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Lewis & Clark Leader Outraged By Proposed Funding

Lewis & Clark Regional Water System

If President Obama’s proposed budget goes through, the Lewis and Clark rural water project receives $2.4 million for 2015.

Water project executive director Troy Larson says he’s outraged at the appropriation. He says it means zero construction progress for the vital water supply.

"It’s a complete travesty. Last year’s number was already incredible low at $3.2 million, and he’s lowered it even further despite all the efforts of our tri-state delegation and Lewis and Clark to increase funding," Larson says. "This is a project that creates jobs on the front end through construction, the back end through economic development. It’s a project that pays for itself. This is basic infrastructure, and all the members have prepaid."

Members of Congress from South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa just announced they restored $5 million the president cut from the 2014 budget. Twenty cities and rural water systems depend on the Lewis and Clark pipeline. Construction is already six years behind schedule.

Kealey Bultena grew up in South Dakota, where her grandparents took advantage of the state’s agriculture at nap time, tricking her into car rides to “go see cows.” Rarely did she stay awake long enough to see the livestock, but now she writes stories about the animals – and the legislature and education and much more. Kealey worked in television for four years while attending the University of South Dakota. She started interning with South Dakota Public Broadcasting in September 2010 and accepted a position with television in 2011. Now Kealey is the radio news producer stationed in Sioux Falls. As a multi-media journalist, Kealey prides herself on the diversity of the stories she tells and the impact her work has on people across the state. Kealey is always searching for new ideas. Let her know of a great story! Find her on Facebook and twitter (@KealeySDPB).