PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The seemingly huge chunk of federal relief money that South Dakota legislators earmarked for public water projects and the governor signed into law just seven weeks ago is quickly running out.
Of $600 million that lawmakers budgeted in March for water development from American Rescue Plan Act funds, there was roughly $123 million left Tuesday afternoon by the time the state Board of Water and Natural Resources finished handling the latest round of applications.
The board approved nearly $98 million of grants and low-interest loans for projects in communities and rural providers, including $73 million involving ARPA funds.
Andy Bruels from the state Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources said his office has already received applications to use every last ARPA dollar that’s left — and then some. He also expects some projects to come back asking for additional money because of inflation.
Said the board’s chair, Jerry Soholt of Sioux Falls: “I think the question is, are we getting ourselves into a box?”
Sioux Falls received the largest amount of ARPA funds — $41.9 million — that was distributed Tuesday. The money will supplement the $123 million loan that Sioux Falls received from the state board in April.
Tea received roughly $5 million of ARPA grants spread across three projects Tuesday, including replacement of a wastewater stabilization system that city administrator Dan Zulkosky said should have been switched out 20 years ago.
“This project is something we’ve been working on the last three or four years and hopefully it will happen this year,” Zulkowsky said.
Other communities that received funding packages Tuesday included:
Canistota (2), Castlewood, Crooks, Custer, Groton
Joint Well Field, Inc., Kingbrook Rural Water System
Lake Norden, Lennox (2), Salem, Watertown, Box Elder
Chancellor (2), Hudson (2),Lake Poinsett Sanitary District
North Sioux City (2), Northville, South Shore, White (2)