SEDC Update July 2018

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JULY, 2018


New SEDC board member.

Jeff Dragseth, General Manager of CBH Cooperative, regretfully resigned his SEDC board position in May. Since CBH acquired the Gillette, WY operation in May, Jeff has needed to focus on merging and structuring the organizations. According to SEDC bylaws, the SEDC board can appoint someone to fill a vacancy until the next Annual Meeting of Members. Karen Simmons, CPA, has accepted this board appointment. Please join us in welcoming Karen to the SEDC board. Sturgis MotoCruzin USA is expanding. They have leased the 9,600 sq. ft. SEDC spec building in the Sturgis Industrial Park. The building is being completed to their specifications and will be ready within 8-10 weeks. Sturgis MotoCruzin USA was formed in August 2016 as a licensed manufacturer, marketer and distributor of Motopeds and have since continued to expand their product offerings. For the last two years, they have been leasing the rear portion of the Samson Exhaust building in the Sturgis Industrial Park.

Construction numbers as of June 30.

Sturgis and Meade County new construction permits continue in growth mode. In Sturgis, the value of new commercial construction is already double that of all
2017. The City’s total value of all new permits YTD is $10.2M, compared to $10.4M for all 2017. Meade County issued 133 building permits (the same number as last YTD), totaling $10.9M. This is on track to exceed 2017’s total of $20.1M.

Wildflower Townhomes

will host a community ribbon cutting and open house on Tuesday, September 25, 4:00 – 6:00 pm. Food and beverages will be served. Please join in welcoming developer/owners Tim and Peggy Heuston to Sturgis. Wildflower Townhomes is located at the corner of Fulton and Boulevard Streets.

SEDC executive director search.

The SEDC Personnel Committee is reviewing the applicants and starting the interview process. Our goal is to have the new director hired and on staff no later than October 1. This would allow at least a 3-month transition period for Pat to train with the new director.

Main Street sculpture and benches.


On June 27th, the Downtown Sturgis Foundation unveiled the latest permanent sculpture to adorn Sturgis Main Street. This life-size bronze statue depicts champion hill climber and dirt bike racer Joe Petrali on his 1-mile, 136.183 mph record-setting run at Daytona in 1937. The statue was strategically placed in the bump-out in front of Wells Fargo Bank welcoming everyone to Legendary Main Street. The inscriptions on the granite base recognize individuals and organizations involved in its placement.

Along with permanent artwork, the new Sturgis Main Street will include benches with matching trash receptacles. With a tax deductible donation to the Downtown Sturgis Foundation, residents, organizations, businesses, etc. can purchase a bench with a personalized bronze plaque. The first five benches are ordered and will be installed this fall. SEDC financially contributed to both the bronze sculpture and a Main Street bench, and encourages others to also participate in this exciting downtown revitalization project.

Pat Kurtenbach, SEDC President

SEDC is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

SEDC President to Retire; Position Posted Here

STURGIS (6.8.2018) —At the annual board retreat of the Sturgis Economic Development Corp, SEDC President Pat Kurtenbach announced her plans to retire at the end of 2018. Kurtenbach has been at the helm of SEDC since 2010. The SEDC Board will begin a nationwide search this month for her replacement.

While Kurtenbach is looking forward to a slower pace, she plans to stay active in development and community activities.  Kurtenbach states, “One thing that has been apparent to me over the past eight years is the deep sense of community pride. With the help of many organizations and individuals, SEDC has been able to make significant contributions. I want to continue to be a part of that positive growth for our future.”

To apply, or for more information, click  Executive Director Job Description or contact

Paul Bisson, SEDC Board Chair



Sturgis reaping the fruits of their labor

STURGIS (4.10.2018) — Ten years ago, residents of Sturgis, business owners and city officials gathered at a town-hall meeting to talk about a plan for their community’s future. Sturgis Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) President Pat Kurtenbach remembers that as a watershed moment for Sturgis.

The Future Sturgis Initiative, funded in part by SEDC, defined a grass-roots movement charged with identifying areas of improvement to enhance Sturgis’ live-ability index. Its recommendations were incorporated into the Sturgis Comprehensive Plan and today form the platform for many of the city’s business- and growth-friendly decisions.

Speaking at SEDC’s annual board meeting Tuesday, Kurtenbach said many of those in attendance were involved in the Future Sturgis Initiative. “It’s hard to believe that it has only been 10 years and to look at the changes that have happened in that time is incredible,” she said.

At the time of the town-hall meeting, residents said they wanted more and better amenities for their community. “Those listening session turned into action. That action led to change, and the change led to where we are today. I see us as a pacesetter,” she said.

Kurtenbach said she recently visited Hot Springs at their economic development annual meeting when a speaker made reference to the Future Sturgis Initiative.

“They are going through a Future Sturgis at the moment,” she said. “They are trying to identify who they want to be when they grow up. They know about what steps we have taken over the past 10 years.”

People in the region look to what has happened in Sturgis as an example of what can happen economically when a community does strategic planning and forges partnerships, Kurtenbach said.

Scott Stern, the commissioner of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, agreed and said Sturgis has been a shining example of a community that controlled its own destiny.

He also lauded the efforts of Kurtenbach for the community’s economic development success.

“You guys don’t know what a gem you have,” he said. “She works tirelessly not just for your community, but she has worked very hard to make this state a better place.”

Stern said it requires very vigorous and strategic activity to succeed in economic development. “Economic development does not happen on its own. It just doesn’t show up someday,” said Stern, the keynote speaker at Tuesday’s meeting.

At the state level, the GOED office has doubled its community development representation in the past year. “We felt it was very important to be more closely connected with our communities,” Stern said. “If we don’t understand what is going on in a community we can’t help them and vice versa.” And it’s that collaboration that is key to success in economic development in South Dakota, Stern said.

Reprinted courtesy of Deb Holland, Black Hills Pioneer

Students learn from reverse career day

STURGIS (3/27/2018)— Now in its sixth year, the reverse career day is a chance for Sturgis Brown High School students to learn first-hand about modern manufacturing processes. The program takes place at the Sturgis Industrial Park, which hosts several businesses that depend on machinists. Following the first reverse career day, the Meade School District realized there was a need for skilled machinists. Chad Hedderman, who at the time was the SBHS welding teacher and now is assistant principal at SBHS, said that every business they visited that first year had a computer operated mill or lathe-making parts. “They told us they couldn’t find workers to run them, even though the starting wage was $20-25 per hour,” he said.

The school district applied for and received a $90,000 economic development grant and also an additional $100,000 grant from the state through its Future Fund to purchase equipment. The Sturgis Economic Development Corporation also received a $99,999 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development that helped with the construction costs associated with building a facility in the industrial park. It now houses the high school machining class.

This year, 30 students, five faculty, and two school board members participated in the reverse career day. They learned about the machining process including software programming, CNC programming, and product development. Participants also learned about the coursework required for entry-level success, aptitude, and skill sets necessary to be successful.

Bar-Sto Precision Machine was one of the businesses on the tour, which owner Irv Stone brought to Sturgis eight years ago. The family-owned and operated business manufacturers pistol barrels and also does custom gun building. “We strive to provide the very best and most consistent product on the market,” he told the students.

Stone whole-heartedly supports the reverse career day program and has hired three Sturgis Brown High School students who have come through the machining program. “The benefit of this program is we get to keep the kids here where they can start their career, maybe raise a family, and stay local,” Stone said.

Sturgis Economic Development Corporation President Pat Kurtenbach refers to that practice as “growing our own.” “Here in the industrial park, we are able to train our own future workforce in basic machine tool technology to get them a faster start into the workforce once they graduate from high school,” Kurtenbach said. She said metal-related manufacturing is a large part of Sturgis’s industrial sector and is a huge contributor to the local economy each year.

Student Danae Woods said she was interested in manufacturing because although she wants to be a teacher, she plans to do welding in the summer months. Student Samantha Reicher said machining is part of her family’s heritage. “My dad has been building guns since he was little. I think it’s cool. I find it interesting,” she said.

Reprint courtesy of Deb Holland, Black Hills Pioneer 

Sturgis Touts Development Opportunities

STURGIS (3.2.2018) — No pompoms or hometown pennants were waved, but a gathering to promote economic opportunities in Sturgis Tuesday had the feel of an old-time pep rally.

City Manager Daniel Ainslie and Sturgis Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) Director Pat Kurtenbach served as cheerleaders, giving an overview of past development successes and opportunities ripe for the picking.

“We’re getting the word out to let people know what we need,” Kurtenbach said. “It also helps people to understand where we have been and where we are headed.”

After the results of a housing study back in 2014 showed the need for all types of housing in Sturgis, the city and SEDC sought out developers to come build homes. “We had three developers come in who have added $35 million in construction following that,” Kurtenbach said.

Invites for Tuesday’s event were sent to contractors who are registered in Meade County as well as to larger construction contractors from Spearfish and Rapid City. Kurtenbach said she was pleased with the turnout and hopes it will result in some follow-up calls from contractors.

“Until we sit down at the table and talk to developers about what their plans are and what we are able to offer them, we won’t know what’s possible,” she said.

The meeting was a way of putting the hook in the water, Kurtenbach said. “It was our way of saying, ‘Take a look at us,’” she said.

Among those in attendance were Bradley Kurtz, president of Dean Kurtz Construction of Rapid City, along with Stephen Burgess, the company’s vice president of operations. Kurtz said he found the information presented valuable. “It’s a little bit surprising at how aggressive they are getting, including providing incentives to get things going here,” he said.

Sturgis currently has about 240 acres of varying sized properties available for sale for both commercial and residential development, Ainslie said. Some measure only a quarter acre on land adjacent Junction Avenue to 30 acres on either side Lazelle Street near Interstate 90’s Exit 30.

Among incentives offered to developers is Meade County’s 100 percent, five-year property tax abatement on commercial construction and on four-plex and larger housing. Ainslie said the city also works to expedite its permitting process for developers along with offering tax increment finance districts.

“If you have specifics for a project, especially commercial, we would be happy to look at how we can assist you,” Ainslie said. “We don’t just have a package that we provide everyone. We want to meet with you to see what your needs are and how we might be able to fulfill those.”

For a copy of the complete presentation and available properties, click here.

Reprint courtesy of Deb Holland, BH Pioneer

Rushmore Region Economic Development Alliance Plans Workshops


RAPID CITY (3.5.2018) | Elected officials, local leaders and economic development professionals will gather in two Black Hills towns April 4-5, to learn more about attracting new businesses to their communities.

Hosted by the Rushmore Region Economic Development Alliance, the workshops titled, “Preparing Today for Tomorrow’s Growth,” will allow elected officials, local community leaders, and economic developers to gauge their preparedness to respond to businesses looking to relocate and to better understand what those businesses are seeking, said Rushmore Region Chair Pat Kurtenbach of Sturgis.

“We’re bringing in nationally recognized professional business consultant Janet Ady of Ady Advantage to provide an insider’s perspective in the site selection process,” Kurtenbach said. “This is an opportunity for all of our communities to grade ourselves, understand our capacities, and better position us to attract businesses to the Rushmore Region.”

The free half-day sessions are set for April 4 in Hot Springs and April 5 in Spearfish, Kurtenbach said. They will allow participants to gain an insider’s perspective of what businesses look for when they consider choosing a new location, understand site-selection mega-trends, explore special considerations for economic development in our region, and learn how to market to site selectors, she noted.

Ady Advantage, a Madison, Wis.-based economic development and marketing consulting firm, has worked with dozens of communities and companies throughout the U.S. to identify “best-practices” and help its clients position themselves for growth, Kurtenbach said. 

For more information, or to register, go online at

SEDC Newsletter

STURGIS, SD 11.30.2017


Please join the SEDC Board of Directors in welcoming Just for Looks and Richter’s Tire & Exhaust as new SEDC investors.


The SEDC Board of Directors thanks the Meade County Commissioners for re-affirming the County’s current discretionary formula. In place since 2010, it provides 5-year, 100% tax abatement on new commercial construction, including residential 4-plexes and larger. During nearly two hours of testimony on Nov. 8, the Commission heard directly from Scott Peterson Motors, Rasmussen Mechanical and Jake’s Garage about the importance of this economic incentive in their decision to expand or relocate in Meade County. Others such as Indian Motorcycle Sturgis, Landsport, Belle Joli and Sierra Vista sent letters of support outlining the significance of the program to their business. SEDC, officials from the cities of Sturgis and Summerset, and the Meade County Equalization Office also addressed the Commission. This discretionary formula is an important tool for us to have in our economic development toolbox and the County is an important partner. Thank you!


Another important Thank You goes out to all community volunteers  – individuals and businesses – who supported the fund drive to purchase holiday decorations for the new Sturgis Main Street. Through the “Christmas in July” campaign during Music on Main and August’s Community Picnic, the Downtown Sturgis Foundation was able to outfit over 30 street lights with traditional garland, wreaths and sparkling lights. Special thanks to Black Hills Energy and the City of Sturgis for their generous contributions and excellent installation.

The City of Sturgis and the Downtown Sturgis Foundation are working on projects that will continue to improve the Main Street corridor. In 2018, events at the H-D Plaza should be more comfortable with the addition of shade panels. The first in a series of permanent public artwork will be installed in front of Wells Fargo Bank.


SEDC continues to work the retail prospects we met through Buxton during the retail trade show in May. As recently as October, the City and SEDC hosted site tours with national retail affiliates. Courting national retailers can be a long process. For example, Dollar General first toured Sturgis in 2012. They opened on Lazelle in 2017, a full five years later.

Maverik removed their “Opening 2018” sign from their Junction Ave/Anna St. lot. They notified the City they would not be proceeding with new construction at this time, intending to slow the current growth of new store openings.  



SEDC welcomes The Moving Guys to the incubator building at 1110 Industry Road. Owner Chad Moyers and his 6-person crew moved in in October. The 3,360 sq. ft. unit gives Chad the ability to consolidate his office and various storage areas into one. He can now grow his retail business to include all types of moving supplies, such as boxes, tape, packing products, etc. For large or small, local or long haul moves, contact The Moving Guys at (605) 877-2258. 

A new 9,600 sq. ft. spec building in the Sturgis Industrial Park is ready to be finished for a tenant or owner. With the foundation, roof and walls in place, the rest can be customized for any type of manufacturing application. Contact SEDC for more info.


Dolan Creek Estates’ Phase I is nearly sold out, with less than five houses and five lots available. Phase II infrastructure is now complete and four houses are already under construction. Dolan Creek member Brad Hammerbeck says these 58 new lots will offer    more diversity and views. Local developers are encouraged. For more info, contact Brad at  381-4577 or

Sierra Vista on Ball Park Road in Sturgis has a nice selection of apartments available: 

  • 2 bed / 1 bath
  • 2 bed / 2 bath
  • 3 bed / 1 bath
  • 4 bed / 2 bath  

Sierra Vista is a great low maintenance, economical housing option. The landlord pays for water, sewer and garbage. Snow removal and lawn care are also included. Tenants don’t need to worry about maintenance and repairs, just call the landlord. The units are quiet, comfortable, and new! They also offer great views with easy access to I-90. Contact Help-U-Rent at 722-7368 or click

Wildflower Townhomes. Plans on this 12-unit, ground level residential development are being finalized and groundbreaking should start very soon, depending on the weather. Located on the site of the former Francis Case elementary school, the project will include three 4-unit townhomes, each with 2-bedrooms, a 1-car attached garage and off-street parking for two vehicles. Available as lease only, tenants will enjoy carefree living with maintenance such as lawn care and snow removal included in the lease. For more info, or to get on the waiting list, contact SEDC or owners Tim & Peggy Heuston at 361-563-2522,


Congratulations to the Jackson family and Belle Joli Winery for their role in christening the USS South Dakota submarine. Their 2013 Estate Reserve, bottled and processed at their Belle Joli Sparkling Wine House in Sturgis, was chosen for the christening ceremony. This honor comes only three years after opening their Sturgis production facility, the first such operation in the state. Belle Joli’s sparkling wine is a 100% South Dakota-made product using grapes grown in their Belle Fourche vineyard and made in Sturgis using champagne methods. The USS South Dakota is an attack submarine and the first underwater vessel to bear the state’s name.

Congratulations to Jamey and Amber Nehring, owners of Renatus Woodworks, on their recent selection as a 2018 Dakota Rising Fellow. This $10,000 grant award will allow the Nehrings to continue to invest in their business and personal growth. Renatus uses reclaimed materials like barn wood to create furniture, decor items and picture frames. They also do furniture upholstery, fence and deck staining, new construction and remodel work. Visit Renatus’ showroom at 708 Main Street, Sturgis or or

About Dakota Rising: Dakota Rising is a free 3-year entrepreneurial development program designed to provide rural start-ups with tools, resources and connections to help them reach their greatest potential. In return, the Fellows use that potential to impact rural economic and community development.

Other recent local Dakota Rising Fellows are:  Chad Gollnick/Iron Outfitter (Black Hawk) and Jenni Tucker/Help-U-Rent (Sturgis).

For more info, visit