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February 2022 Fort Pierre Mayor's Report

February 2022 Fort Pierre Mayor's Report

Sometimes, the goal you achieve may not be exactly what you had planned, but in the long run, it may result in a better outcome. This is true in our personal lives, and can be true in city government.

We have been having discussions, both within the City, and with Fort Pierre Development, about the need for more housing, particularly at the workforce level. Last March, the Council entered into a contract with HME, a Brookings company that has invested capital in both Pierre and Fort Pierre. Our intended goal was to develop TIF-supported housing in the area that lies north of Hwy 14 and east of Hwy 1806.

That is still our goal, but another project has developed first, simply because this new alternative was the first one that had a willing seller and a price that was agreeable to both buyer and seller.

HME has a signed purchase agreement with Jerry and Clint Schimkat for their property, bounded by Yellowstone Street and East 9th Avenue, with the intention to build a senior living campus, one that would feature independent living apartments with garages, assisted living units, and memory care units. A future phase includes multi-family living.

The City unanimously approved a Memorandum of Understanding to move forward on the project. The first step will be to rezone the property from agricultural to multi-family. The second step will be to define a boundary for a TIF district, as well as agree on costs to be included in a TIF plan (generally infrastructure costs the City would pay for anyway.)

HME is committed to investing $20 million over the course of the next five years to build a senior living campus as well as multifamily projects. The initial project will create up to 25-30 jobs with an annual payroll of $1.5 million. 

The economic impact on the City is significant, but my enthusiasm and support for the project go far beyond dollars. We all understand that the best way to relieve the financial burden of our residents is by growth in the community, to spread the cost of providing essential services to more people.

Perhaps most importantly, this development will allow our residents to stay here in Fort Pierre, among their families and friends, with their physician, with their church, for as long as they wish. And as people retire and move into a comfortable new home in a senior living facility, they will be making their home available for new families.

These are indeed exciting times for Fort Pierre!

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