ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Our View: Good news in small towns

Residents in extreme southeast South Dakota are giddy about prospects for economic development in Elk Point. What's interesting is that nobody knows what, exactly, those prospects are.

Residents in extreme southeast South Dakota are giddy about prospects for economic development in Elk Point. What's interesting is that nobody knows what, exactly, those prospects are.

Few details are known, but there are rumors and shallow reports.

Among them: That an 1,800-acre tract of land near Elk Point has been purchased for an unidentified venture. That the so-called "potential project" may need as much as 5,000 acres of land, with about half covered by buildings. And that river water would be used for cooling.

Evidently a manufacturing project, Gov. Mike Rounds has said South Dakota is one of several states being considered but he says he feels the state has a good shot at landing the venture.

If a large company does locate to Elk Point, it goes to show that good things can happen in small-town South Dakota. Because it's too far south and east of here it's unlikely to cause much of a ripple in the immediate Mitchell area, but any project that large is good news for the state.

ADVERTISEMENT

On a smaller scale, good things are happening around here, too. In Howard, for instance, the Knight and Carver Wind Blade Division recently opened its doors -- although it is having trouble filling all of its jobs. That's just the most recent coup for Howard, which also has seen a large organic beef plant open, as well as another wind energy business.

Parkston residents are working on ways to encourage more development in that town and last week it was learned that leaders there have been in contact with the Mitchell Area Development Corporation, hoping they can create plans to benefit both towns. Parkston is considering hiring its own development coordinator.

And in Winner, there are rumors that a large retail chain may locate in that town, which serves as a shopping center for a large region of south-central South Dakota and northern Nebraska. And even if the store doesn't decide to lay roots in Winner, the town has had several other business developments in recent months.

Granted, the Elk Point project, if it comes to fruition, sounds atypical of what most small towns can expect in terms of economic development.

But the point is that good things are happening out there, despite headlines about drought, outmigration and school consolidations.

That's reason for optimism.

What To Read Next
Members Only
Although Mitchell's rates would be increase, the proposed equitable rate structure could lessen the increased costs for residential customers' water and sewer bills.
“We see that when things happen in the coastal areas, a few years later, they start trending toward the Midwest,” said Rep. Ben Krohmer, serving his first term in the House.
“This is sensationalism at its finest, and it does not deserve to be heard in our state capitol,” Rep. Erin Healy, a Democrat and one of 10 votes against the bill in the 70-person chamber, said.
Members Only
Prior to be sentenced to prison, a Mitchell man blamed the winter weather and slick roads for his DUI charge and said he wouldn't have been pulled over had it not been for the "crazy weather."