PIERRE — State government's Board of Economic Development increased the loan amount for a Yankton business Tuesday and approved new loans to businesses in Mitchell and North Sioux City. The board loaned $1,350,000 to Vantage Point Solutions, of Mitchell. The board also gave the green light for Applied Engineering, of Yankton, to receive a loan totaling $1,122,600. The board originally approved a $415,230 loan March 14. The board also loaned $520,000 to a recently incorporated business, Century Custom Molding, based in North Sioux City, South Dakota.
PIERRE — A member of state government's Board of Economic Development wondered Tuesday why more of the board's funds dedicated for low-interest loans to businesses aren't put to broader uses such as assisting communities on infrastructure. The suggestion came from Tom Jones, of Viborg, a Democrat who served in the state House and then the state Senate from 2011 through 2014. Gov. Dennis Daugaard, a Republican, appointed him to the state board afterward. Jones said Tuesday the board has been sitting on millions of dollars.
PIERRE — The husband and wife owners of several financially troubled grain businesses sued their son for fraud in federal court last month, three weeks before South Dakota regulators suspended the company's grain buying licenses. Duane and JoAnne Steffensen are owners and directors of H and I Grain of Hetland Inc. They held grain buyer licenses for businesses in Hetland, De Smet and Arlington. The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission suspended the licenses June 23 because of specific acts indicating insolvency.
PIERRE — State government regulators suspended the grain-buyer licenses and ordered a financial audit for H & I Grain of Hetland. Citizens won't know, however, what the audit might have found. South Dakota law doesn't allow those reports to be revealed to the public. It would be a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, if that barrier is violated. The state Public Utilities Commission took the actions against H and I Grain at a special meeting June 23.
PIERRE — The two elected officials who comprise state government's Board of Appraisal set values Thursday for two pieces of property in western South Dakota that the Legislature agreed to put up for sale. State Auditor Steve Barnett and state School and Public Lands Commissioner Ryan Brunner accepted the third-party appraisals for two parcels of open land known as Echo Valley five miles south of Custer and for a Western Dakota Technical Institute building in Rapid City.
PIERRE — State government's Department of Transportation received approval recently for four public meetings and one webinar on its plans for highway projects in 2018 throughout South Dakota. The state Transportation Commission gave the green light last week to proceed with the meetings and webinar in the coming weeks. The Mitchell meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 12, at the Ramada Inn. The commission will also host a 2:30 p.m. internet webinar on Thursday, July 20. To register for the internet presentation, send an email to Dave.Voeltz@State.SD.US .
PIERRE — The bridge improvement grants program approved by the Legislature in 2015 should bear its first fruits in the coming months. Structure replacements are proceeding this summer in Marshall and Roberts counties. The first completed could see a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by South Dakota Transportation Commission members. "It will be a trip up to the northeast corner of the state this fall," Doug Kinniburgh, engineering supervisor for local government aid in the state Department of Transportation, told commissioners last week.
With my news notebook in hand, I mingled through the crowd of South Dakota Republicans who generally were quite happy on election night in 1994. They gathered at the Sioux Falls convention hall to celebrate another victory by Bill Janklow. Janklow had just made the first, and only, comeback as governor in the history of South Dakota. Mark Meierhenry, the former state attorney general, confided that his friend and ally would make affordable housing a priority.
PIERRE — Back in 1989, the Legislature took up a measure intended to give counties more control over fireworks. Instead, legislators turned the bill on its head. The law they passed restricts counties from banning fireworks during the period immediately before July 4 unless fire conditions reach extreme. The law today is broader. It now extends the restriction on counties to the period just before New Year's Day. Here's the current version:
PIERRE — State government's Aeronautics Commission approved financial help Tuesday for nine public airports, including projects in Winner, Parkston and Gregory. The panel also gave a green light to South Dakota's first seaplane base. It will be on Lake Cochrane, south of Gary and east of Castlewood, off SD Highway 22 near the Minnesota border. The commission delayed the seaplane decision at its May 23 meeting to consult with the state Game, Fish and Parks Department. GFP operates a recreation area at Lake Cochrane.