Tea, South Dakota — The Lewis & Clark Regional Water System, which was organized in the mid-1990’s, continues to deal with slow funding from Washington. Officials with the system say that the local communities and water systems paid their share several years ago, but the federal government continues to be slow to pay what they’ve promised, so other arrangements continue to be worked out.
We had a chance to talk to Lewis & Clark Executive Director Troy Larson, and he tells us what’s next on the construction schedule.
Larson says that the Sibley stub also branches off of the Adrian to Worthington line, so it’s good news for Sibley as well.
As far as the line coming from South Dakota and going to Sioux Center, Hull, and Sheldon, Larson tells us some changes have been made as to what sections of the system get built first. He says they’re no longer going to do the Big Sioux River crossing first.
So instead of doing the Big Sioux River crossing first on that line, they’re planning to do it last on that list. Larson says that once Sioux Center is connected, it’s just a matter of opening a valve and Hull will be connected as well, as that segment was installed years ago to let Hull buy water from Sioux Center.
After that, the pipeline will be laid from Hull to Sheldon. But Sheldon won’t actually be the last Iowa community connected, says Larson. He says the line from Minnesota to Sibley is scheduled to be constructed after the Sheldon line.
Finally, he says they’ll connect to Madison, South Dakota. That community is already receiving Lewis & Clark water through a wheeling agreement with another system, but ultimately Larson says Lewis & Clark will run a line to Madison as well as the finale to the project.
Of course, the timeline for the construction of each segment is dependent on the timeliness of the funding.