PIERRE, S.D.(KCCR)-Some central South Dakota lawmakers are working to improve some vital railroad lines through the middle of the state. Senate Bill 93 would appropriate nearly six-million dollars for upgrading of the Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern main line between Fort Pierre in Stanley County and Midland in Haakon County.
District 24 Senator Mary Duvall is the prime sponsor of that bill. Duvall also heads the Senate Transportation Committee as Chair. Duvall says that rail system, which is the former Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern line has major implications for West River interests.
Section Three of the proposed legislation states any funds not used for the rail upgrades will be returned to state coffers. Bill also carries an emergency clause that would allow the money to be available immediately. The money would be taken from the general fund to the railroad trust fund to refurbish approximately 34 miles of track. The bill has 13 sponsors including District 24 Representative Mike Weisgram. It is set for its first hearing Wednesday in the Senate Transportation Committee.