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$18.6 million for Lewis and Clark included in 2023 appropriations bill signed last week

“This critically needed funding will be used to cover the remaining costs of four projects currently under construction that were planned to be paid for over two fiscal years.”

FILE PHOTO: A Globe file photo from 2017.
FILE PHOTO: A Globe file photo from 2017.
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TEA, S. D. — The appropriations bill President Joe Biden signed into law Dec. 29 includes $18.6 million for ongoing construction of the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System. This total includes the $6.6 million proposed by the Administration, as well as the $12 million congressionally-directed spending request made by Senators Amy Klobuchar, Mike Rounds and Tina Smith.

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The funds will not be used to award new contracts.

“This critically needed funding will be used to cover the remaining costs of four projects currently under construction that were planned to be paid for over two fiscal years,” said Executive Director Troy Larson. "These projects include two segments of the Madison service line (combined 32 miles), the one-million gallon water tower just west of Sheldon and improvements at the water treatment plant. The latter includes adding more high service pumps among other things.”

He thanked the three senators for requesting the additional funding, along with the rest of the tristate congressional delegation for its support.

The Bureau of Reclamation is expected to soon announce how much funding Lewis and Clark will receive in fiscal year 2023 from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Lewis and Clark officials anticipate it will be in the range of $55 million to $65 million. These funds will be used to award new projects that are part of the “base system” of 44.19 million gallons a day.

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Lewis and Clark was incorporated in January 1990 and the congressional authorization was signed into law in July 2000. It is a non-profit wholesale provider of water to its member cities and rural water systems in southeast South Dakota, northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota. The water source is a series of wells adjacent to the Missouri River, with a treatment plant near Vermillion. Construction began in 2004 and Lewis and Clark started delivering water in 2012.

The system is currently serving water to 15 of its 20 members. Members yet to be connected include Hull, Sioux Center, Sheldon, Sibley and Madison. It is anticipated all members will be connected by late 2024 or early 2025.

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