Affordable housing development ground break

HILL CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The Heart of the Hills Economic Development Corps. broke ground today on the new Forward Hill City Housing Project.

Community members break ground on the new Forward Hill City Housing Project.

The project is an affordable attainable housing development. The goal is to add 34 new homes-- 22 single-family homes and 12 twin homes.

The development will be backed by a $2 million Tax Increment Financing, or TIF.

A TIF allows builders to make improvements to infrastructure around an area that is beneficial to the home and surrounding area. The city pays back the funds used with future tax dollars that are earned from the houses that come in within the TIF district.

The Mayor of Hill City thinks that this housing development will economically benefit the community.

"There's great benefits that we can realize," said Kathy Skorzewski, Mayor of Hill City. "Additional people in our community would mean additional economy, more people shopping at our local stores, our local retailers. In addition to the fact that it could potentially grow our school and allow us to increase our population of children in the school, which would be very helpful in allowing us to obtain additional benefits from the state."

Scull Construction will be the developers on the project and they say so far, the community has been very supportive.

"To come to Hill City and be able to put this together in a small community, where it means so much to these people, to their school system, to their economic future, their growth here, it's very impactful here," said Jim Scull, CEO of Scull Construction. "It's really fun, it's nice to be part of it."

The mayor said that some preliminary groundwork will be done this year, but the heavy lifting coming in the Spring, with the goal of building at least four houses next year.