Bill to kill James River Water Development District defeated in committeePIERRE — State legislators put to final rest this morning Sen. Al Novstrup’s attempt to break apart and reconstitute the James River Water Development District.
By: Bob Mercer, The Daily Republic
PIERRE — State legislators put to final rest this morning Sen. Al Novstrup’s attempt to break apart and reconstitute the James River Water Development District.
The House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources killed the legislation, Senate Bill 160.
Novstrup, R-Aberdeen, wanted to press ahead with the legislation. “It’s OK. We have other alternatives,” he said.
Novstrup told the committee last week that he would continue to pursue the bill’s passage unless the wa-ter district’s manager, Darrell Raschke, resigned.
Raschke stepped Monday during a special meeting by the district’s board. He had been manager for 18 years.
He stepped down in the wake of a special review of the district’s financial and management practices. The review was conducted by the state Department of Legislative Audit at the board’s request.
The board’s new chairman, Jim Lane of Yankton, also stepped down. He became the second chairman to leave the board in the past three months.
Novstrup changed his position this week despite the resignation of Raschke.
Novstrup said he still wanted the district’s re-organization because Lane’s resignation tipped the board’s political balance back in favor of the group that has been supporting Raschke.
The board has seven remaining members and is seeking replacements to fill the two vacancies. The di-rectors normally are elected through regional elections.