PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The speed limit might be going up on a stretch of SD48 in Union County.

Currently, motorists are told to slow from 65 miles per hour to 45 through the unincorporated community of Spink.

But the South Dakota Transportation Commission has chosen to eliminate the 45 zone.

The vote was 5-4.

The change to 65 now goes to the Legislature’s Rules Review Committee for final clearance. The lawmakers’ next meeting is set for September 21.

Union County State’s Attorney Jerry Miller had suggested the change. He lives about five miles from Spink and drives SD48 on a regular basis.

The state Department of Transportation responded with a two-hour check of traffic speeds on May 12. Of 24 east bound vehicles, all but one exceeded the 45 limit; of 19 west-bound vehicles, 16 traveled above 45.

That led the department to recommend going to 65, in part because most traffic was already moving at about that speed.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol supported the change to 65.

But people at Spink didn’t. The department received eight letters opposing the change.

During the public hearing Thursday, only Miller and his office manager spoke in favor. No one spoke against. Miller said the Spink Cafe hasn’t been open since a November 2019 fire and a vehicle repair shop shows no sign of reopening. A handful of houses have people living in them.

The state commission wrangled over the matter for more than a half-hour.

Commissioners Don Roby of Watertown and Lynn Jensen of Lake Preston called for the 65.

Commissioners Larry Nelson of Canton, Mike Vehle of Mitchell and Kathy Zander of Pierre didn’t want to go that far.

“I don’t think we’ve got all the options on the table at this point,” Vehle said.

Nelson and Zander proposed a compromise at 55 — “I just think it signals people to slow down,” Zander said — but withdrew it.

The department’s Christina Bennett said DOT would like to see consistency. “It was a small sample but a variety of speeds from 45 to 70,” Bennett said. She acknowledged 55 would be better than 45 but the recommendation was 65.

Voting for 65 were Roby, Jensen, Chris Frick of Yankton, Ron Rosenboom of Sturgis and Jafar Karim of Rapid City.

Voting against 65 were Nelson, Vehle, Zander and Austin Simons of Mobridge.

The commission also voted 9-0 to extend a 45-mph zone on SD79 by 750 feet during the Sturgis motorcycle rally. The change would cover the Iron Horse Campground.