Panel OKs plans at 16 S.D. airports

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The state Aeronautics Commission has given the green light to projects at more South Dakota airports. The Federal Aviation Administration will provide 100% funding.

The communities are:

Bison $60,000

Canton $86,000

Hot Springs $970,000

Hoven $332,250

Huron $345,000

Lemmon $70,000

Madison $1,121,000

Martin $60,000

Milbank $370,000

Mobridge $858,368

Murdo $868,000

Wagner $65,000

Wall $243,000

Webster $935,000

Winner $320,000

Yankton $123,000.

The FAA is paying the full amounts as part of the federal COVID-19 relief.

The Legislature earlier this year appropriated $4 million to the state aeronautics fund to repay some of the money that was swept from it years ago when state government ran short on revenue.

The commission uses the money for various purposes including during normal times a 3.5% state share for FAA projects. The commission last year reduced the match rate from 5% because funding had grown tight.

The $4 million infusion should be sufficient for the next three years, state Transportation Secretary Joel Jundt told the commission members at their meeting Thursday..

Jundt said the state Transportation Department purposely didn’t bring any projects forward in the past year that required state funding.

Vice chair Bob Huggins of Sioux Falls wants the panel to discuss revenue sources and assemble a plan.

“You can always change a plan,” Huggins said.

Unlike the protection of state motor fuel taxes and registration fees for highway and bridge funding, the South Dakota Constitution doesn’t prevent the Legislature from tapping the aeronautics fund, according to Jundt.

“They’ve had that for quite some time,” he said.

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