In response to a question asking legislators what bills they were excited about, Rep. Drew Dennert, R-Aberdeen, noted one seeking an emergency appropriation of $600,000 for the state’s special racing revolving fund.
That’s Senate Bill 128, which is awaiting its first reading before the Joint Committee on Appropriations. He said the money would help the two parimutuel horse racing tracks in the state, which are in Aberdeen and Fort Pierre.
“We swept millions out of the horse racing fund during the (Gov. Bill) Janklow administration,” Dennert said. “It’s our obligation to keep it going.”
There has been talk that horse racing in South Dakota is in danger because of a lack of money.
Both Dennert and Rep. Carl Perry, R-Aberdeen, discussed Senate Bill 34, which seeks $521,403 for the Office of School and Public Lands to help repair the Elm Lake Dam spillway.
This bill was unanimously approved by the Joint Committee on Appropriations and awaits consideration by the Senate.
It would cover about one-third of the funding needed to replace the spillway, which is a city of Aberdeen structure.
Public Works Director Robin Bobzien said the estimated cost to replace the spillway is $1.5 million. The city would have to work out the remaining financial details for the project to be completed in the next two to three years, he said.
Other groups that could help, he said, include Brown County and the James River Water Development District.
The spillway was built in 1937. Bobzien said some improvements were made in 1994.