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City of Lead Steals Diesel Tank

For an actual example of government overreach, we turn to Lead city administrator Dan Blakeman, who reached into developer Joyce Carsten’s property and took her diesel tank:

Joyce Carsten, who owns Thunder Ridge Housing Development, said she discovered Friday that the tank she uses to re-fuel equipment at the development was missing. After making some inquiries around town, she discovered City Administrator Dan Blakeman ordered the tank to be removed and placed in a city shop for inspection. Carsten was not given prior notice about the removal.

Blakeman said Monday that he had received reports from the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources regarding complaints about the tank leaking. He admitted to sending city crews to the site, an empty lot across from 106 Heritage Dr., to bring the tank to a city shop.

“I got a call from the DANR that they were getting calls about public safety, so I made the decision to put it up at the shop,” Blakeman said. “Nothing was leaking. I mainly didn’t want the controversy about anything from the DANR” [Wendy Pitlick, “Everett: ‘We Were in the Wrong’,” Black Hills Pioneer, 2021.10.19].

Oh, Dan, DA(NR) isn’t going to get you off this hook:

Brian Walsh, public affairs director with the DANR said the agency received one complaint. The complainant did not say a leak had occurred, but only expressed concern about fire danger and the possibility of a leak. Walsh said officials contacted the city of Lead about the complaint and were told the city had handled the situation.

“DANR did not require the city to remove the tank or direct them to remove it,” Walsh said. He added that the agency has since been in contact with Carsten and arranged a time for a DANR representative to ensure the tank is properly registered and in compliance with regulations [Pitlick, 2021.10.19].

Pitlick notes the Blakeman’s confiscation violated state law:

South Dakota Codified Law 9-27-1 requires a two-third majority vote of the city commission before private property is appropriated, or taken without permission or consent. During the Sept. 20 Lead City Commission meeting Richard Chadwick, who lives in the Thunder Ridge Development, approached the commission with concerns about the diesel tank. Schumacher told the commission he would research the issue, but the commission did not take official action at that meeting [Pitlick, 2021.10.19].

Mayor Ron Everett returned the tank Monday morning and apologized to tank girl Carsten. The city also needs to call DA(NR) back: while returning the tank, they spilled some diesel.


  1. larry kurtz 2021-10-21

    Lead is where if two people get divorced they’re still father and daughter. Too many Lead residents are local high school dropouts who married their sisters, are strung out on meth somewhere and are only paying taxes through video lootery, Mickey’s malt liquor, cigarettes and fuel. Today, the residents are obese, white retirees from somewhere else who fled cultural diversity in their own states taking advantage of South Dakota’s regressive tax structure and are now loading their RVs before the strings of below-zero days and another eight month winter.

  2. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-10-21

    This story is just…..odd; I feel as if there’s more to it. If this had happened in Edgemont, there’d have been shots fired. Maybe Dan needs to cut back on his breakfast drugs?

  3. Porter Lansing 2021-10-21

    John Denver had a fuel tank placed on his Windstar property, far from his home.
    -He did this to “conserve” fuel for the employees and volunteers commuting to the Windstar office and Aspen Deaf Camp.
    -His thinking was that some people would not have to drive as far for a gas station.
    -He then had the tank removed because of those people that refused to believe why it was done – like those who still do today.

  4. Mark Anderson 2021-10-21

    Lead, lead on this issue, the Lead leaders, lead the way, got the lead out in other words.

  5. Donald Pay 2021-10-21

    First, I refuse to use the new moniker for the former DENR. I will continue to call the agency DENR. Renaming the agency that deals with environmental regulation is just politically correctness. I won’t be a part of it.

    It would be uncharacteristic for DENR to take any action without doing some sort of inspection first, and the agency has never been too nimble. My group did a number of such complaints, so we knew the drill. Generally we did written complaints, but once we had a pretty frantic call about body parts (severed heads, legs, that sort of thing) showing up at an illegal medical waste dump for hospitals from the Denver area. So, we turned that information over to DENR. It turned out that dump was on tribal land, so DENR did nothing. Of course, the dump didn’t have tribal permission, so the tribe put a halt to it. I think it got cleaned up, but there could be some skulls out there still. Happy Halloween.

  6. grudznick 2021-10-21

    The DANR fellows, who deal with agriculture as well as the spilling of a few pints of oil on the street, have this in hand I am sure. And I bet you that’s a nice neighborhood where some swell houses are being built up there in Lead. My close friend Lar and I were going to go in on a spec house up in Lead, funded by our other friend Bill who hit it big with the covid bug money, but he wouldn’t agree to the loans because our house wasn’t big enough and Lar and Bill couldn’t agree on the siding color.

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