Gov. Kristi Noem's $4.7 millon airplane added to South Dakota fleet

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A 2015 King Air 350 joined the state of South Dakota's fleet of aircraft this month.
A 2015 King Air 350 joined the state of South Dakota's fleet of aircraft this month.

PIERRE — Governor Kristi Noem's office Monday announced that a new airplane purchased by the state last year has been delivered, capping a monthslong process of acquiring the $4.7 million 2015 King Air 350.

While the Legislature last year authorized what amounted to nearly $8 million for the state plane, Noem in a statement noted that more than $3 million of those dollars were not used and will revert back to South Dakota's general fund.

“It’s our duty to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars, so my goal from the beginning was to purchase the best plane for the state’s needs at the most affordable cost. We achieved that,” Noem said. “This plane is newer, safer, and will save the taxpayers money in the long run in maintenance costs.”

More: South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg passes Kristi Noem plane inquiry to accountability board

Aside from the $5 million appropriation in this year's budget, the Legislature authorized proceeds from the sales of a state-owned King Air 200 and another King Air 90 would also go toward the purchase of the new plane. The King Air 200 sold for $1.81 million while the King Air 90 sold for $1.24 million.

The governor's office says purchasing a newer plane will save the state at least $1.5 million in pending maintenance costs on the two planes that have been sold.

This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Gov. Kristi Noem: South Dakota's new airplane has been delivered

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