PIERRE | The House State Affairs Committee gave its blessing Friday to bond issues totaling $4.5 million for the Game, Fish & Parks Department for improvements at two of South Dakota’s busiest outdoors spots.
GF&P wants to use $1.5 million for construction of a sewer system at Angostura Reservoir Recreation Area to replace drainage fields.
The other $3 million was added Friday. It would pay for the installation of pilings and other repairs along the Missouri River shoreline at Cedar Shore resort complex near Oacoma, where a slow landslide occurs each autumn as the water level is drawn down.
Doug Hofer, director for the state parks division, said the Cedar Shore work is being proposed now because there is a pending sale of the resort to the Regency Inns management group, whose other properties include the Custer State Park resorts.
The bonds in each case would be repaid without use of state tax revenue.
At Angostura, people who lease trailer sites would pay an extra $800 per space annually and park-user fees would cover the rest, Hofer said.
At Cedar Shore, Regency would take responsibility for the payments for the 25-year duration of the bond issue, he said.
HB1030 received the committee’s support 13-0 and goes to the full House of Representatives for consideration possibly as soon as Tuesday.
“I think it’s good to continue investing in our state,” Rep. David Novstrup, R-Aberdeen, said.
Hofer said Angostura is the fifth-busiest state park area in South Dakota’s system. Nearly all of the two trailer parks’ sewage drain fields weren’t functioning. The public restroom areas also use drain fields.
Of 86 trailer lots, 81 trailer owners submitted checks of $800 apiece in earnest money to pledge their support for the bond issue.
The $800 annual payments would be on top of the lease fees, which now are $950 annually per trailer.
The boat ramp and marina at Cedar Shore initially were built during the early 1990s as part of the development plan there. The hotel opened in 1995. In 2004, the community of Oacoma reached agreement with GFP to add a convention center.
Hofer said the shoreline instability was noted as early as 1997. Soil slips each fall as water in the reservoir recedes, causing cracks in the pavement and breaking sewer lines.
He said bank stabilization is recommended, using sheet piling driven into the bedrock 55 feet below the water’s surface.
The project is estimated to cost $4 million. Hofer said GFP expects a $1 million boating-safety grant from the U.S. Coast Guard.
“Without this project, frankly, the whole (facility) down there is in jeopardy,” Hofer told the legislators. He said revenue from the franchise fees has been used for improvements.
“This is just dedicating it to the highest priority that exists there,” Hofer said.
Rep. Jon Hansen, R-Dell Rapids, asked why Cedar Shore is coming up now. Hofer said it is because the sale is pending.
“Without that, there really wasn’t any reason to go forward with this legislation,” he said.
Cedar Shore Resort Inc. hasn’t filed an annual report with the South Dakota secretary of state since 2011. The company’s officers are president Edward Geddes of Oacoma, vice president Steve Mueller of Oacoma, secretary Steve Hansman of Sioux Falls and treasurer DeEtte Geddes of Oacoma.
The Regency group is part of U.S. Hotels and Resorts Management, GFP Secretary Jeff Vonk said.