July 19, 2019

What's News In The City

The public is urged to stay advised of changing weather conditions, to implement winter safe-driving techniques, to have a survival kit in their vehicle, to implement additional time in their commutes to account for winter road conditions. The public is urged to stay advised of changing weather conditions, to implement winter safe-driving techniques, to have a survival kit in their vehicle, to implement additional time in their commutes to account for winter road conditions. (City Photo)

**CITY IMPLEMENTS ONLINE PAYMENT SYSTEM FOR PARKING TICKETS:  Among the parking system changes for Rapid City this summer is an online payment system for payment of old and new parking tickets.

            Vehicle owners can go online to rapidcity.citationportal.com and look up their citations by the citation number, license plate number or the VIN number.  Owners can then pay the citations online.  Per City ordinance, parking enforcement can place a boot on vehicles with three outstanding parking tickets or $125 in fines.  Currently, there are 12,000 unpaid parking tickets and about 700 vehicles on the boot list.

            Paying fines online will also avoid citations being sent to collections for non-payment.  Parking tickets are sent to collections after 30 days.

            For more information or questions about the downtown parking changes, visit www.ipsgroupinc.com/rapidcity .

**CITY HOSTING PUBLIC WORKS OPEN HOUSE JULY 30: The City will host a public works open house Tuesday, July 30 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Journey Museum and Learning Center.

            The open house will include information and a discussion with City officials on the City's sanitary sewer system, impacts of spring and summer rainfall on the system and addressing concerns of local residents who experienced damage from sewer back-ups in their homes.

            The public is invited to attend the open house.

**REGISTRATION UNDERWAY FOR YOUTH FLAG FOOTBALL: Registration is already underway for youth flag football leagues sponsored by the Rapid City Parks and Recreation Department.  Registration deadline is September 4.

            Register online at www.rcparksandrec.org and click registration, or register at the Swim Center, 125 Waterloo Street or the Parks and Rec Office at 515 West Boulevard.  Coaches should contact Matt Brandhagen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or cell 415-0226 or work 394-5223.  Registration fee is $50 which includes a jersey.  The fee is waived for players with parent-coaches.

            The youth flag football season starts September 16-17 with first and second grade teams playing on Mondays and third and fourth grade teams playing on Tuesdays.  All games played at the Omaha Street Soccer Fields across from Founders Park.

**COUNCIL LEADERSHIP SELECTED; COMMITTEE CHAIRS & ASSIGNMENTS NAMED: Mayor Steve Allender and Council members Lisa Modrick (Ward One), Bill Evans (Ward Two), Greg Strommen (Ward Three), Lance Lehmann (Ward Four) and Darla Drew (Ward Five) were given their oaths of office at the July 1 City Council meeting.  The new Council convened and elected Laura Armstrong (Ward Five) as Council president, and Chad Lewis (Ward Three) as Council vice-president for the 2019-20 term.

Council member Becky Drury will chair the City's Legal and Finance Committee with Council member Darla Drew serving as vice chair.  Other Committee members include Ritchie Nordstrom, Lance Lehmann and Lewis. Council member John Roberts will chair the City's Public Works Committee with Lisa Modrick continuing as committee vice chair.  Other Committee members include Bill Evans, Greg Strommen and Armstrong. Nordstrom will chair the Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) Committee, which will be comprised of Council members Drury, Drew, Roberts and Strommen..  Roberts will be the Council's liaison to the City's Zoning Board of Adjustment/Planning Commission.

**DOWNTOWN AMBASSADORS BEGIN TO SHARE STORY WITH VISITORS, RESIDENTS: The Downtown Ambassadors program began June 3 and will run through September. Mondays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The area covered by the Ambassadors includes Memorial Park to Columbus Street and from East to West Boulevard. They will carry material like the Downtown Magazine and maps.  The Ambassadors will be able to answer questions, give directions and help with the new parking meter system.

“Downtown Rapid City is more than just a collection of buildings, stores and restaurants. For visitors and those who live and work here, Downtown Rapid City is an experience all its own,” said Dan Senftner, President and CEO of Destination Rapid City. “We are uniquely fortunate to have a community where diversity and creativity are not only expected but honored and welcomed.”

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call 605-716-7979 or stop by the office at 512 Main Street, Suite 980.

**DOWNTOWN PARKING CHANGES: Beginning June 17 through July, planned parking changes in the downtown area will be implemented, including:

*A permit portal site will be activated beginning June 17 allowing downtown employees and residents to apply for on-street parking permits, limited to a given block. Visit http://www.thepermitportal.com/ips.  Approved permits will be activated beginning June 24 with the billing cycle beginning July 1. 

*New meters/pay stations will be installed downtown.

*Updated signage in the downtown area explaining parking time limits and other important information will begin June 17. 

*Recommendations for the newly-formed Parking Advisory Committee are expected to be made along with Council consideration for approval in July. The Committee is expected to convene shortly upon Council approval.

The transition to new parking management systems will take several weeks to complete.  The public is advised to look for signage and/or installed parking meters for instructions. 

 Visit www.ipsgroupinc.com/rapidcity for more information.

**BIKE PATH AREAS REMAIN CLOSED DUE TO FLOODING:  The excessive precipitation and increased releases from Pactola Reservoir has caused localized flooding on the City's bike path.  City officials continue to advise no travel through any portions of the bike path that is under water.  Specific bike path areas that remain closed include: Fifth Street bridge underpass, Mount Rushmore Road bridge underpass, Omaha Street bridge underpass near Roosevelt Park, Canyon Lake Drive bridge underpass, Cambell Street near KIA auto dealership.  City Parks officials are monitoring the bike path daily.

**CITY ISSUES BUILDING REPORT FOR JUNE:  Rapid City issued 343 building permits in June, the second highest number of permits issued in June since 2014.  The total valuation of the issued permits last month was $11,228,359.

            For the first six months of 2019, the City has issued 1,442 building permits for a total valuation of $96,221,122.  The permit total for the first six months of the year is lower than last year's 1,851 permits and similar to the 1,524 permits issued for the first half of 2017 and 1,545 permits issued for the first half of 2016.  The first-half valuation total is similar to valuation totals issued for the first six months in 2014 ($78,410,815) and 2015 ($103,772,087).

            Top permits issued in June include: Halle Properties LLC for the Discount Tire store at 825 N. Creek Drive ($1,863,500); Hodges Enterprises of South Dakota for a retail shell at 931 Eglin Street ($838,000); a single family dwelling with attached garage at 6606 Carnoustie Court ($539,290); Serenity Springs Partners LLC for the About You Physical Therapy facility at 3808 Sheridan Lake Road ($490,000); and a single family dwelling with attached garage at 4730 Medicine Ridge Road ($310,735).

**PROPER SUMP PUMP DISCHARGE: With the excessive precipitation, City officials remind residents using sump pumps to pump the discharge to their yards or to the curbs/storm water drains and not pump the discharge into their sanitary sewer system.  This includes residents living in the northeast area of the community as City lift stations there are at maximum capacity at the present time.

**CIVIC CENTER WARNS GUESTS OF PURCHASING COUNTERFEIT TICKETS: The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center wants to remind patrons to be wary of purchasing counterfeit tickets for events held at the facility.  Guests are encouraged to only buy tickets from authorized ticket agencies, including www.gotmine.com, by phone at 1-800-GOT-MINE, or in person at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Box Office and Ellsworth Airforce Base Outdoor Recreation.   Purchasing from other sources is done at the buyer's risk.

Only tickets purchased from official outlets guarantee entry to events held at the facility, and individuals attempting to gain admission using fraudulent tickets will not be allowed entry.  If you are unsure of the validity of the tickets being purchased, we encourage you to contact our box office at 1-800-GOT-MINE.

**CITY WELCOMES UBER: The City's Finance Office last month issued a license to Rasier, LLC, a San Francisco-based transportation network company, to operate Uber ridesharing services in Rapid City.

                Rasier, LLC sent an application request to the City in May, providing proof of registration with the State of South Dakota, its annual report, a list of owners/board members and the City's $1500 license application fee.  The Rapid City Police Department also reviewed the application. 

                Uber joins Lyft as transportation network companies offering ride-sharing services in the community. Rasier's license to operate Uber services in the City became effective June 7.

**CITY TROLLEY READY TO TAKE VISITORS, RESIDENTS FOR A RIDE: The seasonal rides offered by Rapid Transit System through the City View Trolley began operation June 1.  

            The Trolleys, known by their green and red turn-of-the-last-century cable car appearance, provide a narrated tour throughout Rapid City with 15 stops, including visits to popular attractions like the Journey Museum, Storybook Island, Dinosaur Park, Stavkirke Chapel in the Hills, Founders Park, Sioux Park Formal Gardens, Main Street Square, the Berlin Wall in Memorial Park, Canyon Lake Park, and the Dahl Fine Arts Center.

            The City View Trolley became a part of the Rapid Transit System in 2007 and operates daily except Sundays and Independence Day, from June 1-August 31 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.  The trolleys begin and end at the Milo Barber Transportation Center, 333 Sixth Street, but riders can board at any of the stops along the tour route.  Fares range from $2 for adults to $1 for children 12 and under, and $1 for "honored citizens": riders 60 and older, disabled citizens and Medicare card holders.

            For more information, contact the Rapid Transit System at 394-6631.

**CITY ISSUES 2019 ONLINE SUMMER PROGRAM GUIDE:  One can't help but get a warm feeling browsing through the pages of the City's Parks and Recreation Department's Summer Program Guide, as the many activities, camps, classes and events immediately foster thoughts of summer!

            The City's Parks and Recreation Department has issued its 2019 Summer Program Guide, listing numerous activities, special events and programs available to the public this summer.  The Guide contains important information for the public wishing to utilize everything from the City's pools, golf courses, and park shelters, and to participate in camps, classes and special events.

            The Guide can be accessed online at https://www.rcgov.org/departments/parks-recreation/parks-program-guide.html .  The Guide is a convenient resource used to obtain activity and facility information and to register for summer programs, classes and activities.  Anyone wishing to reserve park facilities must call the City Parks Department.

            For more information, contact the Rapid City Department of Parks and Recreation at 394-5223.

**LIBRARY: NO MORE LATE FEES ON CHILDREN'S MATERIALS: Rapid City Public Library is pleased to announce that starting May 1, there will be no more late fees on children’s materials. This includes books, audiobooks and DVDs. We are making this change to better support our community’s literacy and early childhood education.

**CITY RESIDENTS RECEIVING LETTERS:  It's not a scam!  Letters sent from the City of Rapid City recently are the latest effort to inform residents about an optional customer service line protection plan offered to homeowners.

            Letters have been sent in August 2018, this past February and in May about the City partnering with Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) to offer the optional coverage.  Residents received an introductory postcard last September about the protection plan and the agreement between the City and SLWA and more detailed letters have been sent in recent months.  With its membership in the National League of Cities, Rapid City is able to offer the service line protection plan, which is administered by SLWA and offers important coverage for interior plumbing and drainage systems, exterior sewer/septic lines and exterior water service lines.   City Public Works Director Dale Tech advises homeowners the postal material they have and are receiving is legitimate.  There is no cost to the City in offering the voluntary coverage plan to homeowners and is being offered because of the City's membership in the National League of Cities.

**KEEPING UPDATED ON CONSTRUCTION: To view City construction public service announcements, click on 'Cone Zone Road Construction & Closure Information' on the City's website.

**FIXING POTHOLES IS JUST A TELEPHONE CALL AWAY:   Potholes can form on Rapid City streets any day of the year.  They are a common occurrence and the result of traffic and weather conditions on road surfaces, and not the result of a poorly-maintained road.

            City officials encourage residents to call the City's Pothole Hotline at 394-4152 to report a pothole for crews to repair.

            "Our crews try to get out and repair them the same day or the next day," according to City Street Superintendent Dale Pfeifle.  "We patrol the streets and work to repair potholes and also rely on the public's help to notify us if they have a pothole in their neighborhood or on a City street they travel."

            Pfeifle says major intersections and roads with considerable daily traffic may receive attention in the very late hours or early morning hours to minimize interaction with traffic.

**SNOW ALERT MESSAGES:  It's never too early to be thinking about snow.  The City and the 211 Helpline Center have partnered to promote information when Snow Removal Alerts are declared in the downtown core area from Fifth to Ninth Streets and Kansas City Street to Omaha.  Text 'RCSnow' to 85511.

**AlertRC & AlertPC TEXT MESSAGE SYSTEM: The City of Rapid City, Pennington County, Rapid City Police Department, Pennington County Sheriff's Office, Rapid City Fire Department, Pennington County Fire Service, and Pennington County Emergency Management have partnered with the 211 Helpline Center to provide information to the public of important information via text messaging.  Subscribers will receive official notifications regarding incidents that have public impact such as:

--No travel advisories

--Extensive road closure as a result of infrastructure failure such as a water line or gas line break

--Structure fire that creates traffic hazards

--Wild Fire with evacuations and/or closures

--Major accidents with road closures

To subscribe texting 'AlertRC' to 85511 for Rapid City events and 'AlertPC'  to 85511 for Pennington County events.  Text “STOP’ to cancel subscription at any time. There is no cost to sign up for this service, however standard messaging and data rates apply.

**DIGITAL MEDIA POLICY: The City is advising the public of a new requirement for digital media material for presentations at City Council and City Committee meetings.  Effective May 1, 2017, digital media submissions must be provided at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting where the material will be presented.

 "This new guideline will allow for more efficient presentation of the item, ensuring there are no compatibility or virus issues with the item and the City's display system, as well as providing sufficient time for City staff to contact individuals for any changes that may be needed to the item prior to the meeting," said Darrell Shoemaker, City Communications Coordinator.  "Too often, items are brought in a few moments before the start of a meeting, even after the meeting has started, and there is not sufficient time to ensure compatibility with our system, make sure there are no viruses, problems or issues with the item and for effective presentation of the item."

Digital media items can be submitted to the appropriate department division at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.  For Monday's Council meetings, the item should be provided no later than Friday at 5 p.m.    The City reserves the right to reject any items for presentation due to digital compatibility issues or content appropriateness.

**CITY HALL KIOSK WELCOMES VISITORS:  A kiosk in the lobby of the City/School Administration Center welcomes visitors.  There are four blocks of information, including a block for daily meetings and locations; a block explaining the location of meetings rooms in the building; a 'what am I looking for' block that provides a brief explanation of specific offices and their missions; and a date/time/temperature block.



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