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City ranked sixth safest city

A recent survey shows that Tea is the sixth safest city in South Dakota.

The survey, conducted by HomeSnacks, ranked Tea as the sixth safest city in the state, up from 11th last year. According to the data they found, Tea had eight violent crimes in 2018.

HomeSnacks, based in North Carolina, uses recent data from the Census Bureau, FBI, OpenStreetMaps and other sources to come up with their rankings. They also rank best places to live (Tea was second) and best place to raise a family (Tea was sixth).

City administrator Dan Zulkosky said these rankings have been out a lot. He also said the city employs eight full-time police officers with plans to add another Jan. 1.

He credits Chief Jessica Quigley with retaining officers who then know more about the community.

“The officers are familiar with everything around here, including the school. We have an officer up there the entire time school’s open,” Zulkosky said. “I think it’s just become a safer place. It’s a great place to live.”

The city continues to grow. Zulkosky said in the last 10 years, the city has grown 66 percent. The estimate from the Census Bureau for Tea in 2020 is 5,797.

Data from planning and zoning administrator Kevin Nissen said 2019 has seen the most building permits with 222 so far. They have seen a 53 percent increase on last year’s record for total construction valuation for single family residential, a 35 percent increase in total residential construction and a 41 percent increase over last year’s record single family home starts. Final numbers will be available in January.

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