NewsOctober 10 2014

1971 West Lyman football team inducted into Hall of Fame

Posted by Lucy

During the Lyman football game this upcoming Friday, Oct. 10 the 1971 West Lyman football team is being inducted into the Hall of Fame. At half-time the football team's accompishments will be recognized along with an individual plaque presentation for the inductees that are able to attend. There has only been 5 inductees that have RSVP'd but are hoping to have several more in attendance. Kickoff is at 7:00 pm vs New Underwood.

NewsOctober 08 2014

Presho woman gives state $10,000 for new rail line

Posted by Lucy

The following is reprinted with permission from the Pierre Capital Journal.

By David Rookhuyzen

It was the type of individual donation the state is generally not used to seeing.

Norma Johnson, 87, personally presented a check of $10,000 to Gov. Dennis Daugaard on Wednesday as a donation for the refurbishment of the state-owned MRC Railroad between Chamberlain and Presho.

The $30 million project will put in heavier rails and allow for bigger cars along the line, which was originally built in 1905. The legislature approved $7.2 million for the project during the last session and the state railroad board added another $7 million. Rails to the Future, a booster organization for the project, raised another $1 million from producers and agriculture groups.

Johnson, who farms in the area, said she had heard word about the railroad and wanted to do something to help.

"I’ve just always been a Presho booster," she said.

Johnson said she was happy to donate the money for all the little towns out in the middle of nowhere that could be helped by having a working rail line.

Daugaard said it was the example of Johnson that inspired others in the Presho area to donate to the project. And those funds were instrumental in the state securing a $12 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, grant.

The state had received a similar grant for work on the line between Mitchell and Chamberlain three years ago and Daugaard said he didn’t expect to get another one so soon. But the money donated by Johnson and others gave the state a strong application.

"That says a lot and I think that said a lot in Washington D.C.," he said.

Bill Ferguson, with Rails to the Future, said the refurbishment was a needed project whose time has come. Not only will it help ship out local wheat – this year’s harvest was 53 million bushels – but also cut down the wear and tear from heavy trucks on county and local roads.

What makes Johnson’s donation so special is that she most likely won’t reap any of the benefits herself, he said.

"She’s doing it for the children and grandchildren of the area," Ferguson said.

NewsOctober 01 2014

New art in Vivian

Posted by Lucy

Travis Sickler, a professional painter from Pierre, has been working on new art work in Vivian. Sickler stated that "he loves making something out of nothing and has never painted grain bins before." Pictured left is one of two grain bin murals that has been completed The bins are located on the north/west part of town.

NewsOctober 01 2014

Kennebec to expand, upgrade waterwaste system

Posted by Lucy

Kennebec residents were informed by the town board last week that the wastewater system in not in compliance with state regulations according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the problem must be addressed.

"They’re shutting us down and making us comply," Eugene Mertens, president of the Kennebec Town Board, told those assembled at the fire hall for a special town meeting last Wednesday night.

Mertens stated the engineering firm, SPN & Associates of Mitchell and District III Planning and Development were brought in to prepare a preliminary report for the town.

The special meeting was called to inform the residents of the problems with the sanitary sewer system, the options available and to discuss funding the improvements.

There are currently 136 sewer connections within the town, 44 manholes and nearly 18,500 feet of 8-inch clay pipe. Residents west of Hwy 273 and the businesses and residences "on the hill" are currently not being served by the sanitary sewer system. They have either their own lagoon or spectic tank.

According to Camden Hofer, an engineer with SPN, the town’s sewer lines have not been inspected by a camera to determine their condition. A smoke test in 2013 indicated there may be some blockages in the sewer lines.

Currently, the town operates with two treatment ponds located east of the rubble site. Each pond is about two acres in size, which DENR considers to be undersized. An excessive infiltration rate is also suspected.

Recommendations by SPN include clean and TV inspect the sewer lines, expose manholes covers and expand the system with a pressure sewer to provide service to homes and businesses on the hill and west of Hwy 273 not being served now. Approximately 15 to 20 lift stations will need to be installed to expand services.

They also suggested expanding the treatment pond system and upgrading the road and fences around the ponds.

The total estimated cost of the project was about $1.1 million.

John Clem of District III explained funding options with various loans and grants available through the state.

Clem stated the first step is to get on the state’s water plan and make an application for assistance.

"The state thinks sewer rates should be around $40 per month per hook up," said Hofer.

Kennebec’s current rate is $12 per month.

Mertens added, "Rates will have to go up to $25."

Clem explained that that Kennebec’s rates will need to be at least $25 per month to be eligible for loans or grants. He shared examples of various rates residents could expect to pay based on the amount of funding Kennebec gets from the state for the project.

"We’ll keep it as low as we can," said Mertens. "We don’t have a lot of choices."

By expanding the system more users will add to the revenue collected by the town.

Residences and businesses within the city limits will be required to tie into the town’s expanded sewer system.

Gene Halvorson of Halvorson Oil said DENR made him build a lagoon for his business at his own expense to be in compliance.

"What are we suppose to do?" asked Halvorson.

Town board member Todd Longville said he thinks it’s time to the bring all residents within the city limits into the system.

"It’s too bad the timing didn’t work for Halvorsons," said Longville.

The project will take at least two years to complete. The town should know by March of 2015 if they receive a grant and how much will need to be borrowed to fund the project. Bids would not be let until December of 2015 with the work to begin in the spring of 2016.

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