falls finalizes 2021 budget, adds new funding for CVB & municipal band

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 9:33 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Sioux Falls City Council has finalized and approved the city’s 2021 budget.

The vote came at Tuesday evening’s city council meeting, passing 7-1 with councilor Pat Starr as the only opposing vote.

The city’s budget for 2021 comes in at just under $600 million.

In a year where the pandemic has taken its toll on cities across the nation, councilor Greg Neitzert says Sioux Falls finds itself in a pretty good position.

“Things have rebounded quite significantly, particularly with the general sales tax,” Neitzert said. “We’re actually only down 1.5% or so over last year, year to date."

Points of emphasis for the 2021 budget, city leaders say, are made clear, with major funding for public safety and infrastructure.

“What we did was, we reevaluated our priorities, we doubled down on those, and we worked together as a team to make certain that we could get a budget passed, so that we can continue the operations of Sioux Falls," Sioux Falls City Councilor Alex Jensen said.

In addition, the council has added an extra $225,000 to the funding of the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau, now known as Experience Sioux Falls.

“Our hotel and our hospitality industry in Sioux Falls needs a shot in the arm right now," Jensen said. "This is one way that we can help to market our city as we move forward, safely, in this pandemic.”

One hot-button topic of this year’s budget process was funding for the Sioux Falls Municipal Band.

“We have multi-million dollar projects that we’re discussing, and we didn’t get as much feedback as we did on the municipal band,” Neitzert said. “It’s something that people very, very much love.”

After taking the public’s wishes into consideration, councilors put together an amendment allowing funding for the band in the upcoming year. Also, the council plans to appoint a task force whose duty it will be to ensure the band is around for years to come.

“What we’re going to do is, we’re going to make certain that (the band) is properly organized, and that we can make (the band) be efficient for the next 100 years, because it is evident that the city of Sioux Falls, and its people, want the municipal band to survive," Jensen said.

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