Lincoln County leader talks growth, priorities

May 18, 2018

This piece is presented by the Lincoln County Economic Development Association.

Lincoln County has long been one of the fastest-growing counties in the region and even the nation.

Balancing the resulting needs is the task for county commissioners.

We caught up with Dave Gillespie, chairman of the Lincoln County Commission, for his perspective on opportunities and challenges facing the county.

How would you describe the overall economic health of Lincoln County, both the positives and challenges?

I feel we are fine at this time with the growth that we have had over the past few years; however, with growth comes challenges such as more crime. Our budget reserve seems to be fine at this time but does experience pressure from time to time. The growth of Sioux Falls is a driving force for us, along with the ag economy.

There are many residents of Lincoln County who live in the Sioux Falls city limits and find the county offices of Minnehaha County would be convenient for them. How is Lincoln County working on ways to be more accessible to these residents?

Well, we have a few options for them at this time. You can do some business online, of course, so visit lincolncountysd.org. We have kiosks at two locations in Sioux Falls: one at Hy-Vee at 49th Street and Louise Avenue and one at the Get-n-Go across from Walmart on Arrowhead Parkway. These machines will renew your vehicle registration and pay your taxes without the need to drive to Canton. This also can be done through the mail. At this time, there are no plans to run a second office in Sioux Falls, but that has been discussed.

What are some of the most common themes you are hearing from constituents in communities outside of Sioux Falls, and how are you addressing them?

One of the biggest things I hear is the drainage issues from the smaller communities in the southern part of the county. At this time, we have an engineering firm working on those things. We do try and keep our roads in good shape as we can. As more people move south, we are seeing increased traffic flow and some pressure on our livestock people in locating operations.

What are some of the priorities on the commission’s agenda for the rest of the year?

We will be doing budgets for 2019 in the upcoming months, doing road and bridge projects and, of course, addressing drainage issues as they come about.

If residents of Lincoln County want to become more involved in their county, are there some ways they can do that?

Everyone is always welcome to talk to our department heads or any of the elected officials. There is always an open door at any of the commission meetings as far as opportunity for public comment, or you can request to have your thought or idea placed on the commission agenda. For more information, take a look at lincolncountysd.org.

Lincoln County leader talks growth, priorities

We caught up with Dave Gillespie, chairman of the Lincoln County Commission, for his perspective on opportunities and challenges facing the county.

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