Six Heartland customers make upgrades, receive grants

March was a busy month for energy efficiency projects in Heartland customer communities.  Heartland awarded six energy efficiency grants to utilities for making street lighting upgrades and installing new meters.

Miller, SD began a street lighting project upgrading 40 lights from high pressure sodium to LED.  With annual energy savings expected at 14,510 kWh and a simple payback period of less than five years, Miller was awarded a grant of $4,200.

Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland, second from left, presents an energy efficiency grant to Miller Electric Superintendent Bill Lewellen, Mayor Ron Blachford and Finance Officer Sheila Coss.

Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland, second from left, presents an energy efficiency grant to Miller Electric Superintendent Bill Lewellen, Mayor Ron Blachford and Finance Officer Sheila Coss.


Bryant, SD received a grant for $5,000 as they recently started upgrading street lights throughout the city, replacing 45 mercury vapor lights and six high pressure sodium lights with LEDs.  The project is a viable one for the city with savings estimated at 29,842 kWh per year and a simple payback of three years.

Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland, center, presents an energy efficiency grant to Bryant Electric Superintendent Garry Ladwig and Mayor Albert Yalowizer.

Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland, center, presents an energy efficiency grant to Bryant Electric Superintendent Garry Ladwig and Mayor Albert Yalowizer.


Madelia, MN started the second phase of their street lighting upgrade this year, replacing 60 high pressure sodium fixtures with LEDs and receiving a grant of $5,000. Annual energy savings are expected at just over 36,000 kWh and the project is expected to pay for itself in energy savings in just over four years.

Heartland Communications Manager presents an energy efficiency grant to Madelia Municipal Light & Power General Manager Jim Maras.

Heartland Communications Manager presents an energy efficiency grant to Madelia Municipal Light & Power General Manager Jim Maras.


High pressure sodium street lights along the highway in Volga, SD are being upgraded to LED.  The city was awarded a grant for $2,800 for replacing 18 fixtures for expected annual savings of 11,245 kWh and a simple payback period of just under five years.

Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland presents an energy efficiency grant to Volga City Administrator Andrew Bremseth.

Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland presents an energy efficiency grant to Volga City Administrator Andrew Bremseth.


Sixty street lights are being replaced in Sioux Falls, SD for expected savings of just over 48,000 kWh annually.  High pressure sodium lights in different sections of the city will be upgraded to LED and the project will see a simple payback of less than five years.  The city was awarded a grant from Heartland for $5,000.

Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland presents an energy efficiency grant to Sioux Falls Light & Power Superintendent Jerry Jongeling and Sustainability Coordinator Jessica Lantgen.

Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland presents an energy efficiency grant to Sioux Falls Light & Power Superintendent Jerry Jongeling and Sustainability Coordinator Jessica Lantgen.


Truman, MN was awarded an energy efficiency grant of $5,000 for two separate projects.  The city is upgrading 30 high pressure sodium street lights with LEDs for expected annual savings of 22,000 kWh and the project will pay for itself in savings in less than two and a half years.  Truman is also upgrading a portion of the city’s electric meters with an AMR system.

Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland, second from left, presents an energy efficiency grant to Truman Commission Chair Brad Nickerson, Public Utilities Foreman Justin Anderson and Public Utilities Office Manager Judi Davis.

Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland, second from left, presents an energy efficiency grant to Truman Commission Chair Brad Nickerson, Public Utilities Foreman Justin Anderson and Public Utilities Office Manager Judi Davis.


Heartland awards energy efficiency grants to customers for projects that improve efficiencies within the city. For more information contact Heartland Communications Manager Ann Hyland at 605-256-6536 or visit www.youcanpowerforward.com.

Sioux Falls’ workforce development program invests in people and strengthens workforce

The City of Sioux Falls has launched a Workforce Development Pilot Program to support and explore activities to drive workforce growth and development within the community. The pilot program will provide funding to local entities that are well-positioned to address workforce development and recruitment in Sioux Falls. Interested organizations and businesses can now apply for funding through the program. Application information is available on the City of Sioux Falls website or by contacting the Community Development Department at (605) 367-8180.

As part of the 2015 budget approval process, the City Council included $500,000 to support workforce development efforts within the community. The Community Development Department met with more than 20 community workforce development stakeholders in the fall of 2014 to gauge areas of need and to hear about program ideas to address those need areas. Many businesses, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions provided valuable insight into potential workforce development opportunities. Four primary areas of focus for the program have been identified:

  • Strategic planning and implementation
  • Attracting and recruiting new employees
  • Training and re-employment
  • Educational partnerships

alt_logo1The program will be available to any business, organization, or entity with operations in Sioux Falls. The maximum award amount for a single proposal is $100,000. The minimum award amount is $2,000. Matching funds are not required; however, availability of matching resources, financial or in-kind, may be a factor in the City’s determination of awards.

Applications will be reviewed by a committee of City staff members. There is no application deadline, but rather, applications will be considered as they are received, and evaluated on their merits. The City anticipates making its first awards prior to March 1, 2015. It is expected that any awarded funds would be used exclusively for activities occurring in the 2015 calendar year.

For more information on the program, please visit www.siouxfalls.org/workforce, or call the City’s Community Development Department at 605-367-8180.

For more coverage on the story, click HERE.

Communities invited to celebrate 125 years of statehood

Gov. Dennis Daugaard is inviting communities to plan events to commemorate South Dakota’s 125th anniversary of statehood this year.
 
Gov. Daugaard explained, “Our state’s 125th birthday is a great opportunity for us to celebrate our state, understand our history and heritage, and do something good for future generations.”
 
Local committees are encouraged to plan celebration events, promote local history and perform community improvement projects. Participating communities will be eligible for special commemorative highway signs and help with planning and promoting their local efforts.
 
Statewide events, such as a special wagon train from Yankton to Pierre in September and the placement of stained glass back in the Capitol Building, are currently scheduled to commemorate the anniversary. Other celebration events are also being considered. 
 
During South Dakota’s Centennial of Statehood in 1989, towns held special events and raised money to restore old buildings, build or improve city parks, upgrade swimming pools and athletic fields, and rebuild local museums.
 
“Twenty-five years ago, the local events really made an impact,” Gov. Daugaard said. “Donating your time to start a 125th community project may really make a difference for your town and for future generations.”
 
Becoming a “Statehood Celebration Community” involves forming a local committee, filling out an application form and brainstorming local celebration, history and lasting legacy ideas. Information packets have been mailed to cities and local historical societies. For more information, visit http://125.sd.gov.

Community events have already been planned for Beresford, Brandon, Canton, Garretson, Java, Madison, Pickstown, Pierre, Sioux Falls, Watertown and Yankton. Madison will be hosting a Pioneer Birthday Bash from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Lake Herman State Park, while Sioux Falls is hosting a juried art exhibit and sale of original works of art by current and past residents of South Dakota at the Center for Western Studies at Augustana College. For more event information, visit http://125.sd.gov/CommunityEvents.

SD 125-1

Sioux Falls dubbed America’s Next Boom Town

Flurry of National Recognition Places Great Plains City on the Map
 
Sioux Falls, S.D. – In a four-part series launched July 2nd, the National Journal asked if Sioux Falls was “America’s Next Boom Town,” citing thriving industry, consistently low unemployment—the current rate is 3.3 percent—and “few of the woes that plague larger urban areas” as key indicators.
Based on a flurry of third-party recognition for Sioux Falls in recent months, the answer appears to be “yes.” It began with POLICOM’s annual analysis of the nation’s strongest metro economies, which puts an emphasis on longer-term trends. The independent research firm ranked Sioux Falls ninth in the U.S. for the second consecutive year. Then came the National Journal’s series profiling the strong banking, healthcare and agricultural industries. That same week, CNBC ranked South Dakota the No. 1 State for Business (Sioux Falls is the largest city in the state and a significant contributor to the South Dakota economy). Most recently, two life sciences trade publications have touted the area’s emerging biomedical hub, with Chemical & Engineering News labeling it the “Dakota Dream.”
“It has been an incredible run of third-party validation for our community at the national level,” says Slater Barr, President of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. “Culturally, we tend to go about our business quietly in South Dakota, but I’ll be honest, it feels good. The accolades add validation that our approach to economic development is working.”
Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether (Amy Sullivan, National Journal)

Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether (Amy Sullivan, National Journal)

The Sioux Falls economy is supported by two private hospital systems— Avera Health and Sanford Health—engaging in hundreds of millions of dollars in research, from behavioral genetics and telemedicine to breast cancer and Type I diabetes. The work has attracted renowned scientists and researchers from around the world. That, in turn, has given rise to several biomedical startups, some of which operate out of the South Dakota Technology Business Center.

The financial services industry is another surprise to outsiders. South Dakota is home to more bank assets, $2.5 trillion, than any other state in the U.S., with most of that housed in Sioux Falls. Large operations of Citibank, Wells Fargo, Capital One, First Premier, TCF Bank, and Great Western Bank employ more than 14,000 people from the community.
Author and demographer Joel Kotkin noted the region’s ascent in a late 2012 study titled, “Rise of the Great Plains.” According to Kotkin, the Great Plains—including stand-out cities like Sioux Falls—have collectively outpaced the rest of the U.S. in population, GDP and job growth, and net in-migration. It has helped that many of these cities have improved their “quality of life” amenities to appeal to a wide audience. In Sioux Falls, more than $155 million in recreational developments, including the $115 million Denny Sanford PREMIER Center and $19 million Sanford Pentagon, are currently under construction. Also reshaping the city’s downtown is the Sioux River Greenway Project, an $8 million revamp of the riverfront from heavy industrial usage to bicycle paths, pedestrian bridges, and an amphitheater.
For more information, visit www.siouxfallsdevelpment.com and www.siouxfalls.com.
Media Contact:
Cilia Kohn
303-477-1419
This press release appeared on www.siouxfallsdevelopment.com.