Shakopee, Prior Lake Debut $20M Treatment Facility, Demonstrate Value of Intergovernmental Partnership

Aerial photo of the construction of the water treatment facility (Photo Courtesy SMSC Engineer Steve Albrecht)

A new $20 million water treatment facility built through a Tribal-city partnership is aligned with the Dakota value of planning for the next seven generations, says Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Chairman Charlie R. Vig.

A ribbon cutting on Tuesday marked the culmination of years of partnership and planning between the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and the City of Prior Lake. The environmentally and financially efficient plant will meet the needs of both growing communities for the next two decades.

“As our community grows, it is important for us to plan for their needs, and that includes their water supply,” said Vig, reported the SW News Media. “Water is a sacred gift element that is given to us.”

In addition to reducing groundwater usage, a joint treatment facility enables the Tribe and city to save money — roughly $6 million for the city and $3 million for the Community, compared to if each government built its own facility.

“We the city are most fortunate to have a close working relationship with the SMSC,” Prior Lake Mayor Kirt Briggs said during the opening ceremony Tuesday, reported SW News Media. “The water treatment plant is tangible evidence of the relationship between us. It speaks to the growth and extensive partnering that has taken place over the years.”

The SMSC primarily funded the water treatment facility, with the city contributing about $3.4 million for equipment necessary to provide the city with treated water now and into the future. Per the agreement, the City of Prior Lake will have the right to purchase water from the SMSC in amounts up to 2.2 million gallons per day.The facility is designed to allow for future expansion when the city determines that increased water supply is necessary. The Tribal-city agreement has no termination date, and it replaces the previous 25-year water purchase agreement between the Tribe and city from May 2014.

“This is the latest in a long series of collaborative projects and agreements between our Tribe and the City of Prior Lake,” SMSC Vice-Chairman Keith B. Anderson previously said. “As a sovereign Nation and our own governmental entity, we are glad to be involved in intergovernmental agreements with our neighbors that make lasting partnerships possible and benefit our community.”

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