January 2022 Pierre Mayor's Report
Whenever a new year is nearing, I like to set aside some time just to try to recall the whole year. Every time I do this exercise, I think how soon we forget. Each year brings big challenges, big opportunities, and a series of accomplishments.
Here’s a look at some of the big projects that are pushing Pierre forward.
Our skyline along the western side of Pierre has changed a number of times. This is thanks to the large dueling crane operations along the Missouri River.
In March, ground was broken on the Missouri River Bridge project. This project is driven by the S.D. Dept. of Transportation, but nonetheless it will have a major impact on Pierre. I like to think that the finished project will provide a beautiful new welcome mat to the capitol city. At last check, that welcome mat is expected to be complete in 2024. As part of this effort, the city will build a plaza adjacent to the new bridge.
In 2021, major strides were made on the city’s drinking water treatment facility. Nearly all of the exterior work at the treatment facility is complete. Operations have primarily moved to piping and electrical work on the inside of the structure. But for me, the most awesome piece of the project this year was the floating and subsequent sinking of the 714 foot intake pipe into the Missouri River!
This fall, we also flushed more than 100 miles of water main to clear the pipes for the new treated water. If all stays on track, by this fall, you’ll have treated water flowing to your faucet.
The silhouette is also changing on the east side of the community. We’re in the midst of $15 million modernization project at the wastewater treatment plant. It will change how wastewater is treated from the time it is received at the plant until it is fully treated and discharged. A number of buildings will be decommissioned during the process and eventually demolished. The project is expected to be complete in early 2023.
If you cruse past Griffin Park, the changes are very apparent! Earthwork is well underway for the City’s new outdoor pool. We have removed about 15,000 yards of poor soil and brought in another 20,000 yards to replace that soil and elevate the pool out of the water table. If all goes according to plan, the pool will be done in time for the 2023 swim season.
This year, the City also rehabilitated 660 feet of storm sewer under River Road, rebuilt Airport Road, added a parking lot at the airport, built a new skate park, remodeled the sand volleyball court, installed a new bathroom at the Griffin Park swim beach, made improvements to nearly 200 blocks of city street, and stood up a medical marijuana licensing program.
And that’s just some of what was accomplished - it’s no wonder it’s hard to remember all that happened this year.
Cheers to a successful 2021. May our 2022 be just as productive!