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The Exchange, March 13, 2019, Taxes, Sears Leaves Town, Conservation


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The Exchange, 03/13/19
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Coming up this week on The Exchange, Sears, a lynchpin of the Siouxland retail economy is leaving after 90 years, perhaps because it failed to keep up with the times.

The evolution of the local economy and why your property taxes might be going up.  That an more on the Exc Wednesday at noon, Friday at 9 a.m. on SPM.

The tax assessments should be arriving in the mail for Sioux City residents next Friday, and there could be some sticker shock for commercial property owners.  Residential owners can expect to see a 10 percent jump on average, but commercial property owners could pay as much 35 percent more.  State law requires city and county assessors to reset valuations every two years between 95 percent and 105 percent of the fair market price. Local sales, new construction and changes to individual parcels can also play a part in the assessment. Sioux City Assessor John Lawson says big rises in commercial property assessments can happen when the property gains in value, but the assessments have lagged.

Property Taxes

That was Sioux City Assessor John Lawson talking about tax assessment increases that will be arriving in Sioux City resident’s mailboxes next Friday.  Residential assessments could go up as much as 10 percent, but due to a lag in assigning the growing values of properties, commercial properties could go up as much 35 percent.

You’re listening to The Exchange on SPM; I’m MH.

This past weekend, the doors closed at the Southern Hills Mall after being part of the Sioux City community for more than 90 years.  Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer recently spoke with a local economist to get his insight on the retail issues faced by the long-time retailer and his prediction for the future of the American mall.  Here’s part of her conversation with J. Jeffrey Zink, Associate Professor of Economics at Morningside College.

Mall interview Zink

That’s J. Jeffrey Zink, Associate Professor of Economics at Morningside College.  Representatives from the Southern Hills Mall and parent company Washington Prime Group say they are exploring opportunities to redevelop the Sears space.  They plan to make a future announcement about what they call a “repositioning project” for the mall.  Last year, Washington Prime Group allocated between 100 and 125 million dollars for redevelopment projects across the country.  For more information, go to our website, kwit.org.  Also, listen for a full story from Sheila Brummer during Morning Edition and All Things Considered on Thursday. 

Sioux City council members have adopted plans for a multi-purpose venue that will host everything from farm shows to soccer tournaments to dog shows.

As Katie Peikes reports, officials expect the center to draw people from throughout the region.

((0312SIOUXEXPO    0:49  ))
Siouxland Expo Board President Dirk Lohry (Laurie) showed off a scale model of the 104-thousand square foot building to the council yesterday.

Dirk:...and we could put seating up here as well as down below. But I have to emphasize we aren’t really emphasizing spectator sports in this. (42:54)

The project will cost nearly 13-million dollars. It's been in the works for about a decade. Lohry (Laurie) says he hopes it could bring people from across Iowa and nearby states to Sioux City.

(0:12) You know if you put on a major farm show, people will come from the five-state region to come here. I just want anybody to come here rather than us going to Omaha or Sioux Falls where they have similar facilities like this.

The project now goes out to bid. The city expects the building to open in summer 2020.

 I’m Katie Peikes, 


You’re listening to The Exchange on SPM; I’m MH.  This week, a group of leaders from the Association for Career and Technical Education visited college site around Iowa where innovative programs are expanding educational opportunities outside of traditional college curriculum.  The group stopped by Western Iowa Tech Community College on Monday and learned about four of its career and technical programs that are in high need areas of the economy.

Jarrod Nagurka is the Advocacy and Public Affairs Manager for the ACTE.  Nagurka says the WIT programs are helping to fill the skills gap. 


That was Jarrod Nagurka, the Advocacy and Public Affairs Manager for the National Association for Career and Technical Education group.  Members of ACTE toured Western Iowa Tech on Monday and toured different technical and career programs, including pharmacy technician.  The pharm tech program is open to high school students and one of them is Binyam Ware, a senior at Bishop Heelan Catholic High School in Sioux City.  Ware says he got into the program because he had an interest in pharmacy.

Binyam Ware

That was Binyam Ware, a senior at Bishop Heelan Catholic High School who is in the Western Iowa Tech pharmacy tech program. Ware will be attending Creighton University in the fall, studying pre-law.

You’re listening to The Exchange on Siouxland Public Media; I’m Mary Hartnett.

When we think of workplace injuries, we might think of construction or mining.  However, seemingly safe places like grocery stores and hospitals rack up employee injuries and workers compensation cases every year.  Attorney and author studied workplace injury cases and discussed them in his book, “Dying to Work:  

Dying to Work

That was the author and attorney Jonathon Karmel, who wrote Dying to Work Death and Injury in the Workplace.  The book chronicles the dangers of all kind of workplaces and the issues involved with workers compensation and medical treatment. 

You’re listening to the Exchange; I’m MH.  Many residents of Siouxland and the Iowa Great Lakes are focused on keeping the area around Lake Okoboji unpolluted and pristine.  The Dickenson County Conservation  Board has made some gains in that area by acquiring the former Brooks National Golf Club, which is right next to East Lake Okoboji.  The executive director of the board Lee Sorenson says the golf course came up for sale less than a month ago, so the board moved quickly to purchase it with the help of a generous anonymous benefactor who donated three million dollars to the committee.

INTRO:  in March of 1861 – Abraham Lincoln took office as the 16th president of the United States.  The next month, the first shots of the Civil War sounded at Fort Sumter (sum-ter) in South Carolina.  The community of Spencer, Iowa remembers the veterans of this deadly conflict.  Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer traveled to Spencer to see this piece of American history.

TAG:  You can check out the “Boys in Blue” until May 25th at the Clay County Heritage Center in Spencer, Iowa at 7 Grand Avenue.  For a look at the exhibit check out a video on our Siouxland Public Media Facebook page. Clay County Heritage will be hosting a Civil War presentation on Tuesday, March 26th from 4:00 – 5:00 PM.  It will feature Civil War re-enactors from members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War out of Atlantic, Iowa.  

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