Happy Friday! Megan here.

First things first, this issue is sponsored by White Space Studio.

  • White Space Studio is a natural light photography studio and event space owned by local photographer and business coach Maddie Peschong. White Space opens this week in a new location in Tea, with more than 2,500 square feet of rentable space for creatives to dream, build, host and collaborate. Learn more here.
    • P.S. White Space Studio is partnering with Cmtv News to offer a free headshot mini-session to one lucky person who upgrades to a membership using Maddie's special link. (Must be available May 17 to redeem. Drawing will be held May 14.)

Weather check: Another rainy weekend

Cool thing: I'm writing to you from the Big Apple! I'm attending The Newsletter Conference in New York City today, and hopefully it'll bring lots of fun ideas for how to make this email-focused local news outlet more helpful to you. 😄

This weekend, I've got a look at some of the ongoing costs of new pools – including what it might cost you to swim in them. Plus, you'll find a look at new some proposed new bus routes and changes to the entire public transit system. And don't miss our roundup of Super Simplified Stories.

And now, news:

CITY

What will it cost to swim in the new $77 million pools?

Simplified: The parks board and the City Council this week got a closer look at the financials behind plans to build a new pool at Kuehn Park, an indoor recreation center at Frank Olson Park and to purchase the west-side Sanford Wellness Center. Here's what we learned.

Rendering of the new Frank Olson Recreation Center

Why it matters

  • The initial cost for the three facilities totals $77 million – an amount the council will consider approving over the next couple of weeks in the form of a bond (essentially the city's equivalent of taking out a 20-year loan).
  • Pools aren't historically a money-maker for cities, and Sioux Falls is no exception. The city pays about $1.8 million annually to subsidize the existing city pools, and right now any income generated by the pools covers about one fifth of what it costs to run them, according to data presented to the council by Finance Director Shawn Pritchett this week.
  • The city's projections for the ongoing costs of the new facilities, though, are estimating revenue covering 80% (four fifths, if you, like me, need an apples-to-apples comparison). That's based on assumptions that a pool pass will cost $40 per month for an individual and $60 per month for a family, said Leon Younger, a consultant hired by the city.
  • Those numbers got a strong reaction from councilors, who stressed the importance of keeping these new pools accessible to the public.
"When I hear $40, $50, $60 a month, that's too high," Councilor David Barranco said. "I'm not going to be comfortable charging people those kind of levels per month. I think we're going to need to find a better solution."

Tell me more


CITY

How Via is looking to change up city bus routes

Simplified: About five months after taking over the contract to run the Sioux Area Metro, New York-based transit company Via is looking to shake things up with a new plan for new fixed routes and citywide on-demand service. Here's what you need to know about the SAM Reimagined plan.

Why it matters

  • The city has been looking at ways to improve the bus system for quite some time. In early 2023, the City Council heard a transit development plan that proposed decreasing the number of fixed routes and adding on-demand services – a strategy echoed in Via's plan, said Emily Shapiro, Sioux Falls general manager for Via.
  • The idea is to have fewer fixed routes that run more frequently supplemented by on-demand services that run citywide. Routes will also be more efficient, going out and back rather than in a loop, so riders won't have to wait as long to get to their stop, Shapiro added.
  • Additionally, fares are expected to say the same at $1.50 per ride. On-demand tickets won't transfer to fixed routes, and vice versa, but a $3 day pass works across both modes.
"We're not taking away services," Shapiro said. "We're going to be able to expand the reach of (Sioux Area Metro) to 100% of the city and 100% of the tax-paying residents. And we're able to do that within the current budget that was allotted for this year."

Tell me more about the proposed routes


TL;DR

Super Simplified Stories

  • Levitt announces summer lineup. The Levitt will have a full lineup of 50 free concerts throughout the summer, including two new genres: Latin and R&B Soul. The season, sponsored by Marketbeat, all kicks off May 31. Find a full list of concerts here.
  • Libraries offer free tutoring programs. Prevent "summer slide" with two programs, Reading Bridge and Tail Waggin' Tutors. Reading Bridge offers complimentary summer tutoring for K-5 students experiencing reading challenges, and Tail Waggin' Tutors gives kids a chance to read out loud to therapy dogs. The library is also holding its annual summer reading program. Get the details on that here.

THIS AND THAT

What I'm falling for this weekend:


ICYMI

More Simplified Stories

Stuff to do: May 1-7
Spring is in full swing! Here’s a look at what’s happening in Sioux Falls this week.
How a hotel will set the stage for future development in Harrisburg
Harrisburg’s first-ever hotel is in the works, and it’s likely going to be the start of much more development in the fast-growing city.
Meet Sioux Falls newest City Councilor
Sioux Falls’ City Council lineup is complete.

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Reach out

What story do you want to see simplified? Falling for something local? Send any news tips, attaboys, missed typos or Broadway tickets to megan@cmtv-news.com.


Thank you

Thank you to Cmtv News sponsors, including Dakota Adventure Supply, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Panther Premier Print Solutions, Barre3 Sioux Falls, Midco, the Great Plains Zoo, and the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance. When you support them, you're also supporting Cmtv News.

Special thanks to White Space Studio!

Learn more about White Space Studio's new location here, and don't forget to sign up as a Cmtv News member so you can be entered to win a free headshot mini-session from Maddie Peschong on May 17.