City

The City of Yankton is getting a little boost in efforts to update some of its bridge infrastructure.

During Monday night’s meeting of the Yankton City Commission, the board voted 7-0 to enter into an agreement with the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) to accept $103,871.63 from the state to go towards repairs on the Cedar St. bridge.

 “We received notice from the Department of Transportation that we would be the recipient of these funds for repairs on the Cedar St. bridge,” City Manager Amy Leon said. “When we applied for our Bridge Improvement Grant (BIG) in ’16, we applied for two — we applied for the Pine St. bridge and we also applied for the Cedar St. bridge. We did not receive funding that round for the Cedar St. bridge; however, it still remains one on our capital improvements list that needs to be repaired.”

The money comes thanks to federal funding from the 2019 Highway Infrastructure Program Funding Allocation — Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program. The state of South Dakota received just over $17 million to distribute to 62 counties and 22 cities and towns.

“It’s the closest thing to free money we’re ever going to see,” Leon said. “We do still need to address the bridge.”

She added that there is a major distinction between the money awarded here and receiving funding from the BIG grant, but there’s also a reality to face.

“There isn’t a match to this,” she said. “However, $103,000 isn’t likely going to get that project done. It will go a long ways in helping us. We can still apply for grant funds.”

She said the city doesn’t have a project put together yet to put out for bids, but there is still time.

“We have three years to spend these funds,” she said.

Unlike with the Pine St. bridge, Leon said that the state of the Cedar St. bridge doesn’t necessitate a full replacement at this time.

“It will be a repair and refurbishing — not a replacement at this point,” she said.

While the commission accepted funds for one infrastructure project, it was a higher-than-anticipated bid that led the commission to unanimously reject bids for a hangar relocation project at the Chan Gurney Municipal Airport.

Community and Economic Director Dave Mingo told the commission what had originally been planned.

“We were working with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) on trying to move two private hangars approximately 500 feet south of their current location,” Mingo said. “They were in the way of our apron expansion project that’s funded with FAA and state funds with a 5% city match.”

He said the city was in for some sticker shock.

“We thought it would be an equal to or slightly larger expense than it would take to include the demolition of those two hangars in the bid,” he said. “But (we) found out after the bid process that would’ve been about $140,000 what we had available for money.

Mingo said the city has been in contact with the hangar users.

“We’ve kept them informed throughout the process,” he said. “They understand they’re an occupant of airport property and understand everything that comes with leasing airport property.”

Disposal of the hangars is now up to the contractor.

Commissioners Chris Ferdig and Jake Hoffner were absent during Monday’s meeting.

In other business Monday, the board:

• Authorized the issuance of sales tax revenue refunding bonds.

• approved a bid for a  water main on Pearl St.

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