State commission approves loan for road works in Hutchinson County
PIERRE, SD (KELO) – The South Dakota Transportation Commission this week deepened funding for a public project for a local government.
The panel agreed Thursday to loan Hutchinson County $ 800,000 as an advance on its share of aid from the Federal Surface Transportation Program (STP). The state Department of Transportation may withhold the county’s $ 245,000 annual share of STP funds until the $ 800,000 is repaid.
The county has been working to repair or replace bridges, culverts and several sections of federal aid road affected by the September 2019 flooding.
According to a department official, Hutchinson County faces challenges as the Federal Emergency Management Administration reassigned people to work on 2020 disasters while some 2019 disasters, such as Hutchinson County, did not. still received federal refund.
“It’s a cash flow issue,” said Williams, program manager for the department. She added: “And it’s not coming fast enough.”
Mitchell’s Mike Vehle wondered about the previous one. “Are we going on a road where everyone will come for loans?” Asked the chairman of the commission.
“He’s the only one we’ve been approached with,” Williams replied. She added, “Not that others aren’t struggling. But it’s the only one we’ve been approached with.
“Okay,” Vehle replied.
Williams said Hutchinson County will likely be reimbursed more than $ 1 million from the federal government for flood damage. She said the state’s Office of Emergency Management loaned Hutchinson County $ 1 million, under its authority to provide interim loans to help local governments pending federal repayments.
Hutchinson County still needs $ 800,000, according to Williams. “They have this money coming in, it’s just the moment,” she said. The commission approved the advance.
The commission changed the purpose of a bridge grant for Perkins County to Preservation Reconstruction. The amount remained $ 152,900. The county wanted the change because federal emergency aid would double to $ 200,000 if the bridge was replaced.
The commission also added $ 12,870 for a scour analysis on a Brown County bridge project. The results could mean that a longer bridge is needed. Williams said the original plan for a 124-foot structure could grow to 204 feet. “And that’s an increase of about $ 400,000 in the cost estimate, from what we can tell,” she said.