Riverfront development, aviation center, internet

SIOUX CITY – After two years of construction, the completion of the Chris Larsen Park Riverfront Development Project is in sight.

Back in 2015, Sioux City Parks and Recreation Director Matt Salvatore said the city submitted a request for quotes for a riverfront master plan. Since then, he said, many people, including generous donors, have worked to make the improvements a reality.

The magazine asked the heads of several city departments about their top projects or priorities for the new year. Salvatore considers the completion of the riverfront development project in 2023 to be one of his department’s most notable projects. Total construction costs were 12 million dollars.

“It’s been a long time,” Salvatore said. “There are a few finishing touches in the spring.”

The new play structure will be unveiled at Chris Larson Park in March 2022.

Additions to the riverfront include overlooks, two large pavilions, trails, an interactive water fountain, a playground, a basketball court, an event lawn, a plaza and a dog park.

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A grand opening event for the riverfront is planned for May.

Sioux City Economic Development Director Marty Dougherty’s said there are “some bright things for aviation” in Sioux City in 2023 and beyond.

In early November, city officials and business leaders took the first step toward opening a $10.7 million aviation hub at Sioux Gateway Airport. That project is expected to be completed sometime in the fall.

“It’s a really exciting project,” Dougherty said.

A rendering of the 40,000-square-foot aviation center to be built at Sioux Gateway Airport is shown.

The 40,000-square-foot facility includes a flight academy and additional aviation operations. The aviation center was created in partnership with Morningside University, Western Iowa Technical Community College and Oracle Aviation. Led by city officials and leaders in the Siouxland Initiative, the project includes hangar space, training classrooms and office facilities.

“At the same time, we’re working with the (Iowa Air National Guard’s 185th Air Refueling Wing) to improve the airport, which I think will increase our chances of seeing more growth with the Air Guard and the airport.” Dougherty said.

A strategic planning process has taken place between the conservancy and the city-owned Sioux Gateway Airport, Dougherty said, adding that the runway replacement, new hangar and taxiway improvements are “critical pieces.”

“This will be the No. 1 issue we bring to Washington this year,” he said. “If we get these things done, there might be some growth in the Guardians. You’ll be hearing a lot about it this year, ensuring the long-term future of the guards and the airport.”

Helen Rigdon, director of the Sioux City Public Library, has a chromebook computer available to check out at the Aalfs Downtown Library on Friday …

Just days before the New Year, the Sioux City Public Library began providing Sioux City cardholders with 900 iPads and Chromebooks and more than 1,000 hotspots and 5G routers.

The Internet for All Initiative, which began Friday at Aalfs Downtown Library and will run through the end of 2023, is made possible by more than $1 million in funding from the Emergency Communications Fund, a federal program to help schools and libraries close the gap. for those who do not currently have the necessary internet access or devices needed to connect to online resources.

Helen Rigdon, director of the Sioux City Public Library, told the City Council on Monday that between 350 and 360 devices were being checked out.

According to the 2020 US Census, approximately 19.5% of Sioux City residents do not have a broadband Internet connection at home.

Library employee Lacey Fullerton talks with a patron as she helps check out an iPad and router at the Aalfs Downtown Library on Friday. This is…

In an interview last week, Rigdon told The Journal that laptops and tablets can be checked out for three months at a time, while routers can be purchased on an annual loan.

“I think it’s going to help a lot of people who just don’t have access to it and maybe already have jobs and their hours don’t coincide with the library hours to come and use it,” she said.

Rigdon also said he hopes the devices will help residents with research, homework, job applications and other forms that can only be filled out online. Some devices will also be available at various community organizations to provide access to non-library patrons.

Sarah Enright, local history library specialist, talks about the variety of e-resources and digital assets available free to Sioux City Public Library members.

Jesse Brothers

Reconstruction of the central buildings of the city will continue this year.

Renovations to the historic Badgerow Building are nearing completion, Dougherty said. An Omaha developer is converting a long-vacant 12-story building into apartments, office space and an upscale restaurant. Dougherty said leasing of the building’s spaces is expected to begin in the next 30 to 60 days.

“The pieces are falling into place downtown,” he said. “Badgerow is kind of like Warrior (Hotel). This is another great achievement for the city center that we can build on and lead to further growth.”

A crane lifts material onto the roof of the 12-story Badgerow building in downtown Sioux City in April. The work is part of ongoing renovations…

The Sioux City Police Department has three key strategies for 2023: marketing the department’s professionalism, strengthening internal resources, and creating a cohesive atmosphere and environment.

Sioux City Community Police Sgt. Thomas Gill said proactive planning for the future was “essential” to maintaining the department’s reputation as a “progressive and service-oriented agency”.

“Following the strategic plan put forward by our citizens and staff to properly set agency priorities ensures the long-term health of SCPC. The leadership of the Sioux City Police Department holds regular meetings to continue the ongoing strategic plan for the agency,” he said. “These plans are initiated after annual town hall meetings, citizen surveys, input from the City Council, as well as meetings with all agency staff.”

Gill noted that the department is not afraid to make immediate changes to meet the needs of citizens.

“We continue to initiate organizational changes that improve our response to crime and our ability to deliver on the department’s mission statement,” he said. “We are very proud of how much citizen input strengthens the agency’s initiatives and direction.”

Sioux City Parks and Recreation Director Matt Salvatore talks about the new play structures and landscaping planned at the Riverfront development as part of Chris Larson Park.

Jesse Brothers

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