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Biden’s ARPA to Provide $50M for Sewers to Support Affordable Housing

Maybe Kristi Noem would prefer to name sewer systems for President Joe Biden. Noem proposes throwing $50 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds down the sewer—new sewers!—to boost infrastructure for affordable housing for workers:

This $200 million investment will combine $150 million in state general funds with $50 million in federal ARPA funds. Those dollars will be matched by local communities and developers to ensure that everyone works together in partnership: 1/3 from the developers, 1/3 from the municipalities, and 1/3 from the state. This is a $600 million total investment in workforce housing. All funding will be used specifically to expand housing infrastructure.

The state funds will flow through GOED’s Local Infrastructure Improvement (LIIP) program. The ARPA funds will flow through DANR and be used specifically for sewer infrastructure in connection with workforce housing projects. We will work with cities, counties, and developers to invest these dollars wisely and facilitate growth in every corner of the state [Bureau of Finance and Management, “Workforce Housing Infrastructure,” FY 2023 Budget Topic Briefs, 2021.12.07].

Wait—how’s this work, again? South Dakota has “the strongest economy in America,” but our workers can’t afford houses, so government has to intervene in the market with $600 million in infrastructure investments to subsidize housing?

Given all the crap from Governor Noem, it’s no wonder we have to build better sewers. Hooray for President Biden, the Democratic Party, and the federal government for keeping South Dakota livable!


  1. Loren 2021-12-08 10:28

    I still think SD should decline federal funds in the name of fiscal responsibility. If you vote against a program, you shouldn’t benefit from it. Maybe that would keep this continuous blame game more in check. I see our stalwart delegation in the senate has decided to back Mitch’s plan to let the Democrats increase the debt limit by themselves. That way the Trumpublicans can blame the Democrats without shutting down the gov’t, which was their initial plan. Once again, Big John is able to twist himself into a pretzel of reasoning.

  2. John 2021-12-08 11:43

    Loren, that’s an outstanding proposal — bar states from receiving funds from programs and appropriations the state’s delegation opposed.

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-12-08 12:09

    Steve Haugaard can’t campaign on this, But the Democratic nominee should get out there every day and point all the projects that President Biden is building for us and point out that Kristi Noem, having opposed all of President Biden’s agenda, fundamentally opposed those very projects for South Dakota. when those sewers and the rest of the infrastructure get built, and all those affordable houses spring up on top of that infrastructure, we Democrats (and maybe even a rational Republican primary opponents ) need to go out there and say these houses wouldn’t be here if Kristi Noem had been in charge of the federal government.

  4. Mark Anderson 2021-12-08 15:31

    Come on folks, we of the outer galaxy don’t mind our money going to South Dakota. Just jump and dance on your left foot and wave of course.

  5. Richard Schriever 2021-12-08 15:53

    1/3 is NOT coming from the state. Slightly less to 1/4 is coming from the state.

  6. Porter Lansing 2021-12-08 15:53

    You’re building more “projects”?
    That’s what “affordable housing for workers” is called, in the city.
    The “projects” are where kids learn to sell meth, drop out of school, and steal from the jeans of the “Johns” who come visit Mom.
    If your legislature won’t support “green” state buildings why would you think they’ll support “projects” full of Somali and Central American refugees?
    There are plenty of progressive alternatives to “public housing projects” that enhance a community.
    They’re new and liberal ideas.
    Any takers, Pierre?

  7. Mark Anderson 2021-12-08 16:39

    Well Porter, here in Sarasota we just build new small towns for the wealthy nearby and let the real city deteriorate. That’s another solution. They aren’t suburbs either. We have wealthy islands nearby too. The working poor, well they can get by. We go to Lakewood Ranch for cheap movies, cheap food and cheap beer, those community’s know how to do it if you can afford it. Downtown isn’t bad they made a solution of having more people allowed per block and revitalized an entire area, too bad it was an African American area before, they did put a sign up commemorating it. Now if they can just get rid of that pesky Salvation Army for the homeless that five blocks from downtown they’ll be in great shape.

  8. Porter Lansing 2021-12-08 16:52

    @ Mark – My daughter and her wife are set on selling their house and moving to the Sarasota area.
    They love Flaw-Dah and have never lived anywhere but Colorado.
    I’m welcome to join them and the Lansing’s that are all over the citrus belt.

  9. Lottie 2021-12-08 19:08

    Maybe SD citizens want and could use federal funds. Its KN who is too well off in her Pierre mansion who doesn’t like help from anyone but DT.

  10. Arlo Blundt 2021-12-08 19:24

    Loren…We need SEWERS…as a state, we are deficient in basic sewage treatment and disposal thanks to a hundred years of Republicans holding their nose and ignoring where the flush goes. Democrats can and should take credit for new sewers. People appreciate sewer systems when make shift systems break down and erupt on their property…and, the big deal with sanitary sewers is:By building these systems, we are preventing cholera. typhoid and a hundred other bacterial killers from invading us. Sanitary sewers are a prime reason we now live 25 yeats longer than one hundred years ago.

  11. grudznick 2021-12-08 22:07

    I think we should not build new sewers. That’s what Ms. Noem got Mr. Biden to give us money for.
    No sewers. You bury your waste, people. Sewers just send it out to sea.

  12. Arlo Blundt 2021-12-08 22:57

    grudz…you are correct to the extent that we should treat sewage, removing most of the pathogens, and then move the sludge to ground disposal rather than dumping sewage into waterways. We need to build sanitary sewers to create sanitary sludge and disposal facilities. This requires treating sewage in several stages….many South Dakota community sewers are deficient after the primary and secondary stages of treatment. With animal and industrial waste its worse.

  13. Richard Schriever 2021-12-09 08:50

    The DANR requires regular testing of sewer effluents from all municipal treatment facilities. Thjose that are incapable of meeting water quality standards on a regular basis are required to make system improvement. The “shovel ready projects” that received special Federal funding under Obama administration funded quite a few (the last time the country had an infrastructure program), including several million dollars for my little town (Lennox). Still, the sewer and water bills are quite steep because much of the “in the street” infrastructure was also near 100 years old and replacing it has been quite expensive – with NO Federal help.

  14. Mark Anderson 2021-12-09 16:51

    Porter, its a great place. It’s Republican but really Rinos. Great art, music, eating, you can’t beat it. I was just pointing out some of the bad and there is that. We live in Nokomis, we moved here 20 years ago to a two acre place. They are more common now since they opened up across the interstate. Ours isn’t deed restricted and that is still rare.

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