Rhoden visits EDC dinner

Gray Hughes

On April 22, the Hill City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) held its annual dinner at Mangiamo.

This year, there was a special guest who spoke at the event: South Dakota Lieutenant Gov. Larry Rhoden.

“I think it is always encouraging to get out into South Dakota and see the people like the (EDC) meeting and how enthusiastic they are,” he said after addressing those assembled at the meeting.

Rhoden said even in the light of losing the Rushmore Forest Products Sawmill just outside of Hill City (with a lot of conversation that night centered around the closure), the EDC was looking beyond that and how it can benefit the community.

Rhoden said he is encouraged by the economy in South Dakota, where, he said, the economy is thriving.

“We have the lowest unemployment in the nation, we have the biggest growth in our economy out of anyone in the nation,” he said.

There are a lot of positive things happening in South Dakota, he added, especially in smaller communities such as Hill City.

Rhoden pointed to the investment the state has made in rural broadband for areas such as Hill City — an investment Rhoden described as “huge.”

These developments can make small town South Dakota compete on a global stage and will allow people to open small businesses right in their living rooms.

“Small communities have huge potential, especially in western South Dakota where it’s so sparsely populated,” he said. “So I think there is so much to be excited about here in South Dakota. You see some of that excitement kind of swimming through the people involved in the (EDC).”

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