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Flandreau council approves loan for Ridgefield Farms here

BY CYNTHIA SHEPPARD With a roll call vote at their meeting Monday night, the Flandreau city council unanimously approved the $750,000 loan for Ridgefield Farms of South Dakota to move their offices to the city. The company will form a Task Force to raise the capital for a beef fabrication plant in the Industrial Park.

This loan will be secured by the city of Flandreau, transferred to the Flandreau Development Corporation and they, in turn, will loan the money to Ridgefield Farms. In approving the loan, the city aldermen were showing the company that the city is serious and moving forward with this project.

Prior to the vote, councilors commented on the good turnout for the meeting last week, indicating that the atmosphere seemed positive and enthusiastic. Councilor Chuck Tufty said, “I was glad for the large crowd and thank all those who came. I have had very positive feedback for moving ahead with this.”

Councilor Anna Duncan noted, “I had some doubts about the loan for this project, but the ideas expressed at the public meeting helped to quell them.”

Todd Foster, council member, addressed Ridgefield’s consultant Dennis Wiese, when he said, “We need the fabrication plant here. I urge you to push forward in getting this accomplished. I, too, have heard positive comments for the company coming here.”

Following the vote to move ahead with the project, Wiese told the council that “we understand the genuine concerns you have. It is incumbent on Ridgefield Farms to hold true to our proposal. We recognize that this is a huge chunk of money and RFSD appreciates the city’s help. We are very eager to develop this Task Force to make this happen. On behalf of Ridgefield Farms, we express our gratitude, we thank you and we look forward to working with you.”

RFSD are moving their offices into the Business Park at West End Plaza. They are selling beef here in town and also are beginning to buy cattle. Anyone with questions or interest in buying or selling should contact Wiese at 864-3796.

In other business at Monday’s meeting, the council appointed Karen Snow and Darlene Heinricy to the Park Board and approved Chris Neises as a Flandreau volunteer fireman. They made and passed a motion to refinance the electric revenue bonds with Dougherty and Company.

After a discussion on cage fighting in Sioux Falls and the potential for it to move here, the council approved creating an ordinance for the city that would ban it in the city limits. The council decided to lease the cemetery land on a year-by-year basis.

A portion of the evening’s meeting was spent discussing potential housing developments within the city. Finance officer Ron Smith will seek a proposal from engineers on what necessary improvements would be needed to develop some of the city land for housing.