Plankinton among many towns to receive conservation grant

PLANKINTON, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - For rural communities around South Dakota, a swimming pool can be the place to be in the summertime.

A Nationwide conservation fund is making sure these towns have the money to improve their pools and parks.

The City of Plankinton is one of nine cities in South Dakota that are receiving money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The money will go towards to Poolside Park Improvement Project.

The Plankinton pool was built in the late 1950s and has had few renovations since then. Plankinton City Council President, Pam Vissia, grew up going to the pool and can’t imagine the town without it.

Vissia said, “Well when I grew up here years ago, every day our moms sent us to the pool, and we were at the pool in the morning, and then we would go home and have supper and we were at the pool at night.”

In a small town, a pool can be the place for kids to go in the summer and its purpose goes beyond swimming.

“It is a vital part of the community because if the kids in town didn’t have this to go to they would maybe be running around on the streets and getting into trouble and stuff like that,” Vissia added.

Plankinton is getting $73,000 to put towards their Poolside Park Improvements Project.

“The first thing is we want to get a new bathhouse because if you go up there and look it is in dire need to be redone," she continued, “Eventually we would like to work on the pool itself.”

The City is working with the Plankinton Pool Committee to get this done. A new bathhouse will cost just under a quarter of a million dollars, along with donations and fundraising this grant will nearly complete the amount they need to move forward.

"For a little community like us the grants are very welcome and we are very appreciative of them because if we didn’t get these grants there is a lot of things a small community, like Plankinton, would not be able to do,” said Vissia.

In total, Governor Noem awarded about $765,000 to these nine communities in South Dakota.

The money is going towards pool projects, skateparks, baseball complexes, and other outdoor park needs.