Gov. Kristi Noem’s plan to build a fence around the Governor’s mansion in Pierre is moving forward, as the project is proposed to be completed by the end of the year.
The bid for the project was awarded to First Dakota Enterprises in Fort Pierre, with a total of $492,000, according to Ian Fury, Noem’s communications director.
Progress on construction comes in the wake of a plot by anti-government vigilantes to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer prior to the election on Nov. 3.
When the plan for a fence around the residence at 119 N. Washington Ave. was introduced in early August, Noem’s senior adviser Maggie Seidel said that security officials believe the need for a fence around the Governor’s mansion is “critical at this time,” but did not give specifics about the kinds of threats the governor was receiving.
“It’s no secret that a few individuals don’t like some of the decisions the governor has made on behalf of the people of South Dakota during this pandemic and otherwise,” Seidel said. “In America, we debate issues; we don’t turn to violence. But it only takes one, and per the governor’s security team, putting up a fence around the residence is critical at this time.“
It remains unclear where all the funds will come from to pay for the fence.
“The good news is that there are a number of South Dakotans, many of whom supported the construction of the Governor’s Residence, who have told us that they would like to support this construction project,” Seidel said in August. “While this will not cover the entire cost, we are pleased that their generosity will help to reduce the state cost. Their support will also help us ensure that the design is suitable for the Capitol complex grounds.”