Mayor & City Council

COVID Frequently Asked Questions

Question: In the City's Plan to Ease Restrictions, what is the new capacity limitation for restaurants, bars and casinos?

Answer: Restaurants, bars and casinos shall be limited to a capacity of half their maximum posted occupancy.

Question:  How are grocery, retail, recreation and fitness businesses impacted by limits on capacity?

Answer: Grocery, retail, recreation and fitness businesses are to limit the number of customers in their businesses based on available square footage. One customer for every 200 square feet.

Question:  Are public gatherings limited under the City's Plan?

Answer: Public gatherings are limited to 10 people or less.

Question: Is the City Landfill open and are there any restrictions on trash collection?

Answer: The landfill is available to the public Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m.-4:45 p.m.  Residential garbage and recycling will be collected on the regular schedule.  Drivers are NOT ALLOWED to exit their vehicles on their routes except for emergencies.  All garbage and recyling MUST be inside the city-issued containers or it WILL NOT be collected.  Please bag and tie all garbage in the garbage container to prevent littering.  Recyclables are to be loose in the recycling container.

Question:  Why are the remote yard waste collection sites closed?

Answer:  Since more people are at home, there are more projects being completed and more garbage being produced.  The volume of trash coming from private haulers (citizens) to the Landfill has doubled in recent weeks.  This results in an extra workload on the employees at the City Landfill.  These same employees are required to go to the remote yard waste collection sites, pick up the full dumpsters and deliver the empty ones back to the sites.  Due to the large volume of users at the landfill at this time, it is not possible to adequately service the remote yard waste sites.  If the sites were opened at this time, they would quickly become filled without the ability to empty the containers.  

            No new employees are being hired and some employees are anticipated to be out with illness.  Even though we haven't seen it yet, we must be concerned about the impact of the COVID pandemic on City employees.  Protecting our employee resources in order to protect the primary mission of solid waste collection is essential.    The primary mission of the Solid Waste Division is to accommodate the commercial haulers, operate the recycling facility and guarantee curbside trash collection.   Opening up the remote yard waste sites at this point in time will draw employees away from the primary mission and the increased workload.

            Please continue to maintain your yard and either place your yard waste curbside in the disposable bags or take your grass and branches to the landfill site, which has seven bins in front of their property for use seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Residents can also bring the yard waste material into the landfill facility during business hours adt no cost.

Question: Can I use multiple utility bills for large loads at the Landfill?

Answer:  A residential customer may use a City utility bill showing garbage services and issued within the last 12 months for one free disposal of up to 1000 pounds per transaction at the City Landfill.  Use of multiple City utility bills for loads greater than 1000 pounds will not be allowed.

Question: What is considered ‘essential’ versus ‘non-essential’ businesses in the new City COVID ordinance?

Answer: The ordinance does not use the terms ‘essential’ or ‘non-essential’ and does not classify businesses as such.

Question: In the City's Plan to Ease Restrictions, what is the guideline on wearing masks?

Answer: All restaurant employees including cooks are required to wear masks.  Hair and nail salons and barbershop employees are also required to be masked due to their close customer contact.

Question: Are employees of food trucks required to wear masks?

Answer: The provisions of the resolution are applicable to all buisnesses open to the public.  A food truck is both a business and open to the public, so the requirement to wear masks applies to food truck employees as well.

Question: In the City's Plan, what are the guidelines for plexiglass dividers?

Answer: Plexiglass dividers between the cashier and customer, where physically possible, should be placed in retail and grocery businesses.

Question: With City Hall closed, do I have options to pay my utility bill?

Answer: Yes. Residents are encouraged to use online 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. The City Hall lobby also has a secured drop box (looks like a garbage can) if you still wish to pay in person.

Question: What about parking tickets?

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

Question: Is the City suspending utility shutoffs during the time?

Answer: Yes. 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.  The following is information that is included on the web pages for the City's divisions that bill for utility services: We still encourage utility customers to call Utility Billing at 394-4125 to make payment arrangements if they are under a financial hardship due to the impacts of the COVID-19 virus.

“We understand that the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting our customers to varying degrees. We encourage you to pay what you are able to pay towards your bill, but you will not be disconnected if you are unable to make your payment. Please be aware that you will still be billed for the services you are receiving, and may also accrue late fees. You will need to make arrangements to bring the account current when we resume normal operations after this crisis has passed. If you are in need of financial assistance, 211 Helpline can help you connect with agencies who are offering support to those impacted by this crisis.”

Question: Are City parks or the bike path closed?

Answer: City parks and the City’s bike path are open. The public is advised to observe CDC guidelines and not congregate in groups larger than 10 people. The Parks’ playground equipment remains closed to public use. In addition, with increased water flows in Rapid Creek, the underpass bike path crossings at Canyon Lake Drive and at Mount Rushmore Road are flooded.  The public is advised to use the surface road bike path crossings at Dakota Drive and Mount Rushmore Road (remember to never drive, walk, bike or jog through flooded waters of any depth).

Question:  Have the park courts opened up?

Answer: The City has reopened outdoor basketball, volleyball and tennis courts to the public and asking that social distancing practices and protocols be utilized.  Rapid City Area Schools has reopended Sioux Park Stadium and the adjacent soccer fields to public use.

Question:  Are the athletic fields open to the public?

Answer: Leased fields such as youth baseball fields and the soccer complex are now open. Lessees were asked to provide a COVID action plan and submit to the City for review and approval before fields could be utilized.

Question: Are Park restrooms open?

Answer: Due to concerns with COVID-19, City park restrooms are closed. Portable toilet facilities have been placed in various locations along the City’s bike path and in some park areas.

Question: Are park playgrounds open to the public?

Answer:  Park and school playgrounds remain closed to the public.

Question: Is the Rapid City Airport open?

Answer: The Rapid City Airport is open. The airport is required by the FAA through their federal grant assurances to remain open. The FAA or federal government is the only authority that can close Rapid City Regional Airport (unless it’s weather-related). The airport serves medical, cargo (Fed Ex, UPS,US Mail-so people can continue to receive mail and packages), military and commercial flights.

Question: With City Hall closed, how can I obtain a building permit or development application?

Answer: 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.

Question: Does the new City ordinance include day care/child care operations?

Answer: Day care/child care operations are not included in the ordinance

Question: Can hotel pools remain open?

Answer: Hotel pools may remain open as long as they are open to only hotel guests. They may not be open to outside guests. If choosing to remain open, the hotel should implement procedures to operate in compliance with federal and state health guidance. These areas should be monitored, enforcing CDC guidelines regarding cleanliness, proper disinfection, and social distancing while limiting the number of guests. Below are also some helpful links with information on COVID-19 and pools.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html

https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/

Question: I need law enforcement assistance. How should I get in contact with the Rapid City Police Department?

Answer: If it’s an emergency, dial 911. If it requires timely law enforcement attention, call the non-emergency line at 394-4131. The public is encouraged to utilize the RCPD’s online reporting system for belated incidents (including vehicle burglary, thefts, belated hit and run crashes, identity theft, lost property, and vandalism). The online reporting system is available at the RCPD’s homepage, RapidCityPolice.org.

Question: What assistance is available for small businesses who have closed due to COVID-19?

Answer: There are many resources available for businesses who have taken necessary steps to restrict or close their businesses, including the recent passage of the federal legislation. In addition, local resources are available through Elevate Rapid City. Visit https://elevaterapidcity.com/resources/coronavirus-news for more information.

Question: How can I obtain materials through the Rapid City Public Library's drive-thru?

Answer:  You must request in advance the books, DVDs, audiobooks and games you want to checkout by placing a hold on the item. This is done by searching for the item in the library's catalog, which is accessed through a search box labeled "Find Books & More" in the upper right hand corner of the library's homepage. Click "place hold" under the item or click on the item and scroll to the bottom of the screen to click "place hold." You will be prompted to enter your library card number and password next. Then press the "confirm hold" button. You will receive an email or a text when your request has been processed and your items are ready to be picked up via the downtown library drive-thru. 

Question: Does the new city ordinance impact RV parks or campgrounds?

Answer: Campgrounds and RV parks are not included in the closure section of the ordinance

Question: Are garage sales allowed under Rapid City's Plan to Ease Restrictions?

Answer: Garage sales are allowed.  Social distancing practices and protocols are recommended. 

Question: Are City golf courses open or subject to the COVID-19 ordinance?

Answer: City golf courses, including Meadowbrook Golf Course and Executive Golf Course, as well as the disc golf courses, are open. The public is asked to adhere to CDC guidelines for limiting groups to no more than 10 people.

Question: Does the ordinance affect pet boarding or grooming businesses?

Answer: No

Question: Does the City’s new ordinance include religious organizations?

Answer: Religious organizations are not included in the closure section of ordinance and the City does not have a shelter-in-place order. However, we highly encourage places of religious gatherings to follow CDC guidelines and limit groups of people congregating to no more than 10 people.

Question: How is the City conducting inspections during this COVID-19 period?

Answer: Any inspections or other work requiring contact with customers off-site (in their homes or other job sites) shall be done with serious precaution and screening prior to entering. Locations deemed unsafe shall not be entered.

  1. When an inspection is requested, the inspector is to make sure he is welcome and the inspection can be completed. A phone call shall be returned to all of the inspections that come in on the inspection line to visit with the person requesting the inspection.
  2. No inspection shall be done if there is an issue at the site. If social distancing can’t be maintained or if someone present is compromised, other arrangements shall be made.
  3. No more inspections shall be performed of complaints of substandard situations until an “all clear” judgment has been made.
  4. Caution shall especially be used at inspections in close quarters.

Question: Does the ordinance impact car dealerships?

Answer: No

Question: Does the City have authority to shut down the court system?

Answer: The City of Rapid City does not have the authority over the court system. If you have questions, contact the State Court Administration at 605-773-3474 or visit https://ujs.sd.gov/Default.aspx for more information.

Question: If I suspect a City code violation, how do I report it?

Answer: The City’s Code Enforcement Division can be contacted by e-mail or telephone. If citizens have any issues or concerns regarding the City’s COVID-19 Ordinance 6412, e-mail or call Code Enforcement, 355-3465

More in this category: « COVID-19 Updates

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