South Dakota municipalities, counties start to be reimbursed by state for COVID-19 costs

Capitol News Bureau
KELO Money

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Months into the crisis, some South Dakota local governments are beginning to get paid back for expenses responding to COVID-19, several officials said Wednesday.

The reimbursements to municipalities and counties so far total about $5.2 million, state Finance Commissioner Liza Clark told the Legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee.

That was more than shown on an older report compiled for the panel.

Based on the census, South Dakota’s 66 counties and several hundred municipalities can share up to $200 million, according to Clark.

Some places have received some funding, but many haven’t yet.

Rapid City, for example, wasn’t on the vendors-paid list as of Wednesday afternoon. But Pennington County had been paid $1,083,709.15 on August 7. The Pennington County sheriff received 24 payments, ranging from $1.29 to $33.73, during the period of May 20 through July 13.

Sioux Falls meanwhile was paid $1,193,876.88 on August 19. The Minnehaha County jail was reimbursed $6,720 on July 15 while the Minnehaha County sheriff received 12 payments, ranging from $3 to $32, during a period of June 10 through July 15.

Brookings County received $105,781.20 on August 19 and $110 on August 12, but the city of Brookings hasn’t received anything yet.

Lawrence County has been paid five times — $26,804.86; $160.00; $745,309.01; $22,848.03; and $5,387.04 — during July 29 through August 19.

Aberdeen got $51,351.34 on July 8 and $18,176.86 on August 12. Madison received $2,080.00 on July 17. Yankton was paid $7,999.90 on August 7.

Other larger municipalities such as Watertown, Huron, Pierre, Lead, Deadwood, Spearfish and Sturgis aren’t listed yet. (For municipalities, type ‘City of Pierre’ for example; for counties, type ‘Lawrence County’ for example.)

Clark told legislators the state Bureau of Finance and Management has contracted with South Dakota’s planning districts to answer municipality and county expense-eligibility questions up front.

She said a local government submits its request for reimbursement through a BFM portal. An outside accounting firm, Eide Bailly, then does what’s known as a risk assessment. From there the request goes to Monte Kramer for a decision whether to approve.

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