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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

Senate Ag Committee Paves Way For Rural Road Money

The Senate Ag and Natural Resources Committee passed Bill 155 on Tuesday.  The bill seeks to establish a grant fund for South Dakota roads that serve new ag-related businesses.  Supporters of the bill say that the financial burden of building public roads leading to businesses in rural locations should not be solely on the business, but should be given tax dollar support.

Mark Leddy is the CEO of Valley Queen Cheese Factory in Milbank.  He says if the State is serious about achieving economic growth it in agriculture then it should invest in long-term economic development.

“We think livestock development can be a significant new source of new job creation in many rural areas of the state but many counties and townships don’t have the resources to adequately address needed upgrades of our road infrastructure to service these facilities,” says Leddy.

Supporters say it is good policy for the state to assist.  They add that many South Dakota roads cannot sustain the wear and tear from big equipment.  No opponents spoke out against the bill.  The bill now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee.