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Our View: A good time for rainy day funds

It is a rainy day in South Dakota, as Gov. Mike Rounds said recently. Rounds, speaking about his plans to help fund repairs to public storm damage, said recently that state reserve funds are designed for times of need. He emphasized the point by ...

It is a rainy day in South Dakota, as Gov. Mike Rounds said recently.

Rounds, speaking about his plans to help fund repairs to public storm damage, said recently that state reserve funds are designed for times of need. He emphasized the point by saying "if this isn't a rainy day in South Dakota, I don't know what is."

We agree, and are happy to hear that the governor is willing to dip into state reserves to help pay for infrastructure damage sustained by townships, municipalities and counties during the storms that whipped through eastern South Dakota the weekend of May 5.

It's still hard to believe that the storms that weekend caused such damage. It didn't seem that the clouds that flew over the area that windy weekend were filled with so much destruction.

But they were, and that's why it's refreshing to hear that Rounds is pushing to use state money to cover costs to public entities that Federal Emergency Management Agency funds do not cover. FEMA will handle the first 75 percent of public infrastructure damage in the counties that have been declared a disaster, leaving 25 percent uncovered.

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Some public entities took a substantial hit in the storms, whether it was from damages caused by high winds or floods. In some cases, those public entities -- small towns, for instance -- simply cannot afford the costs.

Rounds last week said that is why he wants to use money from a state reserve fund to pay for that final 25 percent. There is $40 million stashed away in state coffers for such rainy days, he said, and now is as good a time as any to use it.

We couldn't agree more.

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