Tripp County lands $11.5M loan to improve water
PIERRE — Twenty-four projects to improve drinking water, wastewater and waste disposal systems throughout South Dakota will share in state financial assistance totaling nearly $26.9 million in low-interest loans and more than $13 million from grants and principal forgiveness.
The state Board of Water and Natural Resources approved the aid Friday.
The largest amount is a loan of $11,750,000 for the Tripp County water users district.
Other recipients are Lead, Canistota, Bristol, Highmore, Clark, Brown County, Clear Lake, Beresford, Irene, Sinai, Lake Poinsett, Lake Byron watershed district, Chancellor, Turton, Ethan, Geddes, Parker, Dependable Sanitation of Watertown, Lebanon, Lennox, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Big Sioux community water system.
Board member Paul Goldhammer of Wall wondered whether some of the Tripp district loan could be converted to some form of grant.
The board gave several large grants to the Tripp district in the past, according to Jim Feeney, an administrator for the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Board chairman Brad Johnson of Watertown praised the Tripp district's leaders — "These guys are doing things right," he said -- but there are many needs in other communities.
"With all the other demands we have, in this situation, it's hard to justify," Johnson said.
DENR staff recommended a $500,000 grant and a $1,843,000 loan to the Lake Byron watershed district as incentive for local residents to approve a $6,000 assessment per property for installing a wastewater collection and treatment system.
"We have never made a loan to a watershed district," Johnson said. He added, "I think they have a steep hill to climb."
The staff also recommended a large package of aid for Lake Poinsett property owners to expand their wastewater collection system. There is a $1 million grant, another grant of $812,000 and a loan of $1,917,000.
"We understand the need to get sewers around lakes," Mike Perkovich, a DENR staff member, said.
Brown County will see a loan of $1,385,000 and a grant of $346,400 to be used for constructing a new cell at its regional landfill.
Lead is lined up for a $400,000 loan for its drinking-water system and a $489,000 loan for its sanitary and storm sewers as part of a street construction project.
Canistota will get a loan of $479,000, another loan of $381,000, a grant of $1 million and principal forgiveness of $616,000 for water and wastewater improvements
Clark was approved for a $1 million grant to use toward its $4.8 million wastewater treatment plant project.
Bristol is set for a loan of $465,000, another loan of $1,000,000, a grant of $343,000 and principal forgiveness of $1,514,000 for rebuilding its water distribution system that has 44 percent leakage.
Dependable Sanitation of Watertown will get a $50,000 grant and a $290,000 loan to upgrade its recycling services. City official Michael Boerger sent a letter of support to the state board.
Highmore will get loans of $225,000 and $448,000 to use for drinking water and wastewater system improvements in coordination with the construction project on SD 47.
Beresford is set for loans of $605,000 and $370,000 and principal forgiveness of $375,000 for drinking water and wastewater improvements as part of the SD 46 construction project.
Irene is in line for major help from a $1 million grant, loans of $656,000 and $381,000, and principal forgiveness of $1,165,000 for drinking water and wastewater improvements.
Sinai will receive a $1 million grant, a loan of $400,000 and principal forgiveness of $100,000 toward its wastewater improvements.
Clear Lake gets a $700,000 grant to use toward correcting its wastewater overflows and other problems.
Chancellor qualified for a $574,000 loan for its wastewater collection improvements.
Turton won approval for a $334,000 grant and a $262,000 loan for wastewater treatment upgrades.
Ethan receives a $103,000 grant and a $75,000 loan for its water meter project.
Lennox won approval for a $1 million grant and a loan of $1,290,000 for improvements to its sanitary and storm sewer systems.
Geddes gets a $151,000 loan for its water meter project.
Parker is in line for a $100,000 loan for its north lift station work.
Lebanon gets a $46,800 grant for closing its rubble site, but needs to provide three sets of bids to DENR before the money is released.
Rapid City will receive a $1,500 grant to 50 of 30-gallon recycling containers that are taken to events.
Sioux Falls gets a $10,000 grant to purchase lids for recycling containers.
Big Sioux community water system will receive a $900,000 loan for improvements.