Mayor & City Council

COVID-19 Updates

  pdf COVID-19 ORDINANCE (198 KB)

**MARCH 27 UPDATE**

  • · The City is working on a compliance / enforcement plan in anticipation of passing the emergency ordinance at tonight’s special council meeting. Compliance is certainly preferred.
  • · Many City departments are attempting to dispel rumors from the public. This is not productive and in most cases we will not devote time to fact-checking erroneous reports, especially from social media.
  • · Employee stress is present and lowered morale and tensions are evident. City will be working on mental health maintenance among its employees.
  • · Ambulance calls are in fact, trending downward. We will closely monitor this activity.
  • · Our critical services workforce is healthy, and operations are in full swing. This includes: public safety, water, sewer and garbage.
  • · Pactola Dam releases are increasing due to the recent moisture. Water levels in Rapid Creek are rising so caution should be exercised. More specific warnings will come from the Public Works Dept. as appropriate.
  • · The County Care Campus is open and in full operation. A litany of enhanced sanitation procedures are in place.
  • · The Rapid City Public Library has imposed a five day quarantine on returned library materials. This may cause a delay in availability, however on-line searching and holding of materials is available and encouraged.
  • · Beginning April 1, City Hall will impose a mail quarantine of 24 hrs. on all incoming public and inter-office mail. This will slow the physical mail communication by a day but no customer late fees will be incurred due to this. Other arrangements for bid openings and similar procedural issues will be communicated separately by the City.
  • · Known Pennington County cases are at two. We all suspect there is more, but we do have confirmation from the Dept. of Health of active infection here. 
  • · Marketing efforts will commence in the next day or two
  • · Do the five: Hands, Elbow, Face, Space, Home 

CITY INCREASES PARKING METER 'FREE TIME'

TO TWO HOURS BEGINNING MONDAY

Free Parking on Saturdays Effective April 4

RAPID CITY, SD--For the second time in a week, the City is adjusting its free parking feature on downtown parking meters as a way to promote support for downtown businesses.

            Effective Monday, the free button on downtown meters will be expanded to two hours and parking will be free on Saturdays beginning April 4. The 'free button' must be activated by meter users.

            Last week, the City adjusted the downtown parking meters 'free button' from 15 minutes to 30 minutes to promote food pickups and other short-term business-to-customer transactions as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic impacts on many local businesses.

            The change will be in effect until further notice.

**MARCH 26 UPDATE**

Mayor Steve Allender will provide his daily media update at 1:30 p.m. today. It will be streamed live on City You Tube, go to rcov.org and click on Meetings, then Live Meetings.

  • · Fire Department/Ambulance calls appear to be trending downward lately, however respiratory cases appear to be trending upward (no formal comparison available at this time). 
  • · Citizens appear to need more clarification on new ordinance. More communication efforts will be made.
  • · RCPD arrested a robbery suspect yesterday and now have cleared the recent rash of robberies. Meth was present.
  • · There are very few flights in/out of the airport now. United Airlines cancelled many of today's Rapid City to Denver flights.
  • · Some Porta-Pots have been placed in and around parks. There are easier to disinfect than park restrooms.
  • · Special meeting tomorrow night RE: City ordinance to close/regulate certain businesses.
  • · A new ordinance revision will be placed on tomorrow night’s agenda allowing a more expedient revision process, in the event changes need to be made in the next few months.
  • · Council chamber audience will be strictly limited. Public comments may be emailed. All meetings are streamed live on YouTube.
  • · Finalizing our compliance/enforcement plan for the emergency ordinance. 
  • · City strategic teams will be reporting progress at tomorrow’s 10;00 am department directors daily COVID-19 meeting.

BATHROOM BREAK!

PARKS DIVISION UPDATE/9:30 a.m. Thursday

The City's Parks Division is adding five portable toilet locations, bringing the number of portable restrooms to 11 that are now located along the bike path and in various Park locations.  The portable toilet facilities will be sanitized daily by Parks crews and will be service weekly by the provider. Due to COVID-19 safety concerns for the public and City maintenance employees, the Legacy Commons permanent facility will remain closed until further notice.

The new locations of portable toilet facilities:

*Memorial Park Bandshell

*West Memorial Park

*Canyon Lake Park West Restroom

*Founders Park

*Roosevelt Park

Existing location of portable toilet facilities:

*Braeburn Park

*Canyon Lake #3 Shelter

*Jackson Park Disc Golf

*Robbinsdale Park

*LaCroix Disc Golf

*Sioux Park Tennis Court area

**MARCH 25 UPDATE**

Mayor Allender's COVID-19 Video Update: 

  • · State test result are posted to the DOH Website. SD now at 41 cases, new one in Meade Co.
  • · Ambulance continues to transport sick patients
  • · Sorting out work-at-home employee issues and digesting the fed legislation pertaining to FLMA and emergency sick leave.
  • · Hotel robbery last night. RCPD is investigating.
  • · We are working on alternative lodging space for first responders.
  • · City/County now communicating regularly.
  • · County is considering an ordinance based on the City ordinance
  • · Our first daily press debrief is scheduled today at 1:30. Live stream.

CITIZEN OPTIONS WITH CITY HALL CLOSED DUE TO COVID-19:

City Hall offices are closed to the public.

            Department staff are available by appointment only.  The City Hall lobby is open for limited access as residents can drop off payments and documents, including development plans and permit applications, into a locked drop off container.  This option is also available for prospective candidates wishing to drop off petitions.  The City Finance Office will be open to accept petitions in person one-half hour before the filing deadline, 4:30-5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31.

            Residents are strongly encouraged to use the City's online services for payments as well as utilize the night depository box on the west side of the City Hall building, which is available any time of day.  The public can also call or e-mail questions by contacting the individual City department.  Contact information can be found on the City's website at rcgov.org .

**Utility Bills:  Residents are encouraged to use online automatic payment of utility bills by visiting https://selfservice.rcgov.org and clicking on Citizen Self Service on the left hand side for utility bills or by using the City's Utility Billing "Sure-Pay" system.  Call 394-4125 or visit the Water Division's page on the City's website at rcgov.org .  If you visit the self-service portal, you will need to know your account number and customer number to register, both of which can be found on your most recent utility bill.

            In addition, residents are encouraged to mail in their payment or use the night drop box on the west side of the building, which is available any time of the day.

**Parking Tickets:  Residents are encouraged to pay parking tickets online by visiting the 'How To' section at rcgov.org or https://rapidcity.citationportal.com/

**Shut-off Notices:  Residents facing shut-off notices from the City will not have their utility services and solid waste collections suspended, however late fees for non-payment will continue to accrue.

**Permits: If you have questions regarding building permits or air quality permits, contact the City's Community Development Department at 394-4120.  Customers can also e-mail questions and plan information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Staff can also work with customers for online submittals of plans.

**Development Applications: If you have questions regarding development applications, contact the City’s Community Development Department at 394-4120. Customers can also e-mail questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Staff can also work with customers for online submittals of preliminary applications.

**General Business:  Residents with general questions about City services, should call or e-mail the individual City department rather than making a personal visit to the department office.

**MARCH 24 UPDATE**

MAYOR'S UPDATE VIDEO

  • · Attended a conference call today with the Governor and DOH.
  • · Listened to the Governor’s press conference this morning- two new cases.
  • · Escape from the women’s prison in Pierre. Nine isolated inmates, one of which came to Rapid City and was arrested by RCPD.
  • · We are answering dozens of questions on effects of new ordinance.
  • · The ambulance transported three patients consistent with COVID-19 symptoms.
  • · Strategic teams are formed, making early progress now. Weekly reports will occur on Fridays.
  • · Digesting new FMLA expansion and emergency sick leave legislation now. There are many questions. Each employer should be doing the same.
  • · First day of City Hall closure went ok. Will get better with practice.
  • · The Airport is working with its tenants to understand losses and find a way to help. Airport flight activity at about 18% now.
  • · The City is working on financial loss projections in preparation for priority budgeting.
  • · RCPD mitigated a robbery last night with a robbery strike force. 302 E. Blvd. Vehicle pursuit and foot pursuit, led to the arrests of two people and the recovery of a firearm.
  • · Receiving many calls about suspension of utility payments or forgiving payments. Working through this and not ready to report anything yet.
  • · Assessing the park restroom closure issue. We may reevaluate and make an adjustment in Memorial Park.
  • · Communicating with EAFB today as well as Pennington County and emergency management.

**MARCH 23 UPDATE**

March 23 Update

  • · Fielding hundreds of messages relative to the proposed city ordinance closing or limiting certain businesses for public health reasons.
  • · Civic Center is now locked-down.
  • · The ambulance services continues to transport patients with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.  Five such patients yesterday.
  • · Casino robberies continue to be a problem. If the business closure city ordinance passes on 3-27, casinos will be closed. RCPD will reevaluate strategy when this occurs.
  • · The Parks and Recreation office is now closed to the public, as are all public works buildings.
  • · We are creating work-arounds for licensing processes, usually requiring a City Hall visit. Update will follow when available.
  • · Cross-training is occurring between City divisions to ensure critical services remain consistent for the duration.
  • · Rapid Transit volume is down, but now consistent. Best practices are being evaluated concerning continuation of service.
  • · State Dept of Transportation has allowed work to resume on East Blvd reconstruction.
  • · Rumor control continues to be a challenge. No, the airlines are not increasing air travel to Rapid City.
  • · Strategic teams are being built to address or coordinate information on:

o   Grocery and supply store supply chain and consumer activity.

o   Food distribution from non-profit and other food sources.

o   Emergency planning relative to medical providers

o   Health services to establish points of contact and capacity.

o   Financial, to include city budget status and federal disaster funding.

o   Employee support to include benefits, day care and mental health.

o   Communication to include consolidation and dissemination to/from City, County, State, health officials and public.

**MARCH 22 UPDATE**

Mayor Steve Allender's COVID-19 City video update: 

https://youtu.be/GubfWJtCyMQ

  • · Monument Health, our primary medical advisor advises the City to take restrictive action beginning this upcoming week.
  • · Governor Noem’s press conference today indicates community spread is occurring in Beadle County.  They will confirm through Dept. of Health investigation by Tuesday.
  • · Safe to assume community spread today in state.
  • · Following CDC Guidelines, Rapid City will pass an emergency ordinance restricting or closing certain businesses.  This is necessary due to unacceptably low compliance with social distance recommendations.
  • · Press conference held today at 2:30 to explain situation and gave notice of special council meeting tonight at 6:00 pm.
  • · At special council meeting, two items will be addressed:

o   Repealing a resolution limiting the use of electronic attendance for council meetings.

o   1st reading of the emergency ordinance.

  • · In City messaging, special emphasis will be given to the topics of:

o   Social distancing

o   In-home isolation

o   Our responsibility to our neighbors

o   Remaining calm

  • · Beginning tomorrow we will begin aligning our mission and employees with high-priority community needs.
  • · Many City programs and non-essential services will be unavailable indefinitely.
  • · All essential City services are guaranteed to remain in operation:

o   Wastewater treatment

o   Drinking water treatment and delivery

o   Solid Waste pick-up

o   Public safety

  • · Some city services will remain available through appointment:

o   Community development

o   Public Works

o   Others as needed, on a case by case basis

**MARCH 21 UPDATE**

MAYOR STEVE ALLENDER'S COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTFULRRjrHI&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3Lm3aYhlPLzG_DhqkQecq2jYutpTt8OVUXCnIdirBjjIeUSiZP7bN7se8

*The City's 36 parks, bike paths and scenic trails are open for use however park playground and restroom facilities have been closed effective Friday, March 20 in an effort to limit the potential for transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

*Residents are encouraged to use online automatic payment of utility bills by visiting https://selfservice.rcgov.org and clicking on Citizen Self Service on the left hand side for utility bills or by using the City's Utility Billing "Sure-Pay" system.  Call 394-4125 or visit the Water Division's page on the City's website at rcgov.org .

*Residents can also mail in their payment or use the night drop box on the west side of the City Hall building at 300 Sixth Street.

*Residents are encouraged to pay parking tickets online by visiting the 'How To' section at rcgov.org or https://rapidcity.citationportal.com/

*If you have questions regarding building permits or air quality permits, contact the City's Community Development Department at 394-4120.  Customers can also e-mail questions and plan information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Staff can also work with customers for online submittals of plans.

**If you have questions regarding development applications, contact the City’s Community Development Department at 394-4120. Customers can also e-mail questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Staff can also work with customers for online submittals of preliminary applications.

**MARCH 20 UPDATE**

MAYOR ALLENDER'S DAILY COVID-19 CITY UPDATE:

https://youtu.be/w81HYhlXRyw

CITY HALL OFFICES TO CLOSE BEGINNING MONDAY

Beginning Monday, City Hall offices will be closed to the public.

            Department staff are available by appointment only.  The City Hall lobby will be open for limited access as residents will be able to drop off payments and documents, including development plans and permit applications, into a locked drop off container.  This option is also available for prospective candidates wishing to drop off petitions.  The City Finance Office will be open to accept petitions in person one-half hour before the filing deadline, 4:30-5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31.

            Residents are strongly encouraged to use the City's online services for payments as well as utilize the night depository box on the west side of the City Hall building, which is available any time of day.  The public can also call or e-mail questions by contacting the individual City department.  Contact information can be found on the City's website at rcgov.org .

CITY POSTPONES APRIL CLEAN-UP WEEK; DELAYS OPENING OF REMOTE YARD WASTE SITES

As part of its COVID-19 response, the City is postponing the annual City Clean-Up Week activities and also delaying the opening of remote yard waste collection sites at two locations in Rapid City.

            The annual City Clean-Up Week was scheduled for April 20-25 and City Public Works officials will evaluate if the event will be rescheduled later this year.  The week-long event provides for free drop-off of many items to the City's Landfill and is highlighted by the Community Clean-Up Day where the City encourages groups of volunteers to work in assigned areas.

            "We know the clean-up week and Community Clean-Up Day are very popular among people of all ages," said Jancie Knight of the City's Solid Waste Division.  "There is considerable small and large group interaction as well as exposure to waste products during the Clean-Up week activities.  With the COVID-19 outbreak, the best option is to postpone efforts until later in the year."

            A new date for Clean-Up Week has not been determined.

            In addition, the City is delaying the April 1 placement of yard-waste containers at the two remote locations at Floyd Fitzgerald Stadium and West Boulevard North.  The remote sites often attract dozens of people at a given time dropping off materials. As part of social distancing protocols during the COVID-19 outbreak, the City wants to minimize the potential of large-group interaction.

            Residents on city solid waste collection service are encouraged to place their yard waste in brown disposable bags for curbside collection beginning April 1.  Yard waste can also be dropped off at the City's Landfill on Highway 79.

**MARCH 19 UPDATE**

  • The City saw 100+ walk-in customers yesterday, mostly for utility bill payment. Staff is encouraging customers to mail payments or create an on-line payment account. 
  • City Hall will likely close to public access beginning Monday, March 23rd. All services related to building permitting, inspections, utility payments etc are being made available through telephone, mail and on line services. When necessary, City staff will meet a customer at the door to receive or deliver documents.  This is necessary to help prevent unnecessary or frequent physical contact with members of the public.
  • · Parks and Recreation will close playgrounds and park restrooms immediately. This is necessary to discourage the use of public and frequently-used facilities.
  • · City Hall – specifically the HR Dept. is finalizing employee sick leave use policies, in light of the pandemic. This is necessary to protect City employees and their families.
  • · All Civic Center events have been cancelled through April 8th and more closures are imminent. This is largely at the behest of event promotors and is necessary to limit crowd sizes.
  • · The Public Library will remain closed through April 8th. This is necessary to reduce the opportunity to gather in public settings.
  • · Ambulance staff report many calls for service with symptomatic patients. In addition to emergency transport, isolation recommendations found at the CDC website is the advice of the day.
  • · The Rapid City Police Department is advising the public to use their on-line reporting site whenever possible. Emergencies are still handled through calling 911. This is necessary to reduce unnecessary or frequent contact with members of the public, and to keep our 1st responders as healthy as possible.
  • · The City is bolstering our ability to host conference call or video conferencing for meetings. Some public meetings may take a more virtual attendance theme. This is necessary to allow those who have business with the City to interact in a long-distance manner, to reduce the possibility of contamination of staff and officials, as well as members of the public.
  • · We are attempting to change the 15 minute free parking downtown, to 30 minutes, to encourage carry out/pick-ups and quick trips. The timeline is on our parking vendor and we will announce when this is complete.

CITY INCREASES PARKING METER 'FREE TIME' FROM 15 TO 30 MINUTES

The City is increasing its free parking feature on downtown parking meters from 15 minutes to 30 minutes to promote food pickups and other short-term business-to-customer transactions as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic impacts on many local businesses.

            The change will be effective on all meters by tomorrow (Friday).

            When they were installed in downtown Rapid City last summer, the new downtown parking meters included a 15-minute free parking feature to allow for business deliveries and customer pickups.  The feature has proved a popular one among businesses and patrons.  City officials are encouraging the public to utilize the feature and the increased free parking time to patronize local businesses.

            The change will be in effect until further notice.

CITY CLOSING PARK SYSTEM PLAYGROUNDS, RESTROOM FACILITIES

The City's Parks and Recreation Department is closing  park system playgrounds and restroom facilities to public use and will stop taking reservations for Park picnic shelters.  The actions are being taken to limit spread of COVID-19 by minimizing the size of public gatherings as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

            The actions are effective Friday (tomorrow) and will remain in place until further notice.

            The City is making the decision based on Centers for Disease Control recommendations for social distancing, limiting the size of public gatherings and managing the cleaning of the park equipment and facilities.  The restroom facilities at Canyon Lake West Park Shelter, Legacy Commons in Memorial Park, Founders Park and Skyline Wilderness Park are year-round facilities and will be closed.  Other park restroom facilities were scheduled to open in April but their opening is delayed until further notice.

            Parks staff will be surrounding Park playground equipment with caution tape and orange fencing and placing closure signage in the affected areas.   City officials indicate the City's 36 parks and bike path remain open for public use.

**MARCH 17 UPDATES**

CITY TO DISCONTINUE UTILITY SHUTOFFS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

The City of Rapid City announced Tuesday it will discontinue utility shutoffs of water, sewer and solid waste collection until further notice to allow for proper sanitation during the COVID-19 outbreak.

            "Our primary goal with this action is to keep the community and the public healthy," City Public Works Director Dale Tech said in making today's announcement.

            City officials remind customers to pay their utility bills on time to avoid late fees and to not impact the City's ability to provide these critical services.

            The action is effective immediately.

Media

Message from Mayor Allender About COVID-19

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