Governor’s Surplus Land Bills Introduced

February 6, 2017

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has introduced a package of bills to allow for the sale of surplus lands owned by the state. The measures include lands and properties on the STAR Academy, State Veterans Home, and State Training School campuses.

“We owe it to taxpayers to keep the state’s footprint to a minimum, to avoid spending tax dollars on maintenance of unneeded facilities and to return unused properties to the tax rolls when possible,” said Gov. Daugaard. “When I first ran for governor, I talked about the need to scrutinize state-owned land and buildings and to sell assets that were underutilized. This has been an ongoing process now for six years.”

In previous years, the Legislature passed surplus land measures pertaining to the Human Services Center in Yankton and the South Dakota Developmental Center in Redfield. On the HSC campus, the state has since sold land, demolished buildings, and negotiated a lease-purchase for the Mead Building, which the Yankton County Historical Society has restored. Legislators last year approved the Governor’s measure to downsize the SDDC campus, which today serves 125 residents.

The following surplus land bills have been introduced this legislative session:

·         House Bill 1205 allows for the sale of unused property formerly belonging to Western Dakota Tech.

·         House Bill 1206 allows for the sale of the former State Training School campus in Plankinton.

·         House Bill 1207 authorizes the transfer of several vacant buildings and adjoining lands from the South Dakota Developmental Center to the city of Redfield.

·         House Bill 1208 allows for the sale of underutilized buildings and land on the State Veterans Home campus.

·         House Bill 1209 allows for the sale of STAR Academy property.

·         House Bill 1210 allows for the sale of Department of Corrections property that is being used by Sequel Transition Academy.

The bills do not require any sale, and provide for an appraisal process to ensure the state receives fair value for the property.

The proceeds from the sale of STAR Academy, Aurora Plains and DOC lands would be deposited in the DOC training school trust fund to support juvenile services. Proceeds from the Veterans Home and Western Dakota Tech land sales would go to the general fund. The bill pertaining to the South Dakota Developmental Center directs any profit to the SDDC trust fund.

All six bills have yet to be scheduled for their first committee hearing.