South Dakota’s potential rail sales also involve hundreds of leases and permits

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) – The South Dakota Department of Transportation has sent letters to 198 leaseholders and 1,005 parties with permits to use public property along the state-owned railroad lines the department wants to sell.

Deputy Secretary Joel Jundt told state Railroad Board members Wednesday they’ll need to decide what to do with those and the six lines they’re along.

The board has formally invited proposals for purchasing the lines. State government acquired hundreds of miles of track when the Milwaukee Road went bankrupt in 1980.

So far 33 parties responded regarding 44 of the leases, according to Jundt. More are expected.

“It’s going to take some time, but we should look at each and every one, I think,” board member Greg Carmon of Brandon said.

The properties vary. Some have expensive structures on them, while others are hay ground. One has a gravel stockpile. Some are within a few yards of the lines. Many are utility crossings.

Jundt said he’ll send a second letter and begin grouping the parcels by uses. The board can start going through them in November.

The state-owned lines are MRC, Britton, Napa, Sioux Valley, Yale and Wolsey. Maps and track charts for them are online.

Jundt said the department is preparing a letter that will be sent Friday inviting potential bidders on tours of the routes during the first two weeks of October.

Offers are due by 10 a.m. CT November 21 in the department’s confidential electronic system. There’s a link online.

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