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South Dakota

South Dakota’s regional development organizations (known locally as councils of government (COGs) or planning and development districts (PDDs)) do not have a formal transportation planning role and do not function under contract to the state to perform planning-related tasks.  However, four of these regional groups are under contract with the state DOT to perform road data inventories.  This includes collecting road centerline locations, point locations representing a variety of rural and urban points of cultural significance, and database information for the 66 counties of South Dakota. These entities also perform map and database edits to global positioning system (GPS) data, which must be approved by the state.

While not tasked with a formal planning role that similar regional entities have in some other states, South Dakota’s regional development organizations do serve in an informal intermediary capacity to promote communication between state and local agencies and to help local governments propose alternative maintenance agreements for stretches of roadway.

Individual regional organizations have been active in rural transportation issues in other ways.  For example, Planning and Development District III (District III), located in Yankton, has provided administrative support and completed financial records for the Mitchell to Rapid City Regional Rail Authority, a quasi-governmental entity that is spurring new private investment in the region.  Additionally, District III staff and local government members meet with state DOT staff to review the STIP.  District III staff also communicate regularly with the state DOT to discuss local and regional projects.[1]

For the past three years, the planning districts have also engaged with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and other partners on the County Site Analysis Program which uses GIS to analyze potential development sites using criteria including transportation networks and other infrastructure considerations.  PDDs are also partners in the state’s Certified Ready Sites Program which uses GIS and other tools to research and document the status of properties under consideration for development, including analyzing transportation infrastructure and needs.[2]

[1] Personal communication with Greg Henderson, Planning and Development District III, 2011

[2] Personal communication with Greg Henderson, Planning and Development District III, May 2016

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