Sturgis, SD – As part of SD Rep. Kristi Noem’s Listening Tour, Congresswoman Noem met with approximately 40 Sturgis and Meade County business leaders on June 20, 2011 to discuss economic development and job growth issues.
After presenting a PowerPoint overview of national economic development issues and the current debt status, the Congresswomen quickly moved to local business development topics, such as DUSEL funding, tourism/gas prices, alternative energy development, education system, and infrastructure maintenance and development.
In response to questions concerning the future funding and status of the DUSEL lab, Noem stated that although funding has been a priority for quite some time, there has only been enough secured for maintenance. “We’re very concerned for the underground lab and recognizing the impact that it has and making sure it is moving forward,” Noem said.
Pat Kurtenbach, President of the Sturgis Economic Development Corp. (SEDC), asked Noem about local infrastructure development and maintenance. Noem responded that the transportation bill would hopefully be re-activated, thus providing funding to fix deteriorating national infrastructure. “That is a funding concern, and the fact is that it’s deteriorating and we can’t keep it up and the funding just isn’t there,” Noem said.
Peter Pi, owner of CorBon, implored Noem to be vigilant in protecting the firearms industry and vote against legislation that restricts the right to bear arms. Firearms is a fast-growing industry in South Dakota, due in part to restrictions in other states.