Around the Region
A look at news from around the region, as reported by weekly newspapers:
CITY HITS BUILDING PERMIT RECORD: The city of Corsica set its record for building project values in a single year in 2013, with the city issuing permits for nearly $3.5 million worth of construction.
The 2013 mark of $3,493,150 in permits is largely derived from five residential permits totaling $1.12 million and three business permits valued at $2.3 million, with the rest coming in smaller property projects. The previous record came in 2011, when the city issued building permits worth $3.16 million, mostly in business projects. The two high water marks bookend a down year in 2012, when $1.27 million in permits was issued.
Local officials watch the permit figures closely, as the higher numbers means a greater tax base for the city.
--The Corsica Globe
NEW POLICE CHIEF HIRED: Elijah Schewe has been hired as the new chief of police in Scotland, after the City Council voted to approve the selection at a special meeting Jan. 29.
Schewe will earn a salary of $38,000 plus benefits and will be eligible for a raise after a six-month evaluation period. The city will pay $1,000 to cover his moving expenses and the council suggested that he attend chief of police school on a yearly basis. The approval was unanimous among the council members.
Schewe's first day is Feb. 17.
-- Scotland Journal
RENOVATION UNDER WAY AT CHURCH: Work on renovating St. Wilfrid Catholic Church has begun in Woonsocket, as the parish has begun a $500,000 updating of the building's basement and support pillars.
The three-phase project includes removing existing footings in the basement and replacing them with steel columns on new footings. Additional work includes pouring a new concrete floor, putting in a new ceiling in the basement and installing a new drainage system to protect against water issues. Plans are still being worked out for some of the improvements, which will include new handicap-accessible bathrooms and a new kitchen area.
The church, which dates to 1884, is attempting to fundraise most of the cost through donations from parishioners.
-- Sanborn Weekly Journal
SYSTEM WINS WATER TASTE AWARD: The Aurora-Brule Rural Water System recently received top honors for best taste in the state from the South Dakota Association of Rural Water Systems at its annual conference.
It's the second consecutive year that Aurora-Brule has won the award. Each sample is judged on clarity, bouquet and taste and 18 different South Dakota water systems entered the competition.
The system serves all of Aurora, Brule and Buffalo counties and includes portions of Jerauld, Davison and Douglas counties.
-- The Stickney Argus
RAILROAD LOBBY GROUP FORMS: A Jan. 30 meeting of local legislators and farmers has led to the formation of "Rails to the Future," a committee geared toward finishing a 42-mile stretch of railroad from Presho to Chamberlain.
Those in attendance agreed that the line should be upgraded to have 115-pound-per-yard rail, as opposed to the 65-pound rail currently in place on the Chamberlain bridge. The estimated cost for the whole line is about $28 million and District 26B Rep. Jim Schafer, R-Kennebec, said he hopes the Legislature will approve $11 million this session. Department of Transportation officials estimate that $14 million of the total cost would go to the Chamberlain to Reliance section, with $8 million needed to reach Kennebec and $6 million to finish the line to Presho, respectively.
Steve Halverson, of Pierre, was named to chair the new committee, with Bill Ferguson, of Ideal, to serve as vice chairman. The committee will attempt to raise money to hire a lobbyist and promote funding the rail line to Lyman County at the Legislature during this session.
-- Lyman County Herald