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More than $104 million in South Dakota ARPA funds are not allocated

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(The Center Square) – South Dakota officials have yet to decide how to spend $104.6 million from the American Rescue Plan Act, the state’s budget director told lawmakers on Wednesday.

The legislature must decide where to appropriate those dollars, according to Jim Terwilliger, commissioner of the Bureau of Finance Management, who gave a report to the Appropriations Committee.

More than half of the $974.5 million in federal funding South Dakota through is allocated to water and sewer infrastructure, according to the Bureau of Finance Management.

“The big piece of this, of course, is the $600 million environmental funding projects,” Terwilliger said.

According to Terwilliger, the agency has given out 209 sub-awards for water and wastewater projects.

Only 16% of the $600 million is spent thus far, about $98.7 million, he said.

Of the nearly $870 million ARPA funds the state has appropriated, $50 million is for broadband, another $50 million for workforce housing, $35 million for tourism marketing, and $15 million for behavioral health.

Another $11.6 million is allocated for 345 updated LIFEPAK 15 devices for EMS agencies, which monitor vital signs and provide defibrillation in a cardiac event, among other things, according to BFM.

The report said $8 million is appropriated for “regional services,” $1.7 million for EMS telehealth services, and $30 million for “administrative” expenses.

Another $5.5 million will fund a technology upgrade for the Department of Labor and Regulation’s reemployment assistance program, and $3 million will address issues at Capitol Lake, an artificial lake next to the Capitol building.

“Most of it was related to a lot of the dredging that occurred out on Capitol Lake and then the rest of the expenses will kind of come through identifying and fixing the water source out on Capitol Lake in addition, there’s some additional funds that were appropriated through this last legislative session to help continue that project along,” Terwilliger said.

The Biden Administration’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act included $350 billion for states and localities to “support their response to and recovery from the COVID-19 public health emergency,” according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

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