FLANDREAU, S.D. (KELO) — A landmark of many small rural towns across KELOLAND is often the local grain elevator. An old one in Flandreau was demolished Monday to pave the way for future projects.

It’s not quite the size of the notorious Zip Field Mill, but at least this structure came crashing down during demolition.

Crews took heavy machinery to the old grain structure near the courthouse in Flandreau and it came down Monday afternoon.

“It was it was just a historic moment. Whenever you see something or something like this that’s kind of the skyline of Flandreau all of a sudden come down, and all the people, and we should have probably sold admission and we probably could have paid for the cost of tearing the structure down,” Flandreau mayor Dan Sutton said.

Sutton and fire chief Don Peters both grew up in Flandreau.

“I come around the corner and it wasn’t sticking up in the air anymore. So yeah, it definitely changes the view,” Peters said.

The main reason for getting the demolition done is so they can break ground on a $3.9 million fire station that will be built on the same city block.

New fire station expected to be complete in early 2024. Courtesy: City of Flandreau

“We want it centrally located, and this was the one spot that was the best location to redevelop, and what we hope, not only the fire station, we hope it leads to other things. Whether it be residential or commercial opportunities or both for the remainder of the area,” Sutton said.

Peters says the new fire station is more than double the space they currently have.

“We’re excited to have a home where we can put everything all under one roof, and be a little more efficient, and be a little better at maintaining everything and training will go better,” Peters said.

It’s an exciting time as the town looks back on the past and forward to the future.

“You always hate losing those landmarks, but losing those landmarks means that sometimes there’s progress, and we look forward to redeveloping this whole area over here,” Sutton said.

They plan to break ground for the new fire station later this spring with hopes of completion at the beginning of 2024.