South Dakotans reminded to dig with care

Springtime in South Dakota means an increase in construction activity, outdoor home projects and a heightened awareness to call 811 before any digging project, according to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission and the South Dakota One Call Board. For these reasons and more, Governor Dennis Daugaard is proclaiming April as Safe Digging Month in South Dakota.

Before starting a home renovation or landscaping project, take the important step to have a professional locator mark all underground utility lines. South Dakota law requires excavators and homeowners to contact South Dakota One Call at least two working days before beginning any digging project.

There are multiple ways to contact One Call. Simply dial 811 to talk to a representative in person, enter a request online at www.SDOneCall.com, or use the new South Dakota 811 mobile app available for iPhone and Android users.

811 is a free service that connects excavators and homeowners to South Dakota One Call Center personnel who quickly notify all affected utility companies of the upcoming excavation plans. The utility companies then dispatch their crews within 48 hours to mark the underground lines at the respective dig site.

Using the 811 program decreases the risk of hitting a buried utility line. Damaged lines can cause service interruptions, environmental harm, injury or even death.

“The depth of each buried line varies. The risk of striking a line or pipe exists even a few inches below the ground,” PUC Chairman Chris Nelson said. “It’s imperative that homeowners and professional excavators take time to have all underground utilities located and marked before breaking ground.”

Last year the South Dakota One Call Center received nearly 134,000 locate requests and sent out more than 802,000 locate tickets across the state – a comparable number of requests received in 2013, which shows that overall South Dakotans are conscientious when digging. 

“The process is simple: Call before you dig, be mindful of the marks and dig with care,” said Erin Hayes, South Dakota One Call Board chairman and director of corporate construction for Midcontinent Communications. “We want to make sure everyone is safe while working near buried service lines.”

To learn more about 811 and safe digging practices, visit www.onecall.sd.gov.


SDML accepting nominations for Finance Officer of the Year

If your local finance officer has made significant contributions to your community and municipality, recognize him or her with the 2015-2016 Finance Officer of the Year award, presented by the South Dakota Governmental Finance Officers’ Association. South Dakota Municipal League (SDML) is currently accepting nominations in writing through May 15, 2015. Visit sdmunicipalleague.org for the nomination form or download the PDF below.

Nominations are kept confidential and multiple entries are accepted. Plan to list the nominee’s personal and professional accomplishments and contributions as well as the number of years of service to the municipality. The winner will be named during the 2015 Finance Officers’ School, scheduled for June 10-12, 2015 in Pierre, SD.

Please submit nominations to: South Dakota Municipal League, 208 Island Drive, Ft. Pierre, SD 57532 or Fax (605) 224-8655

Finance Officer of the Year Nomination Form 2015 (PDF)


GOED offers training for new economic development practitioners

The South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) is offering a four-hour workshop for new economic development practitioners Thursday, April 16 in Sioux Falls. Attendees will learn about the economic development landscape in South Dakota as well as gain an overview of the GOED and the services it provides. Staff members from the various GOED departments will also be on hand to answer questions, including finance, research, community development, business development, and marketing and public relations.

The full agenda is available here: GOED Overview Agenda.

A similar workshop will also be held September 1 in Pierre. To register for either event, email Rachel Graves at Rachel.Graves@state.sd.us.

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Senate environment committee plans March 11 hearing on EPA rule on CO2

This article originally appeared in the March 9, 2015 issue of American Public Power Association’s Public Power Daily.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing Wednesday, March 11, to hear from state utility regulators on their views of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule limiting carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The proposed rule is known as the Clean Power Plan.

The draft EPA rule, issued by the agency in June 2014, is designed to require states to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants from 2005 levels by 30 percent by 2030, according to the agency.

The Senate hearing is entitled, “Examining State Perspectives of the EPA’s Proposed Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rule for Existing Power Plants.”

Witnesses will include Thomas Easterly, a commissioner with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management; Todd Parfitt, director of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality; Michael J. Myers, section chief with the Environmental Protection Bureau at the New York State Attorney General’s Office; Ellen Nowak, chairperson of the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin; and Mary D. Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board.

The Senate hearing will take place the same day as a regional technical conference that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is holding on the EPA proposal in Washington, D.C. that will focus on the EPA rule’s potential effects in the East.

The House Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing March 17 to examine the EPA’s proposed plan.

At a Feb. 19 technical conference held by FERC to examine the EPA plan, the American Public Power Association’s president and CEO, Sue Kelly,urged FERC to take an “active role” on the EPA plan. See also Kelly’s blog on the topic.

public power forum

Public Power Consultants Forum

Learn about leading economic development issues, strategies and best practices while networking with peers from across the country at the inaugural Public Power Consultants Forum from Area Development in conjunction with the American Public Power Association (APPA). The new annual event will feature expert presentations and roundtable discussions on drivers of the site selection process, business retention and attraction strategies, growth industries, and guidance on how utilities can work with economic developers and businesses.

The lineup includes:

Current Landscape of Industrial Site Selection
Brad Migdal, Executive Manager and Director, Industrial Site Selection & Business Incentives, Transwestern

Economic Development and Energy Incentive Program Trends
John Wolfram, Founder/CEO, Catalyst Consulting

Winning Community/Utility Strategies in the Business Attraction Hunt
Thomas Stringer, Principal, Credits & Incentives, Ryan LLC

Successful Retention and Attraction in the Country’s Most Active Sectors
Michael McDermott, Consulting Manager, Global Consulting Group, Cushman & Wakefield

Opportunities for Economic Development in Today’s Automotive Industry
Dennis Cuneo, Managing Director, Fisher & Phillips

Food Processors: How They Make Their Site Selections
David Sours, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Services Food Facilities, CBRE

Data Centers 101: Trends and Site Selection Considerations
Neale Rath, Manager, Global Expansion Optimization, Deloitte Consulting; and Tennessee Valley Authority representative

Rural Outsourcing: Swapping Mumbai for Mobile
Monty Hamilton, CEO, Rural Sourcing Inc.

The Competitive Workforce: Thing Global, but it’s Really Local
Jones Lang LaSalle (speaker TBA)

Anatomy of a Deal: How it Gets Done Right
Panel Discussion

The forum is designed to educate public power utility economic developers, CEOs and executive leadership–as well as the policymakers, community officials and state/regional economic developers they work with–on success strategies and best practices in economic development.

For more information, visit the Area Development website or contact Heidi Lambert, APPA’s Director of Education at 202-467-2921 or HLambert@PublicPower.org.