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Judge rules Buffalo Chip of Sturgis fame shouldn't be a town

STURGIS (AP) -- A South Dakota judge has found that the Buffalo Chip Campground of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally fame shouldn't be a town after all. Circuit Court Judge Jerome Eckrich ruled Friday that procedures the Meade County Commission followed w...

STURGIS (AP) - A South Dakota judge has found that the Buffalo Chip Campground of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally fame shouldn't be a town after all.

Circuit Court Judge Jerome Eckrich ruled Friday that procedures the Meade County Commission followed when it approved Buffalo Chip's petition to become a municipality violated state law, the Rapid City Journal reported.

The campground, which hosts hordes of visitors during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, became an incorporated town last spring. Meade County commissioners voted in February 2015 to allow the campground to move forward in its bid to become a town. Voters confirmed it in an election.

Eckrich also ruled that people who voted to approve the town didn't technically live at addresses where they registered to vote. The city of Sturgis, part of an appeal filed after the county decision, said that the ruling abolishes Buffalo Chip's position as a municipality.

Sturgis officials, who maintain the campground is within the 3-mile jurisdiction of the city, cheered the decision.

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"It's been a long 15 months," Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie said. "We're happy and pleased that the court agreed with the contentions we made."

Kent Hagg, an attorney for the city of Buffalo Chip, said Eckrich's decision will be appealed to the South Dakota Supreme Court.

"We would have liked to have seen a different outcome, but it's a long way from over," he said. "We will continue to fight."

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