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(SD)-Eviction Notices Issued For STAR Academy Renters

By: John Axtell Posted at: 10/01/2019 06:52 PM
CUSTER, S.D. (AP) - Residents and businesses at the former STAR Academy juvenile detention facility near Custer are being evicted by the state after it repossessed the campus from the current owner who fell behind on payments.

      The eviction notices say the state plans to sell the campus near Custer again and residents have until Oct. 31 to leave their homes.
 
     The state closed STAR Academy in 2016, but its first attempt to auction off the 173-acre campus created in 1911 as the state tuberculosis hospital failed in the fall of 2017. A second try early last year resulted in one bidder, a group headed by former Custer mayor Jared Carson, offering the minimum set by the state - $2.34-million dollars.

      Carson said his group, SLICe or Sustainable Light Industrial Complex and Energy, would turn the STAR campus over the following year into "an ecologically-minded, clean air industrial project that not only provides an opportunity to bring a new technology to South Dakota, but also to provide a place for economic development for our community."

      Carson said that based on its conservative businesses plan, SLIC-e would created 100 to 125 jobs paying $15 to $30 per hour over the next 5 years while providing space to other startups that would create more jobs of their own.

       SLIC-e leased out 11 residences and space in other buildings for several businesses - including art galleries, a manufacturing plant, and a BBQ restaurant - but fell behind in making payments to the state. The campus was repossessed last month when SLIC-e bounced a $116,588 check for an overdue payment.


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