Rural Sociology Department
rural sociology, population shifts, population changes, census, county census data
Within limits, the Legislature can, by act of law, change how local governments govern. What they cannot do is change county boundaries or dissolve townships. Though the Legislature cannot force counties to consolidate, the Local Government Committee of the Legislature in late February 1989 resolved that South Dakota counties could attain economies of size by consolidating, using computers, and sharing resources. The committee recommended that counties study these alternatives. This resolution sounds like the calls for school consolidation of decades gone by. And, also like these calls, the intent of the resolution is to ask local governments to adapt to changes in local economies. Adjustments to economic and demographic changes do not occur overnight. They require concerted, rational action by community leaders acting upon the most up-to-date information on local governments available. This Update contains the latest census data on South Dakota governments. Community leaders will find this information beneficial when they debate consolidation issues.
Agricultural Experiment Station, South Dakota State University
Arwood, D. E., "Local Governments in South Dakota" (1989). Agricultural Experiment Station Circulars. 253.