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LETCHER — Santel Communications kicked off its big investment in fiber-optic internet in one of its smallest towns. The rural telephone and internet provider cooperative on Thursday marked the start of a five-year, $24 million investment effort into a number of communities in the Mitchell area with a special event in Letcher, as the need for faster connections climbs by the day.
In its short existence, South Dakota's Bridge Improvement Grant program has been good to Davison County. The county was the first in the state to complete a project in 2016 after the program was put in place and this week celebrated the completion of the 250th Street bridge over the James River in Perry Township. Crews worked to rehabilitate the 323-foot steel stringer bridge located about 6 miles northeast of Mitchell on what is also known as Airport Road and provides another route for rural traffic into the city.
With the days and months numbered for the Jitters building in downtown Mitchell and a new mayor in place, ideas are starting to build for a possible Corn Palace Plaza expansion. Bob Everson, who was sworn in as the city's mayor earlier this month, said the project has plans that are mostly on the back burner for the city.
The Davison County Commission is continuing to work through the budget process for 2019, with an eye to the future, as well. The commission continued to cull through nearly $12.5 million in budget requests on Tuesday during its regular meeting at the Davison County North Offices in Mitchell. Those requests came from the more than 45 different departments and accounts that consist of the county's budget.
As the South Sanborn Boulevard project comes to a conclusion, the Mitchell City Council continued laying the groundwork for the 2019 and 2020 project work further north on the primary Mitchell route.
The city of Mitchell will continue moving toward the demolition of the Jitters building in the downtown district with a set of expected moves today. The Mitchell City Council will meet today starting at 6 p.m. at City Hall for its regular city council meeting. A traffic commission meeting will precede the council's regular meeting.
ALEXANDRIA — A Hanson County couple has filed a complaint to halt the construction of a proposed hog barn between Alexandria and Emery, arguing the county's leaders had deficiencies in the hearing process for the project's approval. A court filing in the First Circuit Court filed on behalf of Loren Huber and Amy Nolan-Huber, of rural Alexandria, seeks a writ of prohibition to stop the project. A hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. July 25 in Alexandria.
AVON—With both supporters and opponents getting their way, the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission heard public testimony Thursday about the 61-turbine, $297 million wind project proposed for the Avon area.
The Mitchell Department of Public Safety has promoted Marius Laursen to assistant fire chief, the city announced Wednesday. Laursen, who been the city's fire marshal since 2010 and has worked for the Mitchell Fire Division for the last 21 years, will become the city's leader in the fire and emergency medical services division on July 15. He replaces Paul Morris, who retired June 15 after 20 years with Mitchell's fire department.
For a business with a history of rapid growth and success, it's fitting Vantage Point Solutions nearly doubled its office space with its new addition. Likewise, it's appropriate that much of that new space is filling fast again. The company's roughly 150 Mitchell-based employees joined South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard in celebrating the new 25,000-square-foot addition to the company's 10-year-old headquarters, marking more progress for the telecommunications engineering and consulting business that started 16 years ago.