Spruce Up program is moving west

Spruce Up program is moving west The state-contracted excavator with Gov. Bill Janklow's Spruce Up South Dakota project is moving to western South Dakota and is scheduled to begin demolishing old, dilapidated buildings in Gregory County by the second week of September. From Gregory County, it is scheduled to move to Tripp, Lyman, Jones, then Haakon County.

Through August, statewide Spruce Up efforts have removed nearly 2,600 buildings.

"We need counties and communities to be prepared for us before we move into an area, so we can keep the excavator moving," said Janklow. "Because of the overwhelming response to the Spruce Up project, we cannot afford to have the excavator sit idle."

Property owners must turn in signed permission slips to their community's mayor or West River Spruce Up Coordinator Ellen Killey before the excavator moves into their area. Permission slips can be obtained from mayors or town presidents. Without permission slips signed by the owner, the state will not touch a building and will move on to the next site.

"There is no looking back," said Janklow. "Once we have moved on from a county, we will not be back. It is imperative that property owners who want buildings removed under this project contact us now."

The building removal phase of Spruce Up South Dakota is an option for property owners to consider to get rid of old, abandoned buildings and help clean up their community and surrounding area. The state excavator, for example, removed 66 buildings in Mobridge alone under this phase of the Spruce Up South Dakota project.

In addition to the signed permission slip from the owner, buildings targeted for removal using state resources must have all water, natural gas, and electricity disconnected. Trees and other items that prohibit the excavator from easily accessing the building should also be removed.

The property owner is responsible for disposing of the demolished building.

The highest priorities under the building removal phase of Spruce Up are buildings in small communities and along the major highways. As time permits, the excavator will be used to remove rural dilapidated buildings that cannot be burned down.

"We need counties and local volunteers to remove as many old, abandoned buildings in their area as they can," said Janklow, "so the state can concentrate its efforts in our top two priority areas � small communities and along major highways."

In addition to dilapidated buildings, the Spruce Up South Dakota project has collected and disposed of more than 4.1 million waste tires; removed or investigated 3,485 abandoned underground petroleum storage tanks and recovered 642,000 gallons of contaminated water and petroleum products from 2,489 sites; collected and recycled 81,550 tons of old washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves, and other metals; crushed and recycled 5,685 vehicles; collected and disposed of 30.4 tons of pesticides; and collected and recycled 138,085 empty pesticide containers.

For more information on Spruce Up South Dakota, visit spruceupsd.com.

To sign up to have one or more buildings removed from their property, building owners should contact your community's mayor, town president, or Ellen Killey toll free at 530-5649.

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