Around the County

PIERRE – The South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA) is now accepting applications for the Brian Meyer Memorial Scholarship. Two scholarships in the amounts of $1,250 and $625 will be awarded for the 2018 spring semester.
The scholarship is available to applicants who have completed at least two semesters of course work at an accredited post-secondary school in South Dakota and reside in an SDTA member company service area. The scholarship can be used at any post-secondary educational institution in South Dakota, including public and private universities, as well as technical schools.
Applicants must complete an application, write a short outline of their career plans following completion of their post-secondary education, and submit a brief essay on the future of small town South Dakota and what can be done to enhance the quality of life in rural areas through the use of technology. Also needed are a copy of the applicant’s most recent transcript and at least two letters of recommendation. The deadline to apply for the Brian Meyer Memorial Scholarship is Oct. 31.
For more information on the Brian Meyer Memorial Scholarship, contact any post-secondary institution financial aid office, the South Dakota Telecommunications Association at 605-224-7629 or admin@sdtaonline.com. The application is also available online at www.sdtaonline.com/resources/scholarships.
SDTA membership is composed of the state’s member-owned cooperatives, privately-owned, municipal and tribal telecommunications companies which collectively serve almost 75 percent of the state. Members of the South Dakota Telecommunications Association are: Santel Communications (Woonsocket); Alliance Communications (Garretson); Beresford Municipal Telephone (Beresford); Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority (Eagle Butte); Faith Municipal Telephone; Fort Randall Telephone (Wagner); Golden West Telecommunications Companies (Wall); Interstate Telecommunications (Clear Lake); James Valley Telecommunications (Groton); Kennebec Telephone Company (Kennebec); Midstate Communications (Kimball); RC Technologies (New Effington); Swiftel Communications (Brookings); TrioTel Communications (Salem); Valley Telecommunications (Herreid); Venture Communications (Highmore); West River Cooperative Telephone (Bison); and West River Telecommunications Cooperative (Hazen, N.D.).

The Sanborn County Food Pantry/Feeding South Dakota food giveaways will begin again on Wednesday, Sept. 6, at 5 p.m. at the Woonsocket Community Center.
After taking the summer off due to busy schedules, the committee decided to again provide the giveaways to Sanborn County residents throughout the fall and winter. There are no restrictions or requirements to meet in order to receive the food that is provided by Feeding South Dakota, which is an independent, non-profit organization whose main objective is to eliminate hunger in South Dakota.
The cost to Sanborn County is approximately eight cents per pound of food to get it shipped here, and all the food is donated by large corporations, such as Walmart and Smithfield Foods. The committee accepts financial donations to help defray the expense of shipping.
Volunteers are always needed on giveaway days. If you would like to participate, come to the Community Center at 3:30 p.m. to help unload the food, or come before 5 p.m. to help distribute the food or carry boxes for recipients.

PIERRE – The South Dakota Transportation Commission awarded 26 Preliminary Engineering Bridge Improvement Grants (BIG) totaling approximately $1 million at their meeting recently in Pierre.
The remaining $8 million in BIG funds will be used for Preservation, Rehabilitation and Replacement grants to be approved by next April.
Grant recipients are: Aurora County, Beadle County (3), Butte County (2), Clark County (2), Day County (2), Fall River County, Jackson County, Keystone (2), McCook County, Meade County (5), Miner County, Moody County, Sanborn County, Sully County and Tripp County (2).
Fifty-two applications totaling $1.85 million were received by the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT). Three cities submitted five applications and 24 counties submitted a total of 47 applications.
Local governments are required to pay a minimum of 20 percent matching funds and have three years to expend the grant. Counties must have a wheel tax and a five-year Highway and Bridge Improvement Plan in order to receive a grant.
The BIG program was created in 2015 by Senate Bill 1. SB 1 set aside $7 million per year from funds generated by license plate fees to be used to repair and replace aging local bridges. The SDDOT adds an additional $2 million annually, making $9 million available.
The next round of BIG program applications are due Jan. 2, 2018, for the Preservation, Rehabilitation and Replacement categories. Applications are available online at: http://sddot.com/business/local/big/Default.aspx