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Date posted - November 10, 2012

does downtown sheldon need $1,500,000 in improvements?  Really?

concerned former resident

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25 Responses to “$1,500,000”

  1. Joe says:

    Surprised they are not giving downtown businesses money to re-locate out by the bypass. Before long intown will be dead and we will have moved into Sanborn.

  2. Red says:

    Downtown needs something. It’s a shame to see the empty buildings and loss of yet another business to the bypass area.

  3. jeff says:

    They need to spend there money wisely. Downtown to me is not the place to invest into. Sure its a shame to see the buildings empty, clothing store closing, eating place relocating. But at the same token look what we paid P&S construction for a fancy little sitting place where the old pucci’s used to sit. I am not sure what money was from where but still. As a business owner why would I want to invest or pay for inprovements as I have paid taxes on my building, sidewalk etc for the last 30 years and now to here that maybe the property owner may be accessed some of the cost for sidewalks etc. I would like to know who, names please, that is behind this downtown improvement plan? I have looked to expand, add on to existing, but I am always hit with you can do this here but not there or if you look at the land in sheldon, one year it is X amount only to find out that this year X has doubled. Yet no one can tell me why?? Moving to the bypass area – yes that is progress. That area is huge, two hiways, rail, but yet try to drive a truck through our wonderfull roads out there or get gas at the gas station out there or watch all those trucks, RV’s skip sheldon and go to sibley. Like I said $1.5 million can and should be spent elsewhere.

  4. Red says:

    In many ways I agree with you, Jeff. What Sheldon is experiencing happened to Cherokee many, many years ago. Everything moved to the South of town and then everything to the North and the South sits empty. Downtown Cherokee is being revitalized and is experiencing a renaissance of sorts. If the powers that be in Sheldon quit their bs’ing around and quit worrying about competition, downtown Sheldon can be revitalized and become a viable business center.

  5. Sheldon Dreamer says:

    Lets make sure we do everything possible to get this streetscape plan approved. Then lets get to work on getting rid of some of those bad remodel jobs that have been done on some of the storefronts and return them to their original beauty. When Walmart comes to town, that’s going to wipe out a lot of the Mom and Pop stores in downtown. Sheldon will need to think outside the box and figure out how downtown will still play an important part of our city. We could turn downtown into a regional entertainment district with cafes, ice cream shops, antique shops, pubs, and unusual gift shops, somewhat like the Old Market in Omaha, but on a smaller scale. The second floors of the downtown buildings could be turned into loft apartments or condos. Lets open up all those boarded up second story windows. How about painting some of the original signs back onto the buildings? How about putting historic signs on the buildings that tell about their history? This idea would be something that doesn’t compete with Walmart and could attract lots of visitors from out of town. Something cool like that might also help retain and attract more young people to want to live in Sheldon. There are so many possibilities. Lets not let our downtown, which has played such an important part of our history fall into disrepair.

    Besides a streetscape plan, Sheldon needs to have a plan to make the downtown buildings more attractive. Facade improvement programs have been adopted by hundreds of communities, and if you do a search online, you will find many examples of how successful these programs can be. You will see how these communities found ways of financing their facade improvement programs. Many used a combination of TIF and grant programs, while others did some thinking outside the box and came up with other creative ways to finance their facade improvement programs.
    Sheldon could create a facade improvement program that could assist downtown property owners with sign renovation or replacement, wall repairs and repainting, window and door replacement or modification, planter box installation, handicap accessibility modifications, added ornamental/decorative architectural features, exterior lighting, awnings, and other improvements which will increase the attractiveness of the building. Like in many other cities, Sheldon would need to adopt some design standards, or form a design review committee to prevent more bad remodel jobs from happening.

    I know some of you think that all the businesses downtown need to just call it quits or relocate out by the bypass. That just doesn’t make sense. Do you really think people traveling down the highway are going to pull off the highway to shop at Sheldon’s clothing and hardware stores? No, they’re going to pull off the highway to buy gas, eat at a fast food restaurant, or spend a night at a hotel. I believe Sheldon needs to do more to try and capitalize on the people driving down the highway 60 bypass by recruiting more fast food restaurants, gas stations, and hotels. With the number of big trucks on the highway, Sheldon could use a good sized truck stop like a Pilot or TA Travel Center. Just think of the tax revenues we could generate by adding those type businesses by the bypass.

    It’s time to come up with a plan for our future. Do we want to be one of those towns that adapted to change and revitalize downtown, or do we want our downtown to get run down and in disrepair? We need to stop sitting back watching other towns like Sioux Center and Orange City prosper and grow while our town seems to be going nowhere.

  6. Red says:

    Question: Where can a semi easily pull in to get diesel?

    No where that I know of. For sure not out at Sheldon Crossing that made it very clear trucks were not welcome. What a joke that turn around is! Not the new Casey’s. No rooms for trucks to maneuver. The co-op? Nope! Guess it’s on to Jack Rabbit Junction in Sibley!

    • Sheldon Dreamer says:

      All the more reason for Sheldon to try and recruit someone to build a real truck stop here. I think a Flying J, Pilot, or a TA Travel Center would be very successful here.

  7. ryan says:

    ag partners has easy diesel fuel for trucks. however it is not easy from hyw 60, so yes fuel at 18/60 would get more use.

  8. Mark says:

    I am originally from Cherokee, and my mom and dad had a TV/Appliance/Furniture store on Main Street…a very successful business. Anyway, the city came in and made life a living Hell for my parents during the construction process. It’s hard to get freight in and out of a store when the freight comes in on a big-rig with a long trailer. They got socked for the curb and gutter as well. Just south of $8000 worth. I have seen downtown Cherokee dry up and blow away. All that’s down there anymore is bars and bums. Bums sitting on those pretty little park benches with their pajama pants on, smoking cigarette after cigarette and flicking their butts into the pretty little tree plantings around the corners. It is beautiful coming into Cherokee’s main street district at night from the West on C-38, but I don’t think the sock stores, bars and restaurants are huge revenue makers, both in property taxes, or sales tax collected. My parents sold big ticket items, high end TV’s, Appliances, and Amish built furniture. They collected a large portion of the sales tax base on Main Street, as well as paying the property taxes on one of the larger storefronts on Main. I just don’t see it paying back to anyone, business owner or city revenue base, to spend that kind of money on a downtown district that has been dead for years and years. The biggest problem with downtown Sheldon is that nobody supports Sheldon. Go to Sioux City of Sioux Falls on any given day and count how many Sioux and O’Brien county plates you see in the parking lots. The people of our little slice of heaven don’t support the businesses we have, so again, why spend that kind of money on it? I say build baby build out by the bypass. I saw Cherokee grow by leaps and bounds in about ’90 or ’91 when Hy-Vee built in a cornfield by the baseball fields. The motel, both Harley shops, McDonalds, newer Caseys, Rasmussen Ford, Taco Johns, etc.
    Oh, and the city kills it’s existing businesses with their regressive tactics too. They let another car wash come into town from someone outside of Sheldon, when there was two perfectly good, profitable, car washes in town, owned by two prominent (but not huge last name) Sheldon families, resulting in one car wash being torn down because they couldn’t get it sold. Sheldon is it’s own worst ememy in my honest, Cherokee transplant opinion. And God bless NCC by the way!

    • Stuart says:

      something doesn’t jive because an individual posted earlier that Downtown Cherokee was being revitalized and was experiencing a renaissance of sorts. If what you say is true that renaissance didn’t last very long


      • Mark says:

        It sure didn’t last long! There’s multiple empty buildings in downtown Cherokee too, like in Sheldon’s case. The point I’m trying to convey is that the City of Sheldon’s officials are looking into how Cherokee did their downtown revitalization. I don’t believe that Cherokee is the best role model. They spent an awful lot of money on stuff that gets used primarily by the bar bums anyway. I have seen the Cherokee project go from talks, hearings, blueprints, council meetings, etc, to finished project, and now back down hill again. However, to be fair, when that project was going on, we had a city administrator who loved to steamroll and intimidate people into submission.
        I just think that kind of money could be spent wiser. Sheldon’s housing market is terrible. We just sold one house and bought another in town, and were darn lucky to find the one we bought. A million-five would build some nice housing developments, provided that they weren’t built on record setting farmground! Partner up with NCC’s programs, such as Heavy Equipment to do the dirtwork, Power Line to run main power, Carpentry to build (affordable) houses on it, electrical tech to wire it, etc. Maybe buy out the slumlords of Sheldon and knock down their trailerhouses on the west side, get rid of the crappy buildings and whatnot south of the post office, and CLEAN THIS TOWN UP. Maybe that would help make Sheldon look more appealing to both businesses as well as residents who contribute to the community, rather than just leaching off us.
        A million-five into just one or two city blocks? Are we sure we want to do that?

  9. Todd says:

    Fixing storefronts and streets is a nice idea but means nothing if people aren’t looking to start small businesses and if people aren’t shopping downtown. When I was younger there were several clothing and shoe stores downtown and my family travelled from our town to Sheldon to school shop. Pretty limited choices today in Sheldon. People won’t shop downtown because it is pretty. They will shop downtown when there are a variety of businesses there that have products they are lookiong for at competetive prices. We need more businesses and more products, not just prettier storefronts and streets.

  10. Red says:

    So can anyone tell me what Spencer’s big secret is?

  11. Jeff says:

    No idea about spencer. Sioux center, orange city, rock valley need to be studied. I frequent those locations often. I have talked to city people that seem to have no idea where these town are. We need to charter a bus. Take a tour. Take pictures. Observe. And key word “work together”. I had a Sioux center council / business owner tell me once I may not get along with you, maybe this deal will benefit you more than me, but once the doors are shut, we need to work together for the betterment of the community, our family, and for our grandchildren.

    Also in regards to diesel here in town. I know for a fact that the owner of the cenex station on the bypass as more than once talked with the city about the purchase of the back lot behind there store, specifically for diesel pumps, truck parking, etc. the powers that be in this town said NO. I know two area businesses that drive out of there way to Sisley to get diesel. I have heard figures from $2 million on up that these spend on fuel and there repair shop.

    Sheldon also needs to support there local business. But the question is what is deamed “local”. please answer that one!

    • R V says:

      Here is my opinion on what to do. Contact Wal-mart and convince them to build a store right here in Sheldon. Then maybe people would chose to shop in Sheldon instead of going to Sioux Center, Spencer, Lemars, Worthington, Sioux City, and Sioux Falls. Instead of spending 1.5 million dollars to beautify downtown, spend money on any infrastructure needed for the Wal-mart store.

      I know many of you are going to argue that we need to support our local retailers, but how many of our local business owners actually do their shopping in Sheldon. You will see many of them shopping at all the other towns I mentioned above. You can’t blame them though. The prices are cheaper and there’s more selection. My point being, just because you support our Sheldon businesses doesn’t mean that your money is going to stay right here in Sheldon. If I had to guess, Wal-Mart would employ more people and do more sales than all of our downtown businesses combined.

      As far as beautifying downtown, I say let the business owners pay for it if they want it. If I wanted to put in some new sidewalks in front of my house, plants some trees, and put new windows, doors, and siding on my house, I have to pay for it out of my own pocket. Let the business owners do the same.

      Now instead of hiring some big city firm to come up with some expensive ways for us to spend our money, why don’t we just do some simple things to beautify our city. We could plant some trees along our highway 18 and old highway 60. Istead of some big city design firm telling us that we need to plant some big 25 foot tall trees that will cost over 500 dollars a piece and take heavy equipment to plant, we could purchase eight foot tall trees for less than 50 dollars each and we could have volunteers help plant the trees. The eight foot trees will grow to 25 foot in a few years anyway. Then, lets pass and enforce and ordinance requiring all property owners to keep their properties mowed and trimmed and fine the heck out of those who don’t.

  12. Jeff says:

    I still wonder about that high price tag to redo the old Pucci’s property. Yes it looks nice but ……..

    • Rean says:

      I was looking at the little park yesterday and have to say the building to the West looks awful. To be honest, until that building is taken care of you won’t catch me or mine using it due to falling bricks or plaster.

  13. Scott Hare says:

    It’s about above average paying jobs people. Sioux Center and Rock Valley all have multiple companies, in various fields, that pay competitively for skilled labor. People with money, buy/build/like nice stuff. They also have higher tax rates to pay for those miles of walking trails, parks with playgrounds, in door pool, in door ice arena, new event center and 18 hole golf course. Rock Valley doesn’t have a sexy downtown, it’s mostly successful resell shops and banks. Sioux Center’s downtown is highway 75/the mall? Below are some facts from the last census. The family income and median age are pretty telling…

    The median income for a household in Sheldon was $34,058, and the median income for a family was $43,346. The median age is 39.4 years

    The median income for a household in Rock Valley was $36,967, and the median income for a family was $45,074. The median age is 35.8 years.

    The median income for a household in Sioux Center was $42,775, and the median income for a family was $51,039. The median age is 27.7 years.

    • Jeff says:

      When you say higher tax rate what are you figuring for that? I am not sure on houses but I know tax levy in Sioux county is 15%. I think obrian is 24%. I know I pay more commercial tax in Sheldon than I do in a neighboring town. Both buildings are about the same. Almost same lot size. Utilities are cheap. Gas, electric, garage is minimal compared to what I pay here in Sheldon. I have brought this up to the powers that be in this town and they say I am full of it. Then I bring in my assessed tax forms for both properties and they are not sure how that works. So to say they have more tax base yes but there are reasons for that. Private utilities, aggressive marketing, tax programs. Which if I remember correctly, when I built our building in a neighboring tone, I passed building inspection, I received all my building permit money back. I paid no taxes for the first 5years. Sheldon, no they just double the price of a lot in a years time with no explanations of why. Tax incentives , nope not here.

  14. kris says:

    Are there any good black friday deals in downtown Sheldon or am I going to have to make a trip to Sioux Falls or Sioux City to get some good deals?

  15. Timmy says:

    Its because downtown is too close to the elevators, in every other town the downtown is separated from the co-op. Downtown Sheldon will never work with the Co-op so close because it always smells terrible in downtown Sheldon because of the Co-op. The people that live in Sheldon are used to it, but for us visitors, Sheldon smells awful constantly.

  16. Deb ENSZ says:


  17. carnie2001 says:

    jeff, the Kats family spent way more than the city did on the “Puccis Plaza”.
    The city allowed the Puccis building to become so rundown that it had to be condemned and torn down. Since there was a common wall to the adjacent building (currently occupied by Glenn’s Copier) this common wall had to be repaired.

    Al Kats attempted to purchase the Puccis building about 5 years before it was torn down but the city wouldn’t work with him at all. This is standard practice for the city of Sheldon. We want new businesses but won’t work with the existing business owners at all.

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