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Mayor Schaunaman Faces Reality: Moccasin Creek Cleanup Depends on EPA Grant

Aberdeen rookie Mayor Travis Schaunaman campaigned on limiting government. It thus must pain him mightily to promote a project to clean up Aberdeen’s sleepy, skeetery Maccasin Creek that depends on cash from the Environmental Protection Agency:

Gesturing passionately, Mayor Travis Schaunaman can't wait to get his hands on federal money. Screen cap from KSFY tweet, 2019.06.06.
Gesturing passionately, Mayor Travis Schaunaman can’t wait to get his hands on federal money. Screen cap from KSFY tweet, 2019.06.06.

City Manager Lynn Lander said the idea for the grant was raised by Stantec, a firm that worked with the city on its master plan and recreational trail upgrades.

“They knew about this EPA grant and they’ve used it for blighted areas,” Lander said.The city already has a multi-phase plan that calls for cleaning, a tiered sediment bank and the planting of aquatic vegetation along Moccasin Creek. The first phase of that work was through much of 2017. B&B Contracting was awarded the $483,410 bid for work that included adjusting the culvert at Melgaard Road for improved creek drainage.

The area addressed was from Sixth Avenue Southeast to Melgaard Road, but Lander said vegetation has yet to be planted along that stretch. That was previously due to drought conditions. Now, he said, the high water table is interfering with seeding.

Lander said the EPA grant could provide some additional funding for improvements along this stretch.

“We’ve tried various things to revegetate and clean up Moccasin Creek, why not take it a step further?” he said [Elisa Sand, “City Eyes EPA Grant to Improve Moccasin Creek {paywall},” Aberdeen American News, 2019.06.30].

Local GOPers are tickled pink at another partisan win… but now Mayor Schaunaman has to set aside his slogans and submit to the practical realities of running a rural town that, like all of South Dakota, depends on big government money to survive.


  1. TAG 2019-07-02

    Small government conservatives are like bratty teenagers; they want freedom from rules and regulations, and are constantly criticizing parents, but will gladly let you pay the bills when reality hits, and their car breaks down.

    I’d love for libertarians to move to a 3rd world country to find out what deregulation and small government really looks like in practice.

  2. Debbo 2019-07-02

    The “Mog”, as we called it in the 70s, is always in need of clean up, as it was then.

  3. mike from iowa 2019-07-02

    Moar socialism.

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