Keystone to look for grant dollars

By Jeff Smith


Keystone is facing a shortfall in improvements to the phase I of sewer plant improvements and an improvement on a well.

Altogether, the total cost package for the project is around $893,000.

$98,000 from a consolidated water facilities construction program is already gone. The sewer project loan of $431,000 might rise based on the cost of liner that Vanessa Row, finance officer, was still waiting on. A Community Development Block Grant of about  $364,000 is the third component.

Keystone’s engineer estimated that there would be a cost of $160,000 shortfall but Row thought it would be around $180,000.

Black Hills Council of Local Government had suggested to have the town board president authorize to request $180,000  through the CDBG grant with the city matching half through the CDBG grant.

Row said that if they don’t get the grant dollars they will have to come up with it. They still have some reserve funds to use for the projects.

The Keystone town approved the amendment of the CDBG grant to not exceed $180,000.

Row said that the sewer plant is currently being worked on and as time goes on there are going to be more problems that come up.

Sandi McLain, president of the town board, said Keystone is the only community in the area that doesn’t have an economic development committee or board.

“Basically there was a message that came across the chamber website that was asking Temple (Estrada) about an economic development summit,” McLain said.

“This was the first time that the southern Hills has gotten together to talk about all that they’re doing in their committees.”

McLain said it was interesting and the people in charge of the program talked about monies the economic development committees can get from the state.

Keystone Chamber of Commerce executive director Temple Estrada and McLain met with someone to discuss being a part of the Southern Hills Economic Development group.

McLain said there are strengths in the community, especially with all of the people that have moved into the community recently. 

McLain talked about working on drawing people into the town for conventions. Keystone might not be able to have large conventions but they can have smaller ones and use a variety of locations in town.

McLain said it is about taking what Keystone has and utilizing it to draw in additional business.

Keystone would also like to draw people there that can provide services like medical care and banking.

“That is what the tourists are asking to provide and we have to send them out of town,” McLain said.

McLain said that there will be a committee set up to talk about economic development.

“What we need to do is put our heads together as a community because maybe we can reach some of those people,” McLain said.

Keystone has finalized the ordinance regulating private sewer systems within the Town of Keystone. There are three requirements citizens have to do before the commencement of a private wastewater disposal system and the system shall not be operational until the installation is complete to the satisfaction of the Town of Keystone.

The ordinance also states that the Town of Keystone is allowed to inspect the work for the wastewater disposal system at any stage of construction.

There was also a resolution passed for Interstate Engineering to inspect the bridges in Keystone. This is something that happens annually. South Dakota  Department of Transportation will hire the company to do the inspections and then Keystone will have to pay 20 percent of the bill.