- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A $27.3 million agreement that transfers about 10 acres of rail yard in downtown Sioux Falls to the city for redevelopment purposes is now in place after 10 years of waiting.

The agreement was signed Monday by Mayor Mike Huether and BNSF Railway executive Roger Nober at a public ceremony at the rail yard, Argus Leader (https://argusne.ws/1NKnmUK ) reported. The deal was announced in July.

Negotiations for the city to buy the land from BNSF were in the works for more than a decade. The agreement uses mostly federal funding that was secured by South Dakota’s delegation in 2005.

“When the funding was secured in 2005, no one expected it would take an additional 10 years before the wheels would be put into motion to develop this land,” Huether said. “Securing these dollars was not easy. The project since then has been no less difficult. That is probably the way it should be.”

He said “dogged allies” in the state’s delegation and from the BNSF Railway ultimately were able to find a solution in the combination of city and federal funding.

“We tip our hat to Sioux Falls for being able to make it happen and as a 128-year community partner here we’re just glad to be a part of it,” Nober said.

U.S. Sen John Thune, who was involved in securing federal funding for the project, spoke at the ceremony on Monday and said the deal will benefit the city of Sioux Falls and its residents.

“This is the day when the city’s past meets its future,” Thune said. “When it’s all said and done, these 10 acres that are going to be transferred today are going to lead to somewhere around $100 million in downtown development.”

A majority of the rail yard will be removed for redevelopment.


Information from: Argus Leader, https://www.argusleader.com

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