Digital Exclusive: Former SIMPCO executive director passes away at age 84

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(KCAU) – A Siouxland leader who directed and performed hundreds of community development projects in the area has died.

Don “Skip” Meisner passed away on Monday at a Sioux City hospital after fighting cancer for the last couple of years and recently tested positive for COVID-19.

From 1978 to 1986, he served on the Sioux City Community School District Board of Directors for three terms.

Meisner was the executive director of Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council, or SIMPCO, from 1966 to 1987. After a brief stint at Kentuckian Planning and Development District in Louisville, Kentucky, he returned that same year and stayed at SIMPCO until his retirement in 2001.

“He was very instrumental in working together with the federal, state, and local entities, getting people to work together. [He] was involved in our bridges that came across the river. He was involved in working with our congressional delegations and involved in many projects across Siouxland,” said Lance Hedquist, City Administrator for the City of South Sioux City.

Meisner coordinated local efforts on many large transportation projects, including the Sergeant Floyd Memorial Bridge, Big Sioux River Bridge replacement, and the Newcastle/Vermillion Missouri River Bridge.

He also co-chaired the Big Sioux River Flood Control Project, including planning, congressional authorization, right-of-way, and permits. In the 1970s and early 1980s, Meisner chaired the original Perry Creek Coordinating Committee.

Meisner was a local coordinator for the Pender Flood Control Project, Wakefield Flood Control Project, and Ponca Flood Control Studies.

“He had such a large impact on the current development that we have here in Siouxland and all the progress that we made. I think that when people look back at Skip, they automatically think SIMPCO because it was really his creation,” said Michelle Bostinelos, executive director for SIMPCO.

Meisner previously worked for the City of Sioux City in the traffic engineering and planning departments from 1960-1966.

He graduated from South Sioux City High School and later went to Morningside College for a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and Economics.

Meisner also received a Masters of Arts degree in Political Science with an emphasis in Public Administration at the University of South Dakota. He even attended Northwestern University’s Traffic Engineering Institute.

Don “Skip” Meisner was only 84 years old when he passed away.

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