- Associated Press - Friday, September 2, 2016

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Two Sioux Falls City Council members plan to propose a special advisory election on whether the city should move forward with a $25 million city office building downtown.

Earlier this summer, the council voted to pull funding for the 79,000-square-foot, three-story structure, but Mayor Mike Huether vetoed the move, saying the project is needed. The council didn’t override the veto.

A citizens group then collected more than 6,000 petition signatures to try to force a public vote, but the petitions were rejected this week on a technicality - organizers used the wrong form.

“Slamming the door shut on the signatures has been a game changer for the council,” Councilwoman Theresa Stehly said. “And I think there is a great support to work toward an advisory vote.”

Stehly and Councilman Pat Starr plan to propose an ordinance during next week’s council meeting setting a date for a special advisory election. The results of the vote would not be binding but would show the mayor how the public feels, Starr said.

“It throws the ball back to him,” he said.

Huether declined comment to the Argus Leader.

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