This is a paid piece from the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance.

Simplified: Garretson City Council earlier this month unanimously approved a plan to give new and existing business owners who invest in the town a chance to save on natural gas.

Why it matters

  • Garretson is one of only four towns in South Dakota with municipally owned natural gas utilities.
  • Businesses who spend at least $30,000 making improvements on a new or existing building, or purchasing land, get five years of natural gas discounts.
  • It's also a way to attract new businesses to set up shop in Garretson as well as encourage existing businesses to invest in improving and expanding their facilities, said Jessica Fueston, economic development director.
"We came up with this incentive to play on our strengths, and it helps everybody," Fueston said.

How does the incentive program work?

Businesses must meet certain criteria, including having a sales tax number, a business plan and other documentation verifying that it is a legitimate business.

They also have to invest at least $30,000 into either a new or existing building in Garretson.

If the criteria are met, the discounts work as follows:

  • Year one, the business pays only the wholesale price for natural gas.
  • Year two, it pays wholesale plus 25 percent of the retail cost.
  • Year three, it pays wholesale plus 50 percent of the retail cost.
  • Years four and five, it pays wholesale plus 75 percent of the retail cost.
  • And in subsequent years, the business pays the normal retail rate.
"This program shows the innovation happening in Garretson's city government when it comes to economic development," said Jesse Fonkert, president and CEO of the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance. "It's a great example of the creative ways towns can set themselves apart in attracting businesses."

What happens next?

The natural gas incentive program is effective as of Oct. 11, when the Garretson City Council approved the program on a 6-0 vote.