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Growth, optimism define current state of Sioux Falls

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One of the highlights of my work as Mayor is the opportunity to interact daily with many residents and community members. These conversations shape my perspective on the concerns of residents across Sioux Falls—from business owners to parents and faith and community leaders.
During the State of the City address in March, I shared a few of those stories, including what compelled several newcomers to make Sioux Falls their home. Their enthusiasm for Sioux Falls is infectious—and a great reminder of everything we have to be grateful for in Sioux Falls. We also heard from members of the 2021-22 Mayor’s Youth Council. Their comments reflect a strong sense of optimism about the future of Sioux Falls that I continue to hear from residents across our community.
There’s no question that Sioux Falls is experiencing record growth. Last year was a historic year for our community, including surpassing $1 billion in building permits valuations, the lowest debt per capita in more than a decade and sales tax growth exceeding 19 percent, along with welcoming nearly 7,000 new residents to Sioux Falls. We moved forward with public investments to manage Sioux Falls’ record growth, including significant commitments to public safety such as breaking ground on a state‑of‑the‑art public safety training campus and opening The Link community triage center, quality of life investments and largescale investments in the city’s roadway network.
Like cities across the country, we are faced with uncertainty and challenges. Inflationary pressures on basic living expenses like food, utilities and gas, housing availability and affordability, and childcare are impacting businesses and individuals across Sioux Falls. These tensions are further amplified due to our community’s population and business growth.
Despite those challenges, the city and our partners across the region are working to move the community forward and maintain Sioux Falls’ excellent quality of life with a continued focus on accessible housing, infrastructure funding, public safety and workforce within the One Sioux Falls framework.
We are at a pivotal time in Sioux Falls because of our historic growth. To sustain our trajectory, we need to continue to make thoughtful investments. Thanks to the City’s smart decision-making and fiscal responsibility, we are poised to continue to grow a vibrant local and regional economy.
We are at a pivotal time in Sioux Falls because of our historic growth.
One prime example of forward-thinking investments is the City’s investment in Dakota State University’s new cyber-research lab. This opportunity will allow us to diversify our workforce, add up to 500 six-figure jobs, and provide competitive cybersecurity jobs in Sioux Falls.
Addressing our community’s housing challenges goes hand in hand with workforce concerns. Housing will continue to be a priority of my administration, and the 2026 Housing Action Plan focuses on a multifaceted approach to guide our work moving forward.
In response to our community’s evolving needs, I also shared that we have added areas of emphasis to the One Sioux Falls framework with a focus on sustainable growth and a focus on kids and families. We continue to make strategic investments as a City in order to grow strategically and to manage the tension that growth creates in order to keep Sioux Falls investable.
Looking ahead, investments in infrastructure, including the wastewater treatment plant expansion, and Sioux Falls’ roadway network are moving forward. We also continue to make progress with exciting public investments in downtown Sioux Falls, including Phase Three of the River Greenway, Jacobson Plaza at Falls Park and reconstruction of the Sixth Street Bridge and Seventh Street cul-de-sac. These investments are complementing the private sector investments happening in areas including The Steel District and Cherapa II. I’m also looking forward to the work we will be doing with business and community leaders through the creation of the Downtown 2035 Plan to shape downtown’s skyline for the next generation.
Sioux Falls has exciting work ahead of us as a community. Together, in collaboration with our partners, the City will continue making thoughtful, strategic decisions to maintain our excellent quality of life in the years ahead.
Paul TenHaken is Mayor of the City of Sioux Falls. He took office in May of 2018 and will be sworn in for his second term on May 17, 2022.

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