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Cheyenne River Tribe wants to install toll booths to pay for damaged roads
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Cheyenne River Tribe wants to install toll booths to pay for damaged roads

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A washed-out road along the Moreau River on the Cheyenne River Reservation. 

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is hoping to install toll booths to fund improvements to flood-damaged roads rather than wait for the federal government to step up. 

“We need to take such action because of federal neglect in the infrastructure property they have initiated," Chairman Harold Frazier said in a news release Monday. "I have been all over Indian Country and realize that the federal government is not interested in helping anyone so we have to do it ourselves.”

The toll booths would be used to fund repairs after the tribe "experienced serious transportation infrastructure damage resulting from abnormal weather patterns creating record setting levels of flooding," the news release says. The money would also go to future repairs since a majority of the reservation's roads are "unimproved roads" vulnerable to weather events. 

The booths would be placed at entrances to the reservation on state and federal roads that are on reservation land, spokesman Remi Bald Eagle told the Journal. He said the tribe is studying how many vehicles pass through the reservation, what the toll price should be, and whether there would be any negative repercussions to installing the booths. 

Bald Eagle said he isn't aware of any other Native American reservation that has toll booths, but he doesn't see any legal reason why the tribe can't install them on their land. 

— Contact Arielle Zionts at arielle.zionts@rapidcityjournal.com

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