Water project needs federal funding - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Water project needs federal funding

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The 2nd Street Diner uses a lot of water. Potatoes must be cleaned, dishes too. Right now, the Madison business uses well water. But, it would like to tap into the Lewis and Clark Regional Water system.

"We need the federal government to own up to their promise and get that water to us here in Madison where we need it," said 2nd Street owner Shari Eliason.

Madison is one of nine communities that hasn't been able to use the LCRW.

"It's very, very frustrating. We've paid up front. We've asked the federal government and congressional delegation to help us find a solution and get this funding for the Lewis and Clark system," said Madison city engineer Chad Komes.

Water has stopped flowing to some of the LCRW consortium because the federal government slowed its funding to a trickle. That's despite cities and states already chipping in.

"The 20 cities and rural water systems in three states have pre paid 99.7 percent of their share of the project. That's over $153 million they paid on the promise that the federal government would come through on their share of the project," said Troy Larson LCRW's executive director.

Right now, LCRW needs between 190 and 200 million dollars to complete the project. Spokesmen from the project are currently in Washington lobbying to receive the funding. But, it could be decades before parts of our region can use the water system.

"The need for the water is there," said Red Arndt LCRW's chairman. "We just got to get the pipe in the ground to get it to them and without funding from the federal government that pipe will never get put in the ground."

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