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Downtown Sheldon’s New Look


Date posted - August 20, 2013


What are your thoughts on how Sheldon’s downtown should be referred to and promoted after construction is complete? ┬áKeep it positive.

Historic Downtown Sheldon has a new look

Downtown Sheldon – new and improved and ready for business

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47 Responses to “Downtown Sheldon’s New Look”

  1. An Idea says:

    Historic downtown!!! If you want to succeed see you at the bypass! Otherwise sell out like Hamill did

    • Tim says:

      Why are we developing only one exit in Sheldon??? What about the south exit??? Wrong side of the tracks for those in charge???
      Also, I feel for the businesses in down town, however, the city wants to spend soooo much money down there, why don’t they try to promote it. I was in a small town that was about the same size as Sheldon, talked to a business person and they said if they did not want their town to die down town they needed to “entice” people. They now hold something down town two or three nights a week to get people there. One night might be a barbeque festival, one night might be a wine tasting, etc etc. We spent all the money on theis “fantastic” bumpout creation, get people to look at it. We spent (I heard) in excess of 80 grand on a down town park, use it!!! This SCDC better start getting creative!! It is called “selling your product”.

      • George says:

        Intersection of two busy highways is much more appealing than the intersection of a highway and low traffic county blacktop.

        There will be minimal development on the south side for this reason. It wouldn’t make sense for a business to locate there over a high traffic area. Not rocket science.

        • Tim says:

          Then according to you, those businesses using that exit, RV Central, Glenns Sport Center, Highway 60 Steaks and Chops, Dairy Dandy, among others, and even those downtown businesses that would use that exit to draw in business are really not worth it?? I bet they all would strongly disagree with you!!! Perhaps what you would want is a truck stop located on that side of town, because if I read you right, that type of business should stay on the “south side of the tracks”, because it is not as “appealing” as shall we say Catapillar, or McDonalds??

          • George says:

            I am talking about new development. You are talking about established community businesses. Do you really not understand the difference?

    • Denise says:

      I think it should have gone to a vote for the downtown changes or not for the downtown changes, let the people decide.

  2. BB_Mom_Sheldon says:

    I was taught “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all” so I shall not comment on what is happening to downtown.

  3. Commenting says:

    Come shop our newly remodeled historic downtown Sheldon! The sidewalks are wide enough to accomodate cars so that your horses can have reign of the middle path. Hitching posts at every bumpout for your convenience.

    • Commenting says:

      I can understand why you’re asking for suggestions on how to tout the “newly remodeled historic downtown Sheldon.” I’m having trouble coming up with anything positive, too. Sure, it will look nice. “Sheldon–a really nice place?” I keep wondering how much money the businesses have lost in sales revenue due to this project that was pushed onto them. The most common comment I’ve heard is, “I’m staying away from downtown until it’s finished.” A positive result of this project could be that hopefully the next time it will be put up to a vote of the people.

      • Gramma46 says:

        There was a public hearing but when someone wanted to express their concerns the MAYOR said we are done talking we have another meeting to attend. Wow they really want the publics input. NOT!!!! It definetly is time for a change in our city officials.

        • Dave Popkes says:

          There were four public meetings held for the design and inputo of the project plus all the council meetings which anyone could make comments,all of which were poorly attended. All the meetings were published in the paper and the radio under the council agenda. Nothing can be discussed without being published. What few people ever talk about is 1. accidents of people falling over the curbs will go down due to the ADA compliance. 2. the bumpouts will make seeing the oncoming traffic easier to see. 3. The entire downtown will be ADA compliant, makeing it easier for the handicap to get around. 4. The streets will be a little wider and the curb more rounded so vehicles can park in further.5. The lighting will be better when it is finished. 6. I want to get more decorations for the seasons and Christmas. 7. Maybe more Street dances and festivals. 8. Some benches so that there can be some spare time spent to enjoy the weather, and life downtown. 9. Some more Store front restoration, which would not take place with broken sidewalk, streets, and curbs.
          And another thing, the building owners are responsible for the replacement of the sidewalk, and part of the curb. The streets and infrastructure will be paid by Tiff taxes funded by new startups.
          It is my goal to promote the growing of Sheldon in ALL AREAS. Alot of the buildings are owned by out of town people. This is a trend that I want to turn around. Many buildings are not being cared for. To reverse this trend we need to enforce nuisance Areas which we do, but the law doesn,t make it easy, Provide some assistance to home and buisness owners, which we do through our Store front program, and a grant program which we have done the last two years for over 25 houses for lower income households.We will apply again for more of the grant money.This was for houses in the center, west, and south, not the east. Promote growth in housing, new and referbished which will open up some lower level housing, Some Quality rental houseing,{not for people from out of town that milk them dry and then leave.} But for quality rentals ,for people that keep them nice. Tougher laws that make renters responsible for the damage that they cause. More community celebrations,which take volunteers and money, so donate and volunteer. Every one wants everything, but don,t do anything themselves. Don,t push everything on the government help yourself. My vision in the future is to get back to the glory days of the sixties and the 70,s when families would come into downtown and spend the evening together. How many families do that anymore. The less people participate in things the less it will happen. So on a Monday night, come into town,and downtown, play ball, watch a ballgame, or just walk downtown and talk to your neighbor if you know who they are.

  4. Rainbow says:

    It’s bad enough that the business will need to pass the cost of the “downtown update” to the products that they sell. It though is even worse that our city did not update the underground inter-structure. How much will it cost, when we have a major waterline , gas line, electrical line or a sewer break? Wonder if the City Council will help to personally foot the bill, since they thought this was a great idea, but forgot to think!

    • Beltcher says:

      isn’t there a city council election coming up in November?

      • KW. says:

        The last time the Council was all business owners these kinds of decisions were being made and left unchecked. Now again the general public is treated as if they have no knowledge of what is right or wrong for the community. Beltcher is right, there is an election coming and it may be time for a change. Get involved, and take over one or two of the seats and give the general public back a voice.

    • Dave Popkes says:

      The only cost to the business is the sidewalk. Mine was only 2 years old, but it needed to be redone so it was consitant, and by the way, at less cost that I paid the first time. All home owners have to have a good sidewalk, Some of them downtown were in bad shape.

  5. Happy says:

    “Come shop Downtown as we move forward.” Enjoy the new look and convenience of downtown shopping. Show your appreciation for the busnisses that make it possible for us to shop locally and are always friendly and willing to meet our shopping needs. Plus they give back to the community in many ways.

    Compared to driving miles to get to a mall, then walking a few blocks length to even get into an entry way and then walking at great length to get to the shop you want to shop in. Usually can’t find anyone to help you look for what you want and when they do get to you they could care less about who you are or how they can meet your needs. They also are not going to give anything back to our local community in any way.

    • 6th Street says:

      I’m sorry, but your comment isn’t based in reality.

      Downtown Sheldon has been reeling for years. New stores pop up and disappear every few months, and the only ones which thrive are service-based…not retail. Let’s face it, there is nothing that “bump outs” or any other street improvements are going to do to bring business back into town. Do you honestly think that people from Sheldon or some other town are going to say, “Hey! they have bumpouts now and nice looking trees. Let’s shop there instead!” This is an issue that goes much deeper. I hate to say it, but with the internet and the proximity to Sioux City and Sioux Falls, opening any kind of retail store in a small town like this is a futile effort.

      Let’s say you have a family of five, and the three kids are all in school. Do you honestly think mom or dad is going to go to Shopko or downtown in Sheldon to buy school clothes every year? No way. For the $25 in gas it takes you can more than make up for the cost difference at the mall in SF. Why would sensible people spend extra money when they don’t have to? You can’t give me the argument that you’re supporting your town because that’s bogus. Buying clothes for $400 in Sheldon vs $250 + $25 in gas in Sioux City only allows the business owner to buy a bigger SUV. If I can find something online cheaper and order it without sales tax, never leaving my living room, you can bet I’m going to do it. Are our kids’ schools going to close up because sales tax didn’t get paid in Sheldon? No. Will we lose our police or fire department? No. Income from the manufacturing, service, and essential goods industries (HyVee, Fareway, gas stations, etc) far outweighs the amount coming in from the super low volume stores downtown.

      The people whining about this are business owners with their self interests in mind, who “say” they are thinking about the community. In reality they want to make sure they can put their kids in 2014 North Face coats and keep up with everyone else. I’m not buying into it. The same people and business owners who claim to be staunch republicans are crying because they are being driven out by price competition. Isn’t that what capitalism is all about…competition? Would you like the someone to tell you where you have to shop now?

      Bumpouts aren’t going to help, and this town is not and never will be a Spencer, Le Mars or Sioux Center (Walmart, Pella, anyone??? We’ve blown every chance we get because of inept city management, people). Why make the situation worse on businesses by forcing them to pay for someone’s little pet project?

      • Prosperous road says:

        Reality 6th st. really?
        The only businesses that thrive downtown are service based. Thanks
        for hitting Ben Franklin, Evies Hallmark, Lady B’s, Carls footwear,
        Dollar General, Mastbergen Jewelry, Radio Shack, Travel world and many more in the chops. I’m sure I missed some. Sorry. Is the word sorry in your vocabulary? Then you have to clinch with “Super low volume stores.”Are you an accountant,banker, or IRS agent? How do you know?
        Do you know the number one reason for going into business is? I hope you said to make a profit. No profit no business. Well thats not always the case but the majority of the time it is,
        You talk about going to the mall and saving $$$$, if you’re like me
        I usually spend more than I budgeted and don’t forget the trip back
        with returns. The internet you got me on that one.
        I’d like to know who these STAUNCH Republicans who are whining are.
        The heat must be getting to me like this opinion did.

  6. Turbo Ted says:

    Historic downtown Sheldon; Come shop like it’s 1899.

  7. TDS says:

    The way I see it most downtown businesses are going to have to raise the price of there products or services to help off-set not only the chunk they have to pay for there sidewalks but also the loss of income they suffered when people couldn’t get to there stores easily. The downtown stores are already priced higher than going out of town to a box store. Sad to say but with even higher prices probably coming I fear that many of the people that have always supported downtown stores will be going out of town. Well played councilmen, well played!

    • R. Kinsella says:

      We are well past the point of going “All In” on the downtown project. As the project gets nearer and nearer to completion (?), NOW would be a great time for the downtown businesses to maybe get together and figure out how they are going to attract people/dollars not only from in-town but from out-of-town. Hopefully they will come up with a plan to compete with the so-called “big box” stores on price, hours, and products versus the “Build It And They Will Come” approach.

  8. Doug says:

    Is the new downtown look, the same plan we were “sold”? The bumpouts seem awfully big. They seem to be much bigger than the ones recently installed in Primghar. Maybe a public building like a courthouse has different ADA regulations.

    • Just Me says:

      Pretty sure the ADA regulations are the same for everyone, however regulations can CHANGE from one year to the next. So what Primghar did was current at the time but may be different now. My understanding of the regulations has to do with percentage of slope on the sidewalks and particularly at the corners where those with wheelchairs would need to access the sidewalks. The slope can be no more than X percent for so many feet at the corners (as well as less than 2% for so many feet wide on the rest of the sidewalks) and since the curb height downtown was much higher in most locations than normal, it was necessary to EXTEND the sidewalk out into the street, thus the necessity of bumpouts to comply with the ADA. Anyone with hard data want to come along and give specific info on ADA compliance? Maybe the public would be a bit more understanding of the process if they knew more of the WHY behind it all!

      • Doug says:

        Primghar’s project was last year. The street level could be raised to reduce the extension to a lower level. Unless you need to use it as an excuse to force a project along.

      • Dave Popkes says:

        The ratio is 1 inch drop to 1 foot run plus four foot flat space. Some areas had extra length to accomadate steps and visability.

  9. Red says:

    The councilman that have THEIR businesses away from the downtown area need to put their money where their mouth is .

    It should be mandated that they conduct business from one of the empty downtown buildings.

    • FAA says:

      And clean their own restrooms and even stay open on Saturday. Uuuh now they’re squirming.

    • Just Me says:

      What empty downtown building?

    • Dave P says:

      I have my business downtown, and have helped to start a new retail clothing store for kids, that just opened last week. The need for renovation was a needed because of law suits and injury to pedestrians. One law suit could pay for the entire project. Sheldon is growing, and the entire town is going to be ADA compliant someday. Limitations does affect how the project ends up. Some water shutoffs were changed and the entire water and sewer checked for problems and repaired. There are a lot of people from other towns that shop in town, from Spencer, Sioux Center, Orange City. They like our town. Remember YOU WILL ONLY GET OUT OF YOUR TOWN WHAT YOU PUT INTO IT. I love this town and I have put a lot into it. Also the more stores you have the more people you have to shop there. I wish that there were more people that would take care of their buildings, and make them look good, So we don’t have another Puccies. Change doesn,t happen overnight, it takes little steps. And alot of construction is going on, and will continue in the future to bring Sheldon back to its old Glory.

  10. Happy says:

    Red, do you realize that businesses that are not located downtown are responsible to put in their own cement driveways, parking lots and if need be sidewalk.

    Why are we still complaining about downtown improvements? I thought we were being asked to give positive suggestions as how to promote the new look downtown.

  11. Meets says:

    Red. I like your comment…..take a step further….all city employees, council men etc should get everything done in sheldon. I have these ppl at box stores purchasing lumber, appliances, furniture. I also see them getting landscaping, spraying, other service work from out of town crews. I know there are places in town or business to support with these services. Are you want a Lexus car just bc ..well then go outta of town and by it.

  12. ranger says:

    At least two horses will be able to turn the corners!! A truck……. time will tell.

  13. Just a Visit... says:

    I recently visited Sheldon. Had my 1st experience trying to get to a downtown business. Offda that was a chore! Whats with the bump out things? Hardly looks like 2 vehicles will be able to fit between them. There was a lot of trouble before trying to get vehicles through the down town area (mainly DG and those stores) without someone backing out in front of you because they could not see. Now with the widened sidewalks that even makes the street smaller. Downtown has been slowly dying since they put the new hwy 60 in and most businesses went out that way. It’s a shame. The heart of downtown is no longer there. :(

    • Dave P says:

      The streets are being widened as much as possible, and the corners will accomadate trucks if they really need to be there. Also the traffic will be moving a little slower.

      • Mom3 says:

        I think he was thinking a pickup truck not a semi. Some only have trucks so if you want them to shop downtown you have to make room for them. Will have to take turns going through the corners. I really liked the idea of fixing up downtown but I hoped the bumpouts were going to be cut down. We need keep the people in & out of vehicles safe.

      • Gramma46 says:

        Well Mr P as a business man you must have blinders on. How do you think some of the stores get their product delivered to them. Yes trucks really need to be there. It has been a big inconvenience for them during this reconstruction wake up on your end of the street.

  14. Jon says:

    The molding for the inner lane of the streets is narrower than the street will ultimately be, though probably only by a couple of feet as the outer portion of the street molds with the curb. Thus, what is poured does not represent the final width of the street. My understanding was that they are actually slightly narrowing the sidewalk on each side to better accommodate the angled parking, but I don’t know if that actually went into the final design. Also, during construction, things are going to be a bit difficult. I think that people are upset about this project and have strong opinions but don’t realize how deteriorated the downtown infrastructure really is and are blind to the ways in which many communities have made dramatic improvements. It may not increase business traffic, but it could if the downtown is seen as an attractive place to shop, one that the community cares about and takes pride in. Though we have many fine businesses downtown, there is little about the way the downtown looked that gave any sense that there was any pride in the community or support in the community for the downtown district. Then again, by the look of many of the comments on here, perhaps a shabby looking downtown is an accurate reflection of the community. Sheldon is one of few communities in the area that hadn’t to this point done any major renovation of their downtown infrastructure. It is overdue. I would encourage everyone to look at communities like Decorah, Cherokee, LeMars, Osage, Pella, Spencer, Spirit Lake, Waverly, or Washington. All of them have undertaken projects of various sizes in recent years to beautify and update their downtowns. They have taken different forms, and yes, some of them even have bump outs – see Decorah for this, although Water Street was already relatively narrow so they are not as large. There is, I think, an overabundance of negativity associated with this project, and I think that the community leadership ought to take a very close look at why this is. There seems to have been a degree of callousness in the approach to the project, an assumption that the community isn’t invested in the good of having a nice downtown that doesn’t come at too great an expense and hardship for businesses (I think that business owners should bear some of the cost of sidewalk as every other business and resident is required to do, but the assessments approved I think were too high and burdensome). The community ought to be invested in the betterment of the town, and the downtown ought to be a hub for the community. If not, then the community lacks an identity, and simply defaults to models of strip malls and convenience stores. Those have their place, but not at the sacrifice of what really defines a small town. Sheldon has a pretty solid cadre of businesses with owners who I think generally care about the type of service and product they offer to the community. Many communities do not have that. Sheldon has a nice collection of both historic and new structures in the downtown district. Many communities do not have this. We often like to find things to complain about and we take for granted those things we have. We also tend to be blind to the ways in which we are failing to live up to expectations. I think that ultimately this project will be good for the community, even if it is difficult to see this now.

    • Happy says:

      Right on Jon! EVERYONE in a community bears the responsibility of contributing to the betterment of that community. Those complaining need to step up and do something positive. It’s to easy to sit back and complain but do nothing to promote a positive attitude of moving forward and appreciating all the good things that are happening in Sheldon.

      • Citizen says:

        So Happy, when the City forces me to improve my street and sidewalk in front of my house, can we count on you to absorb some of the assessment to pay for it? It is for the betterment of the community to have good roads and sidewalks, right?

        • Dave Popkes says:

          The street is being paid for by the entire town through TIF Which is new business and housing, not the old. The only cost for the bulding owner is the sidewalk.

    • Just a Visit... says:

      What I am referring to when talking about the bump outs is the portion that is already done. South end by the eye doctors. It’s poured concrete. Why on earth would they pour concrete then turn around and take it out again? That is just a waste of time and materials. The way I seen it in it’s finished state on that end is very narrow. I’m almost wondering if they are actually going to make that a one way?!?!

  15. Retired teacher says:

    We have many good businesses downtown!! Every town has downtown businesses. They can’t all go out to the bypass!! That would be ridiculous! Right now, I feel sorry for the businesses during this street project. But, things WILL get better!! Be patient everyone!

  16. doug white says:

    When I was growing up in Sheldon in the 50′s the distance to Sioux Falls and Sioux City is the same as is today!! The difference was something called ‘hometown loyalty’ it was unthinkable to go out of town to buy,or if you did not to often.

  17. Commenting says:

    The city could offer free shuttle service from the bypass to downtown Sheldon to alleviate the unaddressed parking problem downtown. But since there is no free lunch, the city would pass that extra cost on to the downtown businesses, too. Hmmm….this is sounding like Obamacare.

  18. Also Happy says:

    I’m wondering how many of the naysayers of the downtown project even shopped downtown regularly prior to the project… Lets take an informal poll and “Like” my post if you shop downtown at least once a week, and “dislike” if you typically shop less than that. If you are a “disliker” and posting on this feed, I’m wondering since it isn’t really personally affecting you, why do you care so much? Get over it. I’m happy that I won’t have to help pick people up off the curb anymore, I hope the improvements slow down the traffic that flies through the downtown area, and the portions that are completed really do look nice. This was all long overdue.

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