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Lincoln County Commissioners address carbon dioxide pipeline regulations and proposed prison site

The Lincoln County Commissioners met Tuesday, January 23 in the Lincoln County Boardroom. 

The first item on the agenda was board discussion with possible referral to the Planning Commission regarding carbon dioxide pipeline transport and storage facilities. 

Toby Brown, representing County Planning was present to speak with the Commission.

 “Before you this morning are four separate ordinances, these were drafted by staff after recommendations from the Ad Hoc Committee that was established by the Board of Commissioners to look in depth at carbon dioxide pipeline transport and storage facilities ordinances. That committee met a number of times, had some great discussions, great testimony, and out of that, staff really worked with the group to focus on kind of four main land use type concerns. Those primarily being what types of definitions would we be using for this type of an ordinance. Second would be what type of setback requirements would be utilized for the different types of uses and the third thing would be what zoning districts would these be allowed in and finally four would be what zoning uses would these encompass,” Brown said. 

The first ordinance would create permissive use for carbon dioxide pipelines with a setback of 330 feet from a single-family dwelling, church, school, nursing home, hospital, business, public facility, public park, or animal feeding operation. The second ordinance would be a permitted special use permit. It will again have a setback of 330 feet. The special use permit could be flipped into a conditional use permit and the setbacks could be overridden by the Planning Commission. The third is a rezoning permit and the only zoning district that a carbon dioxide pipeline be allowed in would be the 1 Light Industrial District. The fourth ordinance is a non-standard conditional use permit. The permit does not have a setback standard, but would require any type of application would have to be a conditional use hearing before the Planning Commission. 

Chairman Jim Jibben opened up the floor for proponents and opponents to speak. With no one speaking on either side, he asked for a motion. 

Motion by Commissioner Tiffani Landeen to move the Ordinances back to Planning and Zoning to work out a fee structure for the permits, second by Commissioner Jim Schmidt. Motion carried.

Commissioner Joel Arends spoke, seeking board discussion and possible action on a proposed resolution encouraging the Governor of South Dakota and the South Dakota Department of Corrections to site the newly proposed prison in an area of Lincoln County designated as Industrial for future land use. 

“In 2005, this County Commission passed its Comprehensive Plan and specifically it developed a future land use map and our county has been relying upon this plan that was developed. A lot of thought and effort and input went into it and more specifically, our citizens have been relying upon the future land use map we have here. In fact, it’s because of decisions made back in 2005 that we see growth and development happening the way that it does. Furthermore, we’ve identified other areas of the County as being the most suitable for industrial land use and why do I point out industrial land use? It’s because a proposed prison site is most compatible with an industrial land use. Clearly, the proposed prison is not compatible with residential housing, it’s not compatible with agricultural land use, but it is compatible with industrial land use specifically because those are the areas of the county where we think that other things, in addition to a potential prison, could grow up and develop. For example, you put a prison location here in Lincoln County and you’re going to have other development that wants to take advantage of the infrastructure that comes along with that. The prison is a $1.2 billion investment, that’s a tremendous amount of money for the state of South Dakota. In fact, the $1 billion mark is the mark in the entire state of South Dakota for development purposes, that’s that largest amount of development there’s been. What we’re hearing from the Governor’s office and the Department of Corrections is the state, for the first time in 150 years, wants to put a $1.2 billion development in our county. Clearly, the powers that be have made a decision where they think that Lincoln County is the best place for this development. Well, we as a County Commission, I think, have a duty and an obligation to collaborate with the state of South Dakota and we have to say to ourselves if the state is going to make a $1.2 billion investment, why don’t we work with the state in a collaborative effort to try to drive that tremendous amount of investment to a location in this County where we believe that it is best suited,” he said. 

Commissioner Arends told the chair he intended to submit a resolution for the commission to consider where the commission would express their sentiment to the Governor and the Secretary of Corrections and encourage the state to build the prison in an industrial location as determined in 2005 Comprehensive Plan. 

Commissioner Landeen asked Arends if there was any specific land he had in mind with the industrial land? 

“In the last few days I have caught wind that representatives of some land in an industrial area want to make their land available to the State of South Dakota and I’ve told those people I’m not going to weigh in on the particular merits of any one individual parcel, but what I certainly am going to do is make that public and I am going to let people know that there are land owners now here in Lincoln County who want to offer up their land in an Industrial area,” Arends said.

Commissioners Mike Poppens, Schmidt and Landeen did not support Arends’ ideas as they felt it would make it look like they supported a prison coming into the county. Motion failed 3-2.

Commission Admin Officer, Steve Rasmussen, joined the meeting for board discussion and possible action regarding the partial disposition of county-owned real property in the City of Tea. 

“Approximately three and a half years ago, we purchased about 155 acres in the City of Tea for a proposed Justice Center, before it was moved to its current site just outside of Canton. We have an offer just shy of $1.8 million for 44 acres at the North end of those 155 acres,” he said. 

Motion made by Landeen, seconded by Poppens. Motion approved.

Highway Superintendent, Terry Fluit requested board discussion and action on the office additions at the County Highway Shop. Brad Dietzenbach of VanDeWalle Architects joined the meeting to give a presentation on layouts and cost estimates for additional office space. 

“The existing office space is 705 square feet with a reception area, one bathroom and two offices. We are proposing two bids on the expansion and remodel, one being a base bid that would accommodate their needs plus and that base bid would increase the square footage to 2,326 square feet with a reception area, two bathrooms, three offices, an open office space that would accommodate four workstations, a conference room, and a storage room. The base bid estimate would be $385,000. The alternate bid would increase the square footage to 2,559 square feet, we would be adding a larger open office area which would accommodate six workstations and everything else is the same as the base bid with an estimated cost of $431,982,” he said. 

If the motion passes, bids would go out in March and construction would begin in April, weather dependent, with a move-in date in the early fall. Fluit is looking for permission to bid for both the base bid and an alternate bid for the additional space. 

Motion approved. 

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