Advocacy Update for 2013 Legislative Session

Advocacy Day at the South Dakota Capitol

It’s that time of year again, when our state senators and representatives make their way to Pierre for the official business of the legislature.  With the State Historic Preservation Office’s new report, “Economic Impacts of Historic Preservation in South Dakota,” soon to be released, now is a great time to build momentum and support among our legislators.  In 2013, PSD wants to raise awareness for several issues. 

  • Issue #1: Battle Mountain Sanitarium, Hot Springs. The Veterans Administration (VA) is proposing to close the Battle Mountain Sanitarium/Hot Springs VA and relocate the services to other locations yet to be determined. Closure of the facility may ultimately result in its abandonment and/or demolition. The Battle Mountain Sanitarium is one of South Dakota’s 16 National Historic Landmarks, and the services offered at the facility are vital to veterans in the Black Hills and surrounding areas.  Preserve South Dakota urges our supporters to contact our Congressional delegation to voice your support for keeping the Hot Springs VA services within the Battle Mountain Sanitarium.
  • Issue #2: Human Services Center, Yankton.  Good things are happening at the Human Services Center in Yankton – specifically, the lease and rehabilitation of the Mead Building by the Yankton County Historical Society for use as the Dakota Territorial Museum. This is great progress, and Preserve South Dakota encourages the State to consider more lease and rehabilitation projects such as this. However, Governor Daugaard has outlined a budget that includes $6 million to restore, weatherize, or demolish buildings at the HSC campus. PSD supports restoration and weatherization projects while urging the State to find alternatives to demolition. The HSC Advocacy Coalition recently published two case studies of similar facilities that have been renovated for new and continuing use. Read the case studies of the Eisenhower VA Medical Center Case Study – Kansas and the Willmar Campus Case Study – Minnesota to see how the HSC campus in Yankton can find new life and continue to have a positive impact on the City of Yankton.
  • Issue #3: Blood Run National Historic Landmark.  South Dakota’s Department of Game, Fish, and Parks is working on a master plan to develop the Blood Run National Historic Landmark in southeastern South Dakota into a state park. Such a park would protect the irreplaceable archaeological resources and Native American history at this site from development pressures from neighboring Sioux Falls. Governor Daugaard’s budget proposes funding for the creation of Blood Run State Park, and PSD supports this measure. 

For more information, click here for a PDF of the information we want to disseminate during 2013 Session.

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