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Sturgis Bypass Promoters Say TIF District Essential to Paving Road

The TIF campaign is on in Meade County. Meade County Taxpayers for Responsible Government gathered over 1,200 signatures (they needed 762) to refer the county's tax increment financing plan for a proposed bypass from the Buffalo Chip Campground to I-90 to a public vote on March 3. The referendum was fueled by a combination of opposition to the road itself and opposition to the funding mechanism, which grabs tax dollars that would otherwise be shared by the county and the school district.

A new website,, is up to promote a Yes vote in the March 3 referendum. The name comes from 131st Avenue, the name of the road before it was changed by a nicely participatory procedure to Fort Meade Way. The supporters don't say who they are, and they also don't make clear that the vote is about the TIF district designation, not about whether to build or pave Fort Meade Way.

The building and paving of Fort Meade Way does not depend on passage of the TIF. Meade County can still get the job done; it just might take longer through other funding mechanisms.

A bypass allowing quicker access to the Fort Meade VA, Sturgis Brown High School, and Bear Butte from Rapid City is a good idea for safety and economic development. A TIF district that deprives the school district of its fair share of benefits from new development is not. Meade County residents can support the road and still vote no on March 3.


  1. Rod Hall 2015.01.20

    This message should be made loud and clear in Mitchell. A big TIF is about to be allowed. The school administration says the school does not miss out on tax revenue. Do they have different kind of water West River?

  2. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.20

    Nope, don't take money from the school for economic development. Find another source.

    As one who lived in Newell and had to get to RC every week, including the notorious Rally week, I heartily support another route!

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.20

    I'm with you, Deb! That's a gap on the map begging for a little asphalt. But we've waited this long; we can pave it without rushing with a TIF.

  4. Bill Dithmer 2015.01.22

    There should be a moratorium on all new roads in SD. They admit that there isnt enough money to fix the roads now, why add more at this time? It looks like there are a lot of people that want a new road east of Sturgis because of a 10 minute inconvenience.

    Fix everything first, then start building again. No more new on ramps to keep rich business men happy, live with what you have.

    Every time the public sees new construction they assume that there is a never ending supply of money. Well there aint.

    The Blindman

  5. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.23

    Blindman, during the Rally it's a 45-60 minute inconvenience.

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