S.D. board helps Sioux Falls and seven other communities finance water and sewer work

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Millions of dollars, mostly through publicly subsidized loans at low rates of interest, received approval Friday from the state Board of Water and Natural Resources to help pay for sewer, drainage and drinking-water projects in eight South Dakota communities.

Sioux Falls received the largest loan: $9 million to finish storm-water drainage work in the area of Louise Avenue and Forty-Ninth Street near the Empire Mall. Another $457,000 would be loaned for related efforts to reduce pollution from natural run-off in that area.

The state board also agreed to change the purpose of a state grant that had been previously awarded to a subdivision on the south side of Sioux Falls. Prairie Meadows sanitary district will be allowed to use $800,000 of state funding to pay most of a $1 million fee to connect to Sioux Falls’ sewer system.

The board meanwhile decided, at the request of Brandon Mayor Paul Lundberg, to rescind a $12.4 million loan that had been approved in 2015 for expanding the drinking-water system in Brandon. In a letter Lundberg said a new design and funding application would be made this year.

Langford received an additional $570,000 loan at zero percent interest, with $470,000 of the principal to be forgiven, to cover a shortfall for the new water tower. It’s part of what now will be a $2,654,000 project. “The existing tank is beyond its useful life,” said Andy Bruels, an engineer for the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which processes applications for the board.

Elk Point got a $495,000 loan at 2.5 percent interest for 30 years to replace drinking-water lines and a $593,000 loan, also at 2.5 percent interest for 30 years, to replace sanitary-sewer lines, as part of reconstructing Washington and Douglas streets.

Blunt won approval for a $657,000 loan, at 2.25 percent interest for 20 years, with up to $207,000 of the principal to be forgiven. The money will help pay for replacement of 144 water meters and other changes, including four replacement hydrants and one new hydrant.

Brookings received a $850,000 loan at 2.25 percent interest for 20 years for storm-sewers work in the Jefferson Avenue, State Avenue and Morningside Drive areas.

Board member Jacqueline Lanning of Brookings, who recused herself from the vote, said the work replaces an old channelized system that in some cases runs through people’s yards.

Viborg got a loan of $1,771,000 at 2.75 percent interest for 30 years for storm-sewer and sanitary-sewer work to deal with issues, including pollution from iodide, in the Park Avenue area. 

Watertown received a $5 million loan at 2.25 percent for 20 years to build a new wastewater administration center.

Irene received an additional $330,000 loan at 2.75 percent interest for 30 years, with $248,000 in principal forgiveness, so the community can buy land for a new lift station. In June, Irene had received a loan of $3,062,000, at 2.75 percent for 30 years, with up to $2.3 million to be forgiven.

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