Kermit Staggers, member of the Sioux Falls City Council was in class today on Viewpoint University. One of the subjects discussed is an upcoming vote of the council to allocate about $1.8 million dollars in surplus city funds.

According to Councilman Staggers, the extra money is the result of bids on capital projects coming in lower than anticipated. The council has held a couple of working sessions to discuss where the money should be spent.

Staggers stated the council will vote on a resolution Tuesday May 7th. As this is being written exact dollar amounts have not been set in the document. However, Staggers says there is consensus to target money to Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA) improvements at various locations on city property. Also, some street projects will move forward, ahead of schedule.

One item which may be in the resolution is an allocation of approximately $65,000 to purchase a state of the art movie projector for the State Theater rehabilitation project. The State Theater is not a government building. Councilman Staggers says there is NOT consensus on funding this project, possibly making this comparatively small dollar amount a major part of the discussion.

For the record, I am happy the State Theater is being rehabilitated. I did not grow up in Sioux Falls, so my support is not based on nostalgia. It is based on this belief, viable older buildings are an important part of the soul of our city. An updated State Theater, with as much of the "old" saved as possible, makes us a better town. HOWEVER, I don't think the city should be buying the projector. From my perspective, voting to buy the equipment opens a Pandora's Box for future projects. I like public/private partnerships. Usually taxpayers "get" something when city government contributes. Haven't heard about any "quid pro quo" (this for that) in this case.

As much as I like the project, and the people working so hard to make it happen, if I had a vote with what I know now, I would vote NO.