Sioux Falls officials dispute amid building collapse lawsuit

March 7, 2018

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A Sioux Falls councilwoman says the city should end its partnership in a $50 million mixed-use downtown development after the developer was sued this week.

The family of a construction worker killed in a 2016 building collapse filed a lawsuit Monday against Legacy Developments alleging the company is responsible for the man’s death.

Councilwoman Theresa Stehly requested Tuesday for fellow council members to pull $21 million in city funding for the mixed-use hotel and parking ramp project with Legacy Developments, the Argus Leader reported .

“We’re still going forward with this thing and it’s absurd,” Stehly said.

In January, Stehly and Councilman Pat Starr tried to repeal the ordinance the authorized the city’s finance office to sell bonds for the project. The effort followed the reveal that the U.S. Attorney’s Office was conducting a criminal investigation of Hultgren Construction, the construction company at the time of the Copper Lounge collapse. Hultgren Construction was closely associated with Legacy Developments because the company’s president, Aaron Hultgren, also served as the director of development for Legacy.

Hultgren later left Legacy and was removed from his role as guarantor on the parking ramp project.

Councilman Rex Rolfing disagreed with Stehly, saying the lawsuit against Legacy won’t negatively affect the project.

″(The city of) Sioux Falls was not mentioned in that (lawsuit) at all. That should be a telling point of where we’re at,” he said. “I think it’s a waste of our time to go back and try to stop a project that will be good for the downtown area.”

Mayor Mike Huether didn’t immediately respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.


Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com

Update hourly