SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The city of Sioux Falls won’t publicly release a forensic report that concluded flawed paneling on the city’s $117 million stadium wasn’t worth replacing.

The decision came after City Hall made public last month a once-secret settlement with several contractors over construction defects at the Denny Sanford Premier Center, the Argus Leader reported .

The forensic report was never made public or disclosed to City Council. City Attorney David Pfeifle said there’s no obligation to publicly release the report because it’s in draft form.

“We will not be providing that draft report for public inspection because it was never completed,” he said.

The stadium’s flawed paneling was never replaced because a forensic consultant hired by the city said the deficiency was cosmetic and not structural, according to Mark Cotter, Sioux Fall’s public works director. Cotter, who testified before City Council on Tuesday, also said the decision saved taxpayers $1 million.

The city’s reluctance to share information about the decision-making process is causing public distrust, said Christine Erickson, a councilwoman. She said allowing people to see the report so they can verify the stadium is structurally sound would help give the public confidence that the city made the right decision.

“What assurance can you give the taxpayer that the siding is adequately protecting the event center?” Erickson asked Mayor Mike Huether. “At the end of the day, that will help people move on.”

Several council members said there will likely be more meetings on the settlement.


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