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Local Governments To Dip Into Federal CARES Act Dollars

Gov. Kristi Noem.
Gov. Kristi Noem.

Local governments in South Dakota will get some of the federal stimulus money given to the state.
Governor Kristi Noem is unveiling the Local Government Covid Recovery Fund.

Cities and counties across the state will split $200 million. That’s about 15 percent of South Dakota’s $1.25 billion total from the CARES Act.
Census data will determine how much each community receives.
Noem says reimbursements will follow treasury department guidance.
“This is welcome news for a lot of these entities—these counties and cities that have been struggling financially—to cover these costs they’ve had taking care of folks struggling with the virus, deliver care, some infrastructure they’ve had to invest in, and also the public safety needs that have been put forward," Noem says. "The uncertainty that that created has been a real struggle for local leaders.”
Sioux Falls will receive $41.5 million, Minnehaha County will get $13 million, and Lincoln county $4 million.

That amounts to a total of $58.5 million in reimbursements for costs incurred while responding to Covid 19. That’s about 30 percent of the total $200-million pool.

Some of that could go to the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Mike Milstead says his officers have been assigned extra duties over the last several months to help respond to pandemic-related matters.

In some cases, those duties exposed them to people who were positive for COVID-19. Milstead says that’s when some officers needed temporary housing so they wouldn’t carry it home to their families.

“Finding housing for police officers, deputy sheriff’s, that would be exposed or COVID positive, but needed a place to stay,” Milstead says. “They didn’t want to go home because the live with their folks, or they have their wife and kids, so they worked to provide adequate housing for officers that would be exposed.”

Milstead says his office has also had to purchase equipment for additional cleaning in the jails—and is tracking those purchases.

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.