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Sturgis files motion to intervene in incorporated town case

April 16, 2018

STURGIS, S.D. (AP) — A city in western South Dakota is seeking permission from the state Supreme Court to intervene in a case challenging the incorporation of a nearby town.

Sturgis filed a motion with the state’s high court Thursday, citing the need for the city to protect its interests, the Black Hills Pioneer reported .

City Manager Daniel Ainslie said Sturgis wants the Supreme Court to review more issues surrounding the state’s case, including whether Buffalo Chip met the 30-voters threshold to form a town. Buffalo Chip only had eight registered voters at the time of the town’s incorporation, Ainslie said.

When Buffalo Chip applied for incorporation, state law said a municipality cannot incorporate if it has fewer than 100 legal residents or 30 voters. The law’s threshold has since changed to 100 legal residents and 45 registered voters.

“Buffalo Chip has never contended that it has had more than 100 people — we had 52,” said Kent Hagg, Buffalo Chip’s attorney. “What we have always argued is that we had more than 30 voters. That fact was also in accordance with the opinion of the office of Secretary of State at the time.”

City Attorney Greg Barnier said Buffalo Chip violated a different state law requiring municipalities to be more than 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) apart. Buffalo Chip is less than 3 miles away from Sturgis’ municipal airport, Barnier said.

Hagg said Sturgis has no legal basis to file the motion, calling it “a regurgitation of the same old mud-slinging.”


Information from: Black Hills Pioneer, http://www.bhpioneer.com

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