This is a paid piece from the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance.
Simplified: The City of Tea has a new city administrator, and he's bringing lots of regional experience to what's a relatively new position for the fast-growing community. Meet Justin Weiland.
Why it matters
- Weiland has spent the last 13 years as the city administrator of Dell Rapids, and city leadership in Tea sought him out specifically to fill the role, which he took over at the end of September.
- While Dell Rapids has long had a full-time city administrator, it's a relatively new position within Tea's municipal government. Weiland said he hopes to cement the role as an integral part of the community.
- Weiland's first priority is to listen, learn and build trust within the Tea community. Down the line, he'd also like to increase the community's focus on quality of life investments like parks, trails and other amenities.
"This community has done a really good job of planning for their development," Weiland said. "I'm looking forward to working with our staff to continue creating an environment where we can continue to grow in a positive way – not just to grow for growth's sake."
Tell me more about what's happening in Tea
Tea is one of the fastest-growing communities in the state with the latest census data showing more than 6,300 people.
- There's a lot of activity happening near what will soon be an Interstate 29 interchange at 85th Street, where the Bakker Landing development is underway.
- The Tea Area School District is also growing quickly, with a new high school addition under construction and land purchased for a future elementary school as growth continues.
The city also has strong partnerships including its work with the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance.
"The City of Tea has shown tremendous foresight in supporting infrastructure and growth" said Tyler Tordsen, SMGA president and CEO. "We're excited to see what Justin's expertise will bring to the community as it continues to evolve."
What happens next?
Like with any new job, Weiland said he's spending the first few months focused on learning and developing relationships. He's also hoping to help Tea continue to grow in a thoughtful way.
"My whole thing," Weiland said, "is 20 years from now I don't want people to be looking back at what we did today and say, 'What were those people thinking?'"
Clarification: An earlier version of the story misstated the construction project in the Tea Area School District. The high school addition is currently under construction.