PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Housing Development Authority’s board of commissioners approved a resolution Tuesday calling for a plan to use $50 million of federal funds for the purpose of providing grants for the construction of housing infrastructure.

But the commissioners declined to take up a resolution that would have delayed administration of $150 million of state funds — $100 million for loans and $50 million for grants — that the Legislature also earmarked for the authority to use for housing infrastructure purposes.

The two resolutions were considered after the commissioners met behind closed doors in executive session for more than one hour at mid-day with the authority’s executive director, Lorraine Polak, and the authority’s chief legal counsel, Dixie Hieb, from the Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith law firm of Sioux Falls.

The commissioners didn’t discuss any details of either resolution in public session. Polak provided the resolutions to KELOLAND News late Tuesday afternoon.

Those actions came one day after the Legislature’s Executive Board approved a statement of intent for HB 1033 that appropriated $200 million of state and federal ARPA funds to the authority for infrastructure loans and grants.

Governor Kristi Noem signed HB 1033 into law on March 25 but issued a letter raising questions about how the authority could use the funding.

Hieb had proposed a resolution to the Legislature’s Executive Board prior to the legislative board’s April 25 meeting but she withdrew it. The legislative board then drew up the statement that the lawmakers approved Monday.

Polak told KELOLAND News in an email late Tuesday afternoon, “The resolution approved by the Executive Board yesterday was appreciated.  With this recent approval by the Executive Board, the SDHDA Board of Commissioners decided to take additional time to evaluate the situation, thus they did not proceed with resolution 22-05-J today as proposed.”

She added, “The SDHDA Board of Commissioners has discussed seeking further clarification during the 2023 legislative session.”

Larry Nelson, representing the South Dakota Municipal League and the Economic Development Professionals Association, told the housing commissioners Tuesday the two organizations supported the Executive Board’s statement.

Nelson told KELOLAND News on Tuesday afternoon that he hadn’t seen either of the authority’s two resolutions.

The Legislature created the housing authority in 1973. The governor appoints the executive director and the authority’s commissioners. The authority is attached to the Governor’s Office of Economic Development for budget reporting purposes.

You can read Resolution No. 22-05-K  that the housing authority commissioners approved here and Resolution No. 22-05-J that was on the agenda but wasn’t publicly considered here.