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(SD)-SD To Try Again To Auction STAR Academy, Despite Lawmaker Objections

By: John Axtell Posted at: 12/03/2017 11:55 PM
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The state of South Dakota is trying again to auction off the 173-acre  former STAR Academy juvenile detention center near Custer, which failed to attract any bidders at an earlier auction held in October. The property includes 11 residences, a gym, a barn, and administrative, housing and maintenance buildings.

       The new auction for the complex, originally the state tuberculosis sanitarium, is set for Jan 4th at the Custer County  Courthouse with a minimum bid requirement of $2.34-million dollars. If the second auction ends without a sale, Governor Dennis Daugaard will decide whether to hold a third auction or try a different route.

      Backers of the sale it could bring jobs and tax revenue, but others question the wisdom of selling it. State Representative Tim Goodwin's district includes the property and he thinks Daugaard made a mistake in closing the juvenile delinquency program and center...which says would cost about $50-million dollars to replace.

       Goodwin wants to see the state reopen Star Academy and repurpose part of the complext into a methamphetamine rehabilitation center...saying "we should imprison the drug pushers/kingpins but send the drug users/addicts to treatment, and not the county jail or state penitentiary."

       Goodwin says the site has the intangible of the healing quality of  the Black Hills that Star Academy exemplifies, important since South Dakota has a huge methamphetamine problem and still has a juvenile delinquency problem.


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