The South Dakota Transportation Commission has awarded a total of $4.7 million in Economic Development grants to counties and cities across South Dakota.

Approximately $1 million went for agri-business development or improvement. Lyman County will get $600,000 toward its $953,500 project on 306th Avenue for access to Dakota Mill and Grain. Beadle County receives $400,000 to go toward its $533,670 project on 383rd Avenue for improved access to Lazy J Dairy.

Over $3.7 million has been allocated by the Transportation Commission to go toward community access road grant projects. This program helps small towns to pave or reconstruct important local roads such as their Main Street, the road to the elevator or schools, etc. The state reimburses the local sponsor for 80 percent of construction costs, with a grant maximum of $600,000. The community is responsible for all right-of-way acquisitions, utility costs, design and construction engineering costs, and for letting the project to bid.

The eight Community Access Grant recipients are:

City of Avon - $600,000 for Main Street, which serves the elevator and a business area.

City of Bridgewater - $258,000 for 6th Street and Poplar Avenue, which serves the school.

City of Clear Lake - $340,000 for 2nd Street, 2nd Avenue S, and 3rd Street, which serves the elevator.

City of Dell Rapids - $600,000 for 7th Street, which serves a business area.

Town of Humboldt - $600,000 for Main Street, which serves the school.

City of Irene - $340,000 for State Street and Dickerson Avenue, which serves the school.

Oglala Sioux Tribe - $600,000 for Crazy Horse School Drive in Wanblee, which serves the school.

City of Whitewood - $400,000 for Laurel Street, which serves the school and a business area.

The Transportation Commission received 24 applications for grants.

The total awarded would have been $4 million, except some applicants from last year decided not to go ahead with proposed projects. Some deemed that the 60/40 split of grant money and applicant money was not workable with their budgets. This year, said Tammy Williams, program manager in the Office of Administration, that 60/40 split is now 80/20 up to a maximum amount of $600,000 from the state for each type of project. Williams said the unused grants from last year were added to make the total for this year.

“We are hoping these communities can get some major street upgrades,” Williams said. “It is the intent that these infrastructure projects can be tackled.”

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