April 19, 2024

What's News In The City & Air Quality Index

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)

**AIR QUALITY INDEX:

Check out this link regarding the current air quality conditions in Rapid City.

Click to see the current Air Quality Index

**CITY TO HOST OPEN HOUSE ON VISION FUND APRIL 29: City officials will host a public open house regarding the next steps in the Vision Fund process.  The open house will be held Monday, April 29 from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Circle of Friends Community Room at City Hall.

            The event will include information tables and visual displays with City staff available to address questions and share information.  The public is invited to provide feedback.

            At the April 1 City Council meeting, Mayor Jason Salamun presented a proposal establishing a five-year Vision Fund budget cycle for 2025-2029 and dividing the Vision Fund resources over the five-year period into four distinct areas: community projects including citizen-recommended projects and development of a non-profit endowment to help non-profit capital projects; economic development; comprehensive plan priority projects such as parks/recreation projects, public safety training center and a new fleet maintenance facility; and formation of a strategic growth revolving fund for investment in proactive development in strategic areas.

           The next steps in the process rest with the City Council, which must first consider updating ordinances establishing the process of allocating Vision Funds.

          The origin of the City’s Vision Fund dates back to 1972 when Rapid City voters approved a sales tax increase to fund a new Civic Center facility. In 1995, voters supported continuing the sales tax with the ‘Vision Fund’ proceeds utilized for a series of significant projects that have enhanced the quality of life in the community.  A portion of the Vision Fund is earmarked towards bond payments on The Monument’s Summit Arena with the remainder utilized to fund community-based projects and uses.

**APRIL 29: CURBSIDE YARD WASTE COLLECTION SET TO RESUME; REMOTE DISPOSAL SITES TO REOPEN FOR SEASON:

The City’s remote yard waste disposal sites at Fitzgerald Stadium at 2721 Canyon Lake Drive, and the West Boulevard North facility at the corner of Anamosa Street and Nickel Street are set to open Monday, April 29.  Curbside collection of yard waste is also set to begin for the season on that day.

            City Solid Waste Division officials provide the following information regarding services that will be available at the sites, commencing April 29:

REMOTE DISPOSAL SITES: Remote yard waste containers will be available for disposing of yard waste at the Fitzgerald Stadium and West Boulevard North sites.  The remote sites will also contain plastic and cardboard recycling containers.  The dumping of trash or other items is prohibited at both sites. Yard waste, plastic and cardboard items must be placed inside the containers at the remote sites. These sites are to be used for residential purposes only. Commercial use is prohibited.

CURBSIDE SERVICE:  Yard waste must be properly placed in the recyclable brown paper sacks and placed curbside on the day of curbside collection.  Branches and sticks need to be bundled and tied up for collection.  The bundles need to be under 25 pounds and under four feet in length. Large branches and tree limbs must be taken to the Fitzgerald Stadium or Landfill sites.

CARDBOARD: The remote sites provide containers for disposal of recyclable materials and clean cardboard items.  The large blue containers are for recyclable items and the brown containers are for clean, corrugated cardboard items such as the brown boxes.  Do not place shiny cardboard boxes in the recyclable or cardboard containers.  Shiny cardboard has pictures on it like diaper boxes, TV boxes, shoe boxes, cereal boxes, etc. These are coated with a layer of plastic and should be placed in the trash.

POLLINATORS:  Gardeners are advised to remove winter protection, such as mulch, when temperatures are consistent above freezing or when plants begin to sprout, Many experts advise waiting for temperatures to be consistently above 50 degrees before cutting back perennials, removing cover and disrupting soils due to hibernating insects.

RAPID CITY LANDFILL:  The transfer site located at the entrance of the Landfill is open 24/7.  The site provides containers for yard waste, newspaper, cardboard and mixed recycling items year-round. The dumping of trash or other items is prohibited.  Commercial use is prohibited.

              “Homeowners are beginning spring cleaning inside their homes, including attics, basements and garages, as well as their yards,” said Solid Waste Outreach Coordinator Ria Hannon.  We want to remind them of some important dates coming up with the opening of the remote sites and curbside yard waste collection starting up for the season.  We also want to provide some helpful recycling reminders of common items like cardboard and how to dispose of different items around the home, such as paint, tires and other items.”

                Hannon encourages the public to visit the Solid Waste website at  www.rapidcityrecycles.org .  This site includes a helpful ‘What Goes Where’ section including guidance on proper disposal of paint; automotive items such as antifreeze, oil, tires and batteries; cardboard and boxes; electronics; hazardous materials; sharps items and more.  The site also provides a recycling section including ‘What Can I Recycle?’ with helpful hints on what can be placed in the blue recycling bins and containers; and a section entitled ‘Tips & Tricks’ with helpful reminders and facts.

            For more information or with questions, contact the City’s Solid Waste Division at 605-355-3496.

**NEW INNOVATIVE INSTRUCTION PROGRAM FOR BEGINNING GOLFERS OFFERED AT MEADOWBROOK GOLF COURSE: A new golf instruction and developmental program will be offered at Meadowbrook Golf Course beginning next week.

            The Operation Golf 36 Golf Program provides instruction for beginning golfers featuring developmental programs and technology applications.  The program has been endorsed by PGA Tour players.  The first session begins next Wednesday at Meadowbrook Golf Course.  The beginner class is scheduled from 4:30-5:30 p.m. with limited spots available.

             “Operation 36 is the most effective program to teach beginners to learn to play golf,” said Kristy Lintz, golf operations manager at Meadowbrook Golf Course. “Their curriculum is a clear blueprint to go from complete novice to par golfer. We shared the same fundamental philosophies and appreciate what they had to offer us for support so we signed on with them.”

            Lintz said the lessons are based around playing on the course right away and moving up in levels.

            “The technology that they provide in the app is cutting-edge,” Lintz said.  “You can track all of your progress in the program through the Op36 Mobile app.”

              To learn more about Operation Golf 36 visit OPERATION 36 GOLF WEBSITE . For more information regarding the Meadowbrook Beginner’s Class, visit https://operation36golf.com/landing/2431 

            “We can’t wait to share this new program of instruction throughout the 2024 season,” Lintz said. “We are continuing with our existing Junior Bootcamp this season but will transition the format as an introduction to Operation 36 academy for next season. We will hold a parent orientation at the end of the first session on June 21st to be held at Meadowbrook Golf Course. The orientation will share all of the details of our offerings for all of our upcoming programs.”

            PGA Tour Winner Will McGirt selected Operation 36 as the program for his children, noting "Operation 36 is just a way better-structured program. The progression through the yardages and being play-based, everything is focused around playing golf."

             For more information, contact Lintz at  (605) 394-4191.

**CITY'S SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE EXPANDS ANNUAL EARTH DAY TRAIL CHALLENGE: For a fourth consecutive year, the Rapid City Sustainability Committee is hosting the Earth Day Trail Challenge as a way to maintain and continue the energy and enthusiasm of Earth Day in the local community.

             This year’s Earth Day Trail Challenge has been expanded, beginning Monday to celebrate Earth Day, and continuing this year through the end of June.

            The Rapid City Earth Day Trail Challenge tasks the public to hike each of three local trails: Lower Dinosaur Loop on the Skyline Wilderness Trail System, Lower Rim Black on the Hansen-Larson Memorial Trail System and Nature Trail at the Outdoor Campus West. 

             Along each trail, hikers will find a Rapid City Earth Day Trail Challenge sign and they are asked to take a selfie with the sign in the photo.  Hikers have until June 30 to complete the three-hike challenge. They can show the selfies and pick up a Rapid City Earth Day pin at the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks’ Outdoor Campus West, 4130 Adventure Trail, during normal business hours through June 30.

             “We’ve been impressed at the growing interest in the Earth Day Trail Challenge and wanted to expand it to continue through June this year,” said Rapid City Sustainability Committee member Ria Hannon.  “Last year’s Challenge was impacted because it was so wet in May, which impacted the condition of the trails and no one could really hike.  So we extended through June and there was a really positive response. We’ve decided to permanently extend the Challenge into June moving forward.”

            Challenge participants are also encouraged to clean up trash they may encounter on the trails.

           “The trail challenge encourages people to get out and enjoy our beautiful community this spring and also to help keep these areas clean and beautiful by picking up trash as they hike,” said Lysann Zeller of the Sustainability Committee.

           Hannon says the Earth Day Trail Challenge is a win-win opportunity.

            “The goal of the trail challenge is to hike all three trails, find the sign, take a selfie with it, and then head into the Outdoor Campus during their business hours and show your selfies to get a pin,” said Ria Hannon, also a member of the City’s Sustainability Committee. “And it helps keep our trails clean. If you see any trash, pack it out.”

            For more information and links to the trail maps, visit: https://www.rapidcitysustainability.com/trailchallenge .

**CANDIDATES, PUBLIC & BUSINESSES REMINDED OF CAMPAIGN SIGNAGE REQUIREMENTS: With the June legislative primary and school board elections just over six weeks away, campaign signs are beginning to pop up in neighborhood yards and business frontage areas.  Candidate signage is as much a part of the traditional election season as door-to-door visits, political literature and stump speeches.

            However, with the appearance of campaign signs comes the first citizen complaints.

            City code enforcement officials are already fielding citizen complaints about the improper placement of campaign signs.  Officials remind the public it is unlawful to place signs in public rights-of-way or medians, including the boulevard areas of homes, public rights-of-way along streets and railroad areas, City parks and areas that can block the sight of traffic.

           Examples of prohibited signage in the public rights-of-way areas include political, real estate, roofing and siding company signage, banquet and church signage, even signs promoting rummage sales and businesses.  Such signage is permitted on the property owner's yard excluding the boulevard right-of-way. City ordinance 17.50.080 prohibits signs in public rights-of-way, and any signs placed in the right-of-way are subject to immediate removal. 

            Temporary political signs are allowed so long as they are not located within the public right of way, do not block a required sight triangle or impede traffic, or block or occupy a required parking stall or parking area.  Temporary political signs are limited to 32 total square feet and a maximum height of eight feet.

            The area in front of a property from and including the sidewalk to the curb is public right-of-way.  Signs are not allowed in this area.  Signs can be placed in a yard, or in front of a building.

            The South Dakota Department of Transportation also reminds the public that political campaign and ballot-issue signs cannot be placed on state highway rights of way.  The use of right of way is reserved for official highway signage.  The State DOT indicates all signs in the right of way not required for traffic control are prohibited and will be removed by SDDOT crews and DOT staff will attempt to contact the owner of the signs to pick them up.

**CITY REC DIVISION TO OFFER NEW BOCCE BALL LEAGUES: If trying something new is on your to-do list this summer, check out Bocce Ball!

         The City’s Recreation Division is sponsoring a new Bocce Ball League.  Matches will be held on Mondays beginning June 3 at the new Bocce Ball Courts near the intersection of Omaha Street and Mount Rushmore Road.  The four-week league will include an end-of-the-season tournament.

         Registration deadline is May 27 with cost set at $20 per team and the league comprised of female/female or male/female teams with recreation and competitive divisions. Games start at 6 p.m.

         “As with pickleball, we are excited to offer bocce ball leagues as a new activity this summer,” said City Recreation Specialist Matt Brandhagen.  “We’ve had a number of requests to start bocce ball, both for those who play the sport and those who’d like to learn.  And with the new bocce ball courts off Omaha Street, it’s a great time to get a league started in Rapid City.”

        The new Bocce Ball Courts off Omaha Street were dedicated last July.

         Sign up online at https://rapidcity.activityreg.com/ClientPage_t2.wcs , at the Swim Center, 125 Waterloo Street; or at the Parks and Rec Office, 515 West Boulevard.  If you have questions, contact Matt Brandhagen at 605-415-0226 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

**RESTORING HISTORIC WINDOWS IS THEME OF MAY 18 CITY WORKSHIP:

—‘How to Restore Your Historic Windows’ is the theme of an upcoming in-person workshop.  The workshop will be held Saturday, May 18 from 8 a.m. to Noon at the Circle of Friends Community Room of City Hall.

             Workshop topics include:

  • Energy Efficiency Facts & Options
  • Maintenance and Restoration Techniques
  • How to work in Historic Districts
  • Weatherstripping & Storm Windows

             The workshop is hosted by the Rapid City Historic Preservation Commission with support from the West Boulevard Neighborhood Association, South Dakota State Historical Society and Knecht Home Center.  The workshop is free however space is limited to 25 participants with registration provided on a first come, first served basis.

            Scott Sidler, president of Austin Historical, Inc. is the featured workshop presenter and will appear at the workshop via zoom.  Sidler will appear via zoom for the workshop session.  In 2010, Sidler founded Austin Historical, which served the needs of historic building owners.  He is the vice-president of the Parramore Main Street District, vice-chair of the Orlando Historic Preservation Board and the Window Preservation Alliance Board. 

            “The workshop is an opportunity to learn how to restore and maintain old or historic-style windows, how to work with historic districts and proper energy efficiency and maintenance techniques for the windows in old, historic homes,” said Jonathan Howard, special projects planner with the City’s Community Development Department.

           This is the second year the groups are hosting a workshop geared towards maintenance of historic homes.  Last year’s workshop focused on proper painting techniques for old, historic homes.

           The event has been financed with federal funds from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior through the South Dakota Historical Preservation Office.

          Direct questions and register for the workshop by contacting Jonathan Howard with the City’s Community Development Department as This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 605-394-4120, ext. 2339.

**CITY OFFICIALS OUTLINE NEXT STEPS IN VISION FUND PROCESS: What’s next for the City’s Vision Fund?

            Mayor Jason Salamun briefed the Rapid City Council Monday night (April 1) with a proposal to initiate Council consideration and discussion for the utilization of the City’s Vision Fund.  The next steps in the process rest with the City Council, which must first consider updating ordinances establishing the process of allocating Vision Funds.

            Ordinance revisions must receive two readings and approvals by the City Council.  The revisions will be presented at next Wednesday’s April 10 and May 1 Legal and Finance Committee meetings, followed by consideration and possible action at the April 15 and May 6 City Council sessions.  If the Council approves the revised ordinances, there is a 20-day period after publication of the revised ordinance before action can commence on planning and implementation of the Vision Fund plan approved by the Council.  Should the Council approve the process revisions included in the ordinance amendments, further discussion will occur on the proposed allocation plan.

            The proposal presented by Mayor Salamun at Monday’s City Council meeting would establish a five-year Vision Fund budget cycle for 2025-2029 and divide the Vision Fund resources over the five-year period into four distinct areas: community projects including citizen-recommended projects and development of a non-profit endowment to help non-profit capital projects; economic development; comprehensive plan priority projects such as parks/recreation projects, public safety training center and a new fleet maintenance facility; and formation of a strategic growth revolving fund for investment in proactive development in strategic areas.

            The origin of the City’s Vision Fund dates back to 1972 when Rapid City voters approved a sales tax increase to fund a new Civic Center facility. In 1995, voters supported continuing the sales tax with the ‘Vision Fund’ proceeds utilized for a series of significant projects that have enhanced the quality of life in the community.  A portion of the Vision Fund is earmarked towards bond payments on The Monument’s Summit Arena with the remainder utilized to fund community-based projects and uses.

           The public can visit City YouTube and City Facebook to view Mayor Salamun’s presentation to City Council and to local media this week.  The slide presentation is also available in the ‘Community Bookmark’ section on the City’s homepage.  For additional information about the City’s Vision Fund, go to the ‘Government’ tab on the City’s home page, click on ‘Boards, Commissions and Committees’ and visit the Vision Fund Citizen Committee page.

           The City’s Legal and Finance Committee meetings are held at 12:30 p.m. on the Wednesday prior to scheduled City Council meetings, which are held the first and third Mondays of each month at 6:30 p.m.  All sessions are held in Council Chambers of City Hall.

**CITY PARKS AND RECREATION ISSUES 2024 ONLINE SUMMER PROGRAM GUIDE:  The Rapid City Parks and Recreation Department this week has posted its annual Summer Program Guide, filled with information on everything from classes and camps, special events and pool hours, to how to reserve park shelters and sign up for various leagues.

           With warmer and nicer weather, many people are turning their thoughts to spring and summer activities.  The City’s Parks and Recreation Department’s Summer Program Guide provides a one-stop guide for summer fun.

            The guide can be accessed online at the Department’s page on the City’s website at www.rcgov.org and clicking on ‘Recreation Program Guide’. The Summer Program Guide provides information on numerous activities, camps, classes and events hosted and sponsored by the city this summer.  Online visitors can click for information on the various divisions including aquatics, golf, parks, recreation, tennis and the Roosevelt Ice Arena. Visitors are also able to register for various programs and activities online.

            View the Summer Guide here: https://www.rcgov.org/.../parks.../parks-program-guide.html.

            “The Guide is a an easy online resource tool to check out what’s happening with Parks and Rec this spring and summer,” said Lindsey Myers of the Parks and Recreation Department.  “It’s a way to find out and learn more about programs.  Spots can fill up quickly for our activities.

“The Guide also provides great information about special events and activities going on this summer as well as important information about our City's pools, golf courses, and park shelters.  It’s a helpful online resource for visitors to obtain activity and facility information and to register for classes, programs and activities.”

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

**SOME CITY PARK RESTROOMS OPENED APRIL 1: With the calendar officially turned to spring, the City’s Parks and Recreation Department is opening up some of the restrooms in the City’s park system.

            The restroom facilities at Sioux Park, Vickie Powers Park, Skyline Wilderness and Parkview Tennis Courts will be open and available for use beginning next Monday.  Facilities at Founders Park and Canyon Lake West are open throughout the year. 

            The remaining restroom facilities in the City's park system will open May 1.

**PLANNING COMMISSION APPROVES REZONING OF NORTH RAPID AREA FOR NEW KNOLLWOOD PARK: The Rapid City Planning Commission gave unanimous approval this morning to two rezoning requests, advancing a plan to develop an area in north Rapid City into the new Knollwood Park.

            The Rapid City Parks and Recreation Department has been working with Wyss Associates, Inc. on design and development of a new city park in the area.  The Parks and Recreation Department sought public feedback at a park design workshop last November and a neighborhood meeting in February.  The Commission’s actions now advance to the Rapid City Council for consideration and approval.

            The measures approved by the Commission change the zoning designations of the affected area from low and medium density residential districts to public district designations.

            “The change in zoning designation allows the area to be developed into a park,” said City Parks and Recreation Landscape Architect Melissa Petersen.  “We worked to get important feedback and input from neighborhood residents and businesses as well as the general public.  We have worked with the project designer on developing several park features that can be used and enjoyed by people of all ages.”

The affected area is north of Crestwood Drive, east of Downing Street, south of Interstate 90 and west of N. Lacrosse Street.  Proposed improvements at Knollwood Park would include a looped concrete path and natural surface trail, playground, covered pavilion, disc golf course, leashed dog park, half-court basketball facility, restrooms, wetland conditioning and security lighting.

            “We’ve been very pleased with the proposals we’ve seen,” said Community Development Director Vicki Fisher.  “This is such an excellent improvement for this neighborhood.  A definite positive for the area, an excellent plan and one we look forward to coming to fruition.”

            Development of the area is scheduled for 2025.  Once completed, Knollwood Park will be the latest addition to the City’s parks system, which includes over three dozen city park areas.  For a full listing of City parks, visit the Parks and Recreation page at www.rcgov.org  .

**CITY GRANTS DIVISION EXPERIENCES BUSY MARCH SEEKING ADDITIONAL FUNDS: In March, the City’s Grants Division applied for five grants totaling $3.1 million in support of various City departments and services.

            Two of the submissions were to the Department of Transportation for Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grants.  One grant application, seeking $1.43 million, would support the Comprehensive Country Road Corridor Study and Design Project. This planning grant would assess the safety needs on Country Road including adding bike and pedestrian features.

            The second RAISE grant application seeks $1.1 million for the Comprehensive Downtown Railroad Safety Solutions Project.  This planning grant would assess the safety needs on railroad crossings in the downtown corridor, including adding a quiet zone and ADA features.

            Other applications filed by the grants division include: an EMS Regional Services Designation Grant application to the South Dakota Department of Health, seeking $317,774 for EMS training equipment and recruitment supplies; an Assistance to Firefighters Grant to FEMA of $185,000 for a new ambulance; and a Homeland Security Grant to South Dakota Homeland Security for $90,376 for security upgrades at The Monument’s Rushmore Hall.

            “It was a busy and productive month of March,” said City Grants Division Manager Jamie Toennies. “The grants being pursued are on a state and federal level and will assist and support various City departments in their efforts and missions.”

            The City’s grants division was created in early 2023 to secure external funding for the City; to increase the City’s capacity to compete for grants and federal funding; increase grant-related revenue; and promote collaborate efforts between citizens, departments, nonprofits, businesses, contractors, sub-recipients and stakeholders.

**CITY RECREATION TO OFFER NEW PICKLEBALL LEAGUES: Last May, the City transformed the old tennis courts at Wilson Park to pickleball courts, responding to requests by the public to offer more venues to accommodate one of the nation’s increasingly-popular competitive and recreational activities.

                To build on that interest locally, the Rapid City Parks and Recreation Department is offering a new Pickleball League.  The eight-week season is scheduled to start June 2 at the Wilson Park Pickleball Courts with registration deadline set for May 27.  The Sunday Leagues will feature two divisions, a recreational division for beginners that are just learning the sport, and a competitive division.

             League play will feature coed teams, which can be male/female or female/female.  Games will start on Sundays at 2 p.m. and at the top of each hour afterwards.

                There will be an end-of-season double-elimination tournament after conclusion of the eight-week season.  Cost is $50 per team.

                “Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports and activities in the country,” said City Recreation Specialist Matt Brandhagen. “Every time I drive by the Pickleball Courts at Wilson Park, it is jammed packed with people.  So with some help form a group of pickleballers, we are going to start the Summer Pickleball League.

“The new pickleball courts at Wilson Park offer a great venue and opportunity to provide some doubles action for players of all ages and experience levels.  It should be fun.”

                Sign up online at https://rapidcity.activityreg.om/ClientPage_t2.wcs ,at the Swim Center, 125 Waterloo Street; or at the Parks and Rec Office, 515 West Boulevard.  If you have questions, contact Matt Brandhagen at 605-415-0226 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

**SOLID WASTE OFFICIALS PROVIDE EARLY SPRING CLEANUP REMINDERS:  With nicer weather, homeowners may be getting more active in their gardens and the sounds of lawnmowers and other yard equipment are beginning to be heard in Rapid City neighborhoods.

The City’s Solid Waste Division has a few reminders for spring cleanup work and activities. 

“With the nice weather, many homeowners are making plans or even starting to get out into their gardens and yards,” said Solid Waste Outreach Coordinator Ria Hannon.  “We want to provide a few reminders on when the remote sites will open and when curbside collection of yard waste will begin.

                “And we are also nearing the time when homeowners will begin spring cleaning inside their homes, including attics, basements and garages.  We want to remind them of how to dispose of cardboard items as well as different items around the home, such as paint, tires and other items.”

                Hannon encourages the public to visit the Solid Waste website at  www.rapidcityrecycles.org .  This site includes a helpful ‘What Goes Where’ section including guidance on proper disposal of paint; automotive items such as antifreeze, oil, tires and batteries; cardboard and boxes; electronics; hazardous materials; sharps items and more.  The site also provides a recycling section including ‘What Can I Recycle?’ with helpful hints on what can be placed in the blue recycling bins and containers; and a section entitled ‘Tips & Tricks’ with helpful reminders and facts.

            Hannon provides these helpful hints to spring cleaners:

REMOTE SITES:  The yard waste containers will return to the remote disposal sites at Fitzgerald Stadium and the West Boulevard North site at the corner of Anamosa Street and Nickel Street on Monday, April 29.  Throughout the year, yard waste items, including tree branches and limbs, can be taken to yard waste containers at the Rapid City Landfill.

CURBSIDE YARD WASTE: The first day of curbside yard waste is also Monday, April 29.

CARDBOARD: The remote sites provide containers for disposal of recyclable materials and clean cardboard items.  The large blue containers are for recyclable items and the brown containers are for clean, corrugated cardboard items such as the brown boxes.  Do not place shiny cardboard boxes in the recyclable or cardboard containers.  Shiny cardboard has pictures on it like diaper boxes, TV boxes, shoe boxes, cereal boxes, etc. These are coated with a layer of plastic and should be placed in the trash.

POLLINATORS:  Gardeners are advised to remove winter protection, such as mulch, when temperatures are consistent above freezing or when plants begin to sprout, Many experts advise waiting for temperatures to be consistently above 50 degrees before cutting back perennials, removing cover and disrupting soils due to hibernating insects.

**RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM SHARES MARCH RIDERSHIP REPORT:  Rapid Transit System (RTS) recorded more than 19,600 passenger trips in March, the second-highest total for overall ridership for the month of March in the past four years.

            Nearly 99,000 passenger trips (98,887) have been recorded on RTS buses in the six-month period between October and March.  The six-month number was highlighted by ridership in January and last October when more than 20,000 passengers were recorded in the system.

            The March ridership totals included 4,795 youth passenger trips recorded as part of the ‘Youth Ride Free’ program.  The number represents a slight drop from the 4,991 youth trips recorded in March 2023.  RTS officials point to warm weather and an extended spring break recess as possible factors for the slight decline in youth ridership.

             A total of 34,588 youth passenger trips have been recorded since the 2023-24 school year started (September-March).  The seven-month total compares to 29,758 youth passenger trips recorded for the same period in the 2022-23 school year.

            For more information about the RTS program, visit www.rapidride.org or call 605-394-6631.  In addition, parents and guardians can contact Rapid Transit Service to register for the youth ridership program or go online to rapidride.org and click on the ‘Youth Ride Free’ button.

**RAPID CITY RANKS HIGH AMONGST HAPPIEST PLACES TO LIVE:  Rapid City and Sioux Falls are ranked among the nation’s happiest cities to live in the nation in a report released this week by WalletHub.

         Rapid City ranked 36th among the top 182 cities referenced in the report.  Sioux Falls ranked 11th.  According to WalletHub, the happiest city in America is Fremont, CA followed in the top five by Overland Park, KS, San Jose, CA, Madison, WI and Irvine, CA.  WalletHub compared 182 of the largest cities, including the 150 most populated US cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state, across three key dimensions: emotional/physical well-being, income/employment and community/environment.

        Rapid City was among the top six cities for happiest place to live in the region listed in the report with all six ranking in the top 20 percent of the listing: Sioux Falls (11th), Minneapolis (13th), Fargo, ND (16th), Lincoln, NE (19th), Bismarck, ND (20th) and Rapid City (36th).  Other regional cities in the 182-city rankings included Omaha, NE (41st), St. Paul, MN (44th), Cedar Rapids, IA (45th), Missoula, MT (70th), Des Moines, IA (72nd), Billings, MT (82nd) and Casper, WY (153rd).

       “The WalletHub reports confirms what many people who live and visit here have known and sometimes take for granted. Rapid City is a great place to live You can find a lot of happiness here,” said Mayor Jason Salamun.  “Rapid City is a great place to live, work and raise a family. Rapid City and the Black Hills have many quality of life experiences and opportunities for residents and visitors alike.  And visitors often complement us on how friendly and helpful we are.”

       Rapid City consistently ranks high in WalletHub reports.  Last May, Rapid City ranked as the fifth best place in the nation for summer jobs.

      WalletHub used 29 indicators of happiness to determine the happiest places to live rankings, ranging from income-growth rate to average leisure time spent per day to depression rate. Among the indicators: unemployment rate, commute time, job satisfaction, poverty rate, physical-health and mental health factors, weather, acres of parkland, separation and divorce rates, hate-crime incidents, depression rates among others.

View the report at https://wallethub.com/edu/happiest-places-to-live/32619 .

**CITY ISSUES FEBRUARY BUILDING PERMIT REPORT:  The City’s Building Services Division issued 157 building permits in February with a combined valuation total of more than $45.4 million.  The valuation total is the second-highest total for the month of February, surpassed only by the $46.2 million in building permit valuation recorded in February 2022.

      Last month’s permit and valuation totals compare to 173 permits issued in February 2023 with a combined valuation total of more than $25.3 million. 

      For the first two months of 2024, the City has issued 318 building permits with a two-month valuation total of more than $80,8 million.  The two-month valuation total is the second highest in the City’s history for a January/February time frame, surpassed only by the $125.4 million valuation total from January/February 2018 which included a $92 million permit issued to Monument Health (Rapid City Regional Hospital).  By comparison, the City issued 374 building permits in January/February 2023 with a combined two-month valuation total of more than $56 million.

      The City issued three permits in February with valuation totals exceeding $1 million each.  The permits include a permit valued at more than $28.93 million for Rapid City Regional Airport terminal project expansion areas D, E and A at 4550 Terminal Road with Scull Construction Service, Inc. as contractor.  A permit valued at more than $2.78 million was issued to Pete Lien and Sons, Inc. with Scull Construction Service, Inc. as contractor for facility additions at 3401 Universal Drive.  A permit valued at more than $1.39 million was issued to Presbyterian Retirement Village with Rangel Construction Company as contractor for facility alterations at 255 Texas Street.

**CONTRACTORS REMINDED OF REVISIONS TO CERTAIN LICENSE RENEWAL DATES: City Public Works officials are reminding contractors of recent revisions in the ordinance governing the annual renewal date for City sewer/ water and trenching licenses.

          The Rapid City Council last month approved the ordinance revision, responding to changes made by the State Plumbing Commission.

          Earlier this year, the State Plumbing Commission updated the renewal date of state sewer water licenses, changing the dates required for annual license renewals from December 31 to June 30.  The City’s Trenching Board recommended an ordinance change, adjusting the renewal date for City sewer/water and trenching licenses from February 28 to August 31.

          “By adjusting our current renewal date to August 31, we better align with the state’s licensing,” said Interim Assistant Public Works Director Shannon Truax.  “Any sewer-water or trenching license that was scheduled to expire on February 28 is automatically extended to August 31.”

         License holders were notified by email of the change last month and will be sent a reminder email in July.

          “We encourage anyone who has a license to keep their email updated with us so that they don’t miss any important notices about licensing,” Truax said. 

        Contractors doing sewer/water installation work in Rapid City are required to be licensed through both the state and city.

         City Public Works officials say the change of the local licensure renewal to August 31 ensures the state license is renewed for the year, prior to the renewal deadline for local licensure.

CITY COUNCIL PASSES ORDINANCE REVISING CERTAIN LICENSE RENEWAL DATES: At its meeting last week, the Rapid City Council Tuesday approved second reading of an ordinance revising the annual renewal date for City sewer, water and trenching licenses.

                The State Plumbing Commission recently updated the renewal date of  state Sewer Water licenses, changing the dates required for annual license renewals from December 31 to June 30.  The City’s Trenching Board recommended an ordinance change, adjusting the renewal date for City Sewer Water and Trenching licenses from February 28 to August 31.

         “By adjusting our current renewal date to August 31, we better align with the state’s licensing,” said Interim Assistant Public Works Director Shannon Truax.  “Any sewer-water or trenching license that was scheduled to expire on February 28 will automatically be extended to August 31.”

        License holders were notified by email of the change and will be sent a reminder email in July.

       “We encourage anyone who has a license to keep their email updated with us so that they don’t miss any important notices about licensing,” Truax said. 

       Contractors doing sewer/water installation work in Rapid City are required to be licensed through both the state and city.

       City Public Works officials say the change of the local licensure renewal to August 31 ensures the state license is renewed for the year, prior to the renewal deadline for local licensure.

**CITY HALL SERVING AS RECYCLING LOCATION FOR ALKALINE BATTERIES: A collection bin for the disposal of alkaline batteries has been placed at the front desk of the Public Works Department administration area on second floor of City Hall.

         Americans throw away more than three billion batteries each year, totaling 180,000 tons of waste.  The average American household buys as many as 90 alkaline batteries annually, which results in 86,000 tons of waste per year just from single-use alkaline batteries.

            Alkaline batteries include the AAA, AA, C and D batteries used in many household items.

            “The most common small device battery is the ‘AA’ battery and are mostly used at work in remotes, computer mice and keyboards, calculators, and headphones, and used in our homes in so many gadgets from flashlights to toys,” said Rodney Swendener of the City’s Public Works Department.  “We can easily take for granted the number of batteries we use and dispose of. Right now, our practice is to simply throw them away.”

            The Rapid City Public Library also recycles alkaline batteries at no charge and the Rapid City Landfill accepts alkaline batteries, which can be placed in garbage containers. 

            “We use a lot of alkaline batteries here at the City, just within our own departments and divisions” said City Sustainability Program Development Manager Lysann Zeller.  “The City Hall collection bin is a way to collect the batteries for recycling, both within our City departments and from the public.”

            While dead batteries may be tossed aside by the public, they can take on a much different and destructive role after being discarded.

            “Those batteries make their way to the landfill where they are buried in refuse,” Swendener said.  “Eventually they break down and, in the decomposition process, batteries have the potential to leak harmful chemicals. That process alone can take over 100 years.”

           Ria Hannon of the City’s Solid Waste Division says when many items, including batteries, are littered and not disposed of properly, can leak into the ground water and local water supply.  She said the Rapid City Landfill lines their cells to prevent such contamination and says any proper diversion of batteries is appreciated.

            Zeller said the plan is to expand the collection program to other city departments.  She also referenced several local businesses that accept alkaline batteries at no charge, such as Lowe’s Home Improvement and Chris Supply.  Batteries Plus Bulbs and Interstate Battery and Badger State Recovery also accept lithium batteries, which are not accepted at the Rapid City Landfill due to the combustible nature of the batteries.

            “It’s important for the community at large to participate in the recycling and proper disposal of alkaline and lithium batteries,” said Zeller.  “That includes homeowners, businesses and here at City Hall.”

            For more information on where to recycle batteries, visit https://www.rapidcityrecycles.org/batteries--lithium-batteries.html  .

**HELP WANTED: PARKS & REC SEEKS SEASONAL HELP IN MANY AREAS: The City’s Parks and Recreation Department continues efforts to fill dozens of seasonal positions at the City’s pools, golf courses, parks and cemetery. There are positions available for youth as young as 14 and 15 years of age and older applicants seeking seasonal employment in a variety of positions.

        The Parks Division has numerous seasonal openings for landscape maintenance workers and mowers; greenhouse workers; park laborers; cemetery maintenance, custodial, forestry and irrigation workers.  The Recreation Division is seeking applicants for lifeguards, personal trainers, customer service, landscape maintenance and facility maintenance as well as golf course workers including golf cart washers, golf course maintenance, clubhouse cashier, starter shack attendant and beverage cart attendant.

            "We still have a few months of winter yet, but spring and summer will be here soon. We are seeking dozens of workers that provide valuable assistance in getting our parks, golf courses and pools ready and maintained," said Doug Lowe, City Recreation Division Director.  "These seasonal positions are great first-job opportunities as well as great positions for workers with various levels of experience and skills.  We offer competitive wages and the job experiences are rewarding."

            Lifeguards are needed for City pools at Horace Mann, Parkview, Jimmy Hilton and Rapid City Swim Center pools.  Applicants must have an American Red Cross Lifeguard with Waterpark certification, and be at least 15 years old by the end date of certification class.  Job duties include monitoring pool safety, conducting pool patrols and enforcing pool rules to prevent accidents, ability to respond to emergency situations, provide first aid and assist with swim lessons.

            "Lifeguarding is a great summer job and plus it provides an opportunity for other positions including management within our organization,” said Recreation Specialist Teaghan Berkey.  “We are promoting our lifeguard certification classes in March, April and May so there’s great opportunities to serve as a City lifeguard this summer.”

            Berkey encourages those interested in becoming lifeguards to register for classes at https://rapidcity.activityreg.com/selectactivity_t2.wcs  or call the Roosevelt Swim Center with questions.  The City is also seeking to fill positions for Swim Center front desk and customer service work and applicants must by age 14 or older by the date of hire.  The positions include selling passes, working concessions and resolving questions or issues raised by patrons.

            Interested applicants are encouraged to apply online at www.rcgov.org .  For more information, contact Parks and Recreation at 394-4175 or the Roosevelt Swim Center at 394-5223.

**CITY REMINDS RESIDENTS OF UTILITY RATE RELIEF PROGRAM: Rapid City utility customers can apply for a reduction of their monthly utility charges through a decade-long program administered by the City's Public Works Department.

            The program, entitled the Utility Rate Relief Program, is designed to lower the monthly utility expense for senior citizens and people with disabilities. The program recently underwent an update, to make the qualification process more straightforward.

            Under the City's updated Utility Rate Relief Program, applicants must meet all of the following eligibility criteria: they must be 65 or older or disabled as defined by the Social Security Act; they must fall below the “very low income” limit criteria outlined by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the Rapid City Metro Area; the applicant must be the person who is responsible for payment of the utility bill directly to the City; the property must be the applicant’s primary residence.

If qualified, the rates charged for utility services billed to the applicant will be reduced by 25 percent for a period of two years or until the renewal date established by the Public Works Director.  New applications are accepted at any time, but renewal requests must be received by April 30 of odd numbered years in order for current participants to remain on the program.

            For more information and an application, visit https://www.rcgov.org/departments/public-works/water-division/urr-587.html or call the City's Public Works Department at 394-4165.

**CITY SWEEPS AVERAGE OF 2300 TONS OF MATERIAL FROM CITY STREETS:  As this year’s edition of the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo shutters for another year, an army of workers hustle to transform The Monument facilities from dirt-filled rodeo arenas, sale rings and corrals to spit-spot display and vendors areas for this weekend’s Black Hills Sports Show and Outdoor Expo.

           When most everything has been packed up, hauled away and items placed into boxes and into storage, the arenas and parking lot facilities are turned over to City crews operating street sweepers – those vehicles that move at a snail’s pace with a constant humming noise.

           “A lot of work goes into the changeover of The Monument from the Stock Show to the Sports Show,” said Priscilla Dominquez, director of corporate sales and marketing at The Monument.  “As part of the massive effort to tear down one huge event and set up for another large event, the city street sweepers and crews play a major role in the process by collecting the dirt and debris from the arenas and parking lots in quick order so we can begin staging of sports show vendors and displays.”

            The city sweepers may move at slow speeds but they move tons of debris off city streets each year.

           Consider this: City Street Department crews have swept an average of more than 2300 tons of material from city streets over the past four years.

            Yes, TONS!  That’s a lot of gravel, dirt, rock and other debris!

            “With our considerable traffic, our seasonal weather patterns, the construction projects and our winds, our sweepers have a lot of material to collect and pick up,” said Jeremy Cahill of the City Streets Division.  “Our sweepers are kept busy.”

           Stacked alongside other trucks and vehicles in the City fleet, the street sweepers don’t possess the speed of the police cruisers, the brawn of the solid waste dumpsters or the girth of the dump trucks and plows over at the streets department.  When it comes to speed and maneuverability, City sweepers are the sloths of the fleet.

           If the City’s fleet of vehicles were in a parade, the City Street Sweepers are the equivalent of the shovel-bearing workers that follow the horses and elephants.  But much like the pothole patchers, plows, dump trucks and trash haulers, the sweepers play a key role in keeping the city clean.

            The City’s fleet of 10 sweepers remains busy throughout all four seasons of the year.

            Cahill said the sweepers collect not only dirt and gravel, but cups, bottles, cigarette butts, paper items and other debris.

            “The crews work to keep the streets clean of the debris,” Cahill said.

           The sweepers collect material left behind from the thousands of cars traveling city streets on a daily basis, pick up debris residing on streets and gutters produced from various weather conditions, and round up material in wash outs produced from spring rains.

            Sweeper crews work in residential areas during the day and main line areas at night for safety reasons to minimize interaction with traffic.  The collected material is dropped off at the Street Shop detention area on Steele Avenue, dried and then taken to the Rapid City Landfill, which uses the material for cover.

            “The work done by the sweepers and the crews – it’s a slow process but an important part of keeping our community clean,” says Cahill, noting the sweepers operate at about five miles per hour when collecting material. The vehicles display bright lights to alert the public of their presence. 

            The sweepers help reduce the dirt, dust and debris buildup on roads and are part of the important role of street department crews along with snow removal and patching potholes.

          Cahill urges drivers to use caution when approaching or passing street sweepers and to be mindful of oncoming traffic in the work area.

**RAPID CITY REGIONAL AIRPORT SETS NEW RECORD FOR PASSENGER EMPLANEMENTS IN 2023: Rapid City Regional Airport set a new record for passenger enplanements in 2023, with 352,388 passengers boarding flights. This number exceeds the previous record of 350,960 set in 2019, and represents an increase of 4.1% from 2022.

         "Air service is crucial for the growth and tourism of the Black Hills region. It contributes to a massive positive economic impact on the community. We would like to express our gratitude to our passengers who have helped us achieve this milestone. We also appreciate the hardworking staff of Rapid City Regional Airport who work tirelessly around the clock every day to ensure that our airport remains safe and operational," said Patrick Dame, the Airport Executive Director.

        Rapid City Regional Airport is the only full-service commercial airport for the Black Hills and contributes over $456 million in economic impact annually to South Dakota. Our mission is to provide a safe, environmentally responsible, and fiscally self-sustainable operation, ensuring high-quality services and facilities. Our vision is to provide world-class transportation services, enhancing economic growth.

Rapid City Regional Airport Emplaned Passengers:

2023     352,388

2022      338,502

2019       350,960

For additional statistics, visit: Rapairport.com/category/stats

**NEW SIOUX PARK TENNIS COURTS COMPLEX OPENED TO PUBLIC ACCESS:  Construction is complete, Mother Nature is cooperating and the City’s Parks and Recreation Department is opening the new Sioux Park Tennis Courts Complex to public access.

       Wednesday (December 20) marked the first day the public can access the 12-court complex.  The courts will be open from approximately 5 am to dusk until push button controls for the court lights are installed.

      Construction on the $3 million project began in late January. The Sioux Park Tennis Court project was one of 11 projects approved in early 2022 by the Rapid City Common Council to receive Vision Fund money, based on recommendations from the Citizens Vision Fund Committee.  The Council approved $3 million for the project, which called for a total rebuild of the area and included 12 tennis courts, new LED sports lighting, seating and shade structures, new fencing and windscreens and upgraded vendor, spectator and team amenities as well as drainage improvements. 

       “We are planning an official ribbon cutting ceremony sometime in the spring but with the weather being so nice, we wanted to open access to the complex for the public to get some outdoor court time and get a close look at the improvements,” said City Parks and Recreation Landscape Architect Melissa Petersen.  “We appreciate the patience of the public during the past 10 months as contractor crews worked on this project that will provide great recreational opportunities for the public as well as the community in hosting big tennis events.”

       Complete Concrete, Inc. of Rapid City is the contractor on the project.

       Petersen said the City plans to keep at least four courts closest to the north parking lot of the Sioux Park complex open to public access throughout the winter season.  There will be portable restroom facilities near the complex for public use.

**CITY EXPANDING SERVICES OF PUBLIC WORKS CALL CENTER: In September, the City’s Public Works Department established a call center to respond to the city’s growth and increasing number of customer calls.

           Effective next Tuesday (November 14), the center will expand its services to include customer calls concerning additional divisions within the department.  Beginning next week, call center staff will field citizen calls for the City’s water, water reclamation, utility billing and utility maintenance divisions.

            When City customers call these divisions, the calls will be routed to the Customer Service Center where questions and concerns will be fielded and addressed by a customer service agent.  The agents are City employees and are staff of the public works department.

            The call center is located in the City’s water treatment plant on Mountain View Road with four City employees tasked with taking calls and addressing questions and concerns.  City officials estimate center staff members are currently fielding an average of 100 calls per day.  The number is expected to grow with the oversight of additional divisions within the department.

            “Having the customer service center increases the level of service we are able to provide City residents and the general public,” said Jesse Rieb, program development manager with the City’s Public Works Division.  “This call center provides the city resident with a level of transparency and efficiency, an opportunity to connect with someone to address a specific issue or question and get immediate attention.”

            City officials are pleased with the early success of the call center and plan further expansion of the center in 2024 to employ an additional staff member and adding the City’s solid waste division for call center oversight.

**1972 FLOOD SURVIVORS AND VOLUNTEERS REMINDED TO SHARE AND RECORD MEMORIES, EXPERIENCES: Survivors of the 1972 Black Hills flood and volunteers who assisted in the area’s recovery are reminded to share their memories and experiences by providing oral histories to the Rapid City Public Library as the 51st observance of the tragic event approaches next month.

            The Library has been accumulating oral histories about the 1972 flood for many years.  Anyone interested in sharing their recollections are encouraged to set up an appointment with Library staff, who will assist and coordinate the recordings. Call 605-394-6139 to set up an appointment.

            “We are always interested in collecting the important recollections and memories from those who experienced the 1972 flood firsthand, from both survivors and those who helped with rescue efforts and with the rebuilding of the community,” said Senior Librarian Sam Slocum.  “Last year, with the 50th commemoration events, there was considerable interest to come in and share the stories.  This is an ongoing effort by the Library and we know there are many out there who have experiences and memories to share and we want to preserve those recollections for future generations.”

            Slocum says the Library also serves as an important outlet for Rapid City residents and visitors alike to learn about the tragic June 1972 flood event, which remains as the deadliest flash flood event in US history - claiming 238 lives, injuring more than 3,000 people, destroying 1,335 homes and was the most costly flood event at the time, causing more than $165 million in damages (1972 dollars)

**RESIDENTS REMINDED TO REMOVE SUMP PUMPS FROM THE SANITARY SEWER: Heavy spring and summer rains can sometimes result in flooded basements.  City officials are again reminding residents it is illegal to discharge water from sump pumps into the City's sanitary sewer system and advise residents to remove sump pump connections to the sanitary sewer.

           Such actions are contributing factors to sewer backups in many instances. It’s not only illegal but city officials encourage sewer customers to be good neighbors and remove sump pump connections to the sanitary sewer. This includes sump pumps connected to floor drains or connected in some way to the City’s sanitary sewer system.

           Sump pumps, which remove ground water from homes and businesses, should be discharged into yards, streets, or the storm sewer, according to city officials. The sanitary sewer system is designed to convey only water from toilets, sinks, showers, dishwashers, and laundry machines. If residents are found in violation of City ordinances (13.16.200 and 1.12.010), they risk a fine of $500 and/or jail time of up to 30 days.

            City officials issued a first reminder to residents early last month at a time when melting spring snows can sometimes lead to flooded basements.

            Questions regarding sump pump discharge can be directed to the City Utility Maintenance Division at 605-394-4163. 

**CITY LAUNCHES 'REPORT A PROBLEM' LINK TO REPORT ISSUES WITH LIGHTS, POTHOLES, ROADS: The City’s Public Works Department has launched a new “Report A Problem” link to the City’s website, providing an opportunity for the public to report road or street-related issues they encounter.

            The link: https://bit.ly/RapidCityLightsAndPotholes is an easy access point for the public to report non-emergency issues such as non-working street lights, potholes, traffic signs or signals that need attention, and other issues related to roads or streets.  The link invites the visitor to complete an online form describing the concern, the location of the problem, when the problem was noticed and contact information. The form can also be accessed at the City’s website rcgov.org by clicking on the ‘Government’ tab and then clicking on City Online Forms for the ‘Non-Emergency Traffic Safety Concern’ entry.

           The public can also call the Traffic Operations Division at 605-394-4118.

           City Public Works Executive Coordinator Shannon Truax says the public has provided great assistance to the city on reporting issues in the past, utilizing the City’s Pothole Hotline and contacting the City’s Traffic Division about non-working street lights.

           “This new link will provide the public and the City with a new tool to work together in addressing issues in a quicker and more efficient manner,” Truax said.

           Truax said the public answered the City’s call for assistance two years ago and has made hundreds of calls regarding non-working street lights. The public also utilizes the City’s Pothole Hotline to report road issues.

           “We really appreciate the public’s response and continued communication with the City on reporting issues they see with street lights, potholes and other issues,” said Truax. “Our crews can’t be everywhere at all times and this is a clear case of the public serving an important mission, as a collective second set of eyes to help us in keeping our streets and neighborhoods lit and getting issues with our roads and traffic lights addressed.”

STREET LIGHTS

          Since May 2021 when the City first called for the public’s help in reporting issues with street lights, more than 750 calls have been received by the City’s Traffic Operations Division, including more than 450 calls in 2022.

           Most of the citizen calls involved street light outages or malfunctions.

           “Some of the callers indicate they’ve noticed a problem for days or weeks.  If they see a problem, call the City and our crews can get it checked out and addressed right away,” said Truax, noting a malfunctioning or inoperative street light can have a safety impact in the affected area.

           Callers should provide a close or exact location of the street light.  Truax says the light poles display a four or five-digit number a few feet off the ground.  The pole number or the block of the street with the malfunctioning light will allow for a more immediate response from City crews. 

POTHOLES

           Truax said the public can use the new “Report A Problem” link to share information about potholes.  For several years, the public has accessed the Pothole Hotline at 605-394-4152 to report thousands of pothole locations.  Last year, Truax said City Street Division crews repaired more than 3,000 potholes, many called in by residents.

          For both non-working street lights and potholes, Truax said once a call is received from the public, a crew member is sent to the affected area, often within a day, to assess the concern and begin corrective action.

**PUBLIC ENCOURAGED TO CHECK OUT 'PENNINGTON OUTDOORS!':  Looking for details on recreational opportunities in Rapid City and Pennington County? Residents and visitors to the area have a quick tool to access information through an interactive map that helps users explore local recreational facilities and opportunities.

            The site, Pennington Outdoors!, was launched last year by the City’s Geographic Information (GIS) Division, can be accessed at rapidmap.org and is one of many valuable map and informational tools available on the GIS Division page which includes access to City and County voting precincts, the City's air quality zone, downtown parking map, the City's major street plan and much more.

            Pennington Outdoors! site users can zoom in, zoom out or pan across a map to view different park facilities; Rapid City, Black Hills National Forest and Nebraska National Forest and Grasslands trail systems; location of statues; the Rapid City bike path; park amenities and recreational sites in Pennington County and the communities of Rapid City, Box Elder, Ellsworth Air Force Base, Wall, Hill City, Keystone, New Underwood, Wasta and Quinn. Once a desired site is visible, users can click on it using the 'identity' tool to see details, website and a photo associated with the recreation site.

            As an example, clicking on Wilson Park will yield information indicating the Park includes a flowering garden, gazebo, ice skating area, tennis courts, playground, restrooms, basketball court and other amenities.  Users can easily identify the location of the Park. Clicking on Robbinsdale Park will yield information including locations of the BMX Track, several baseball fields, location of picnic shelters, playgrounds, restrooms and walking paths.

            Users wanting to know the location of specific downtown and area statues can access the site for the actual location

            The City's GIS Division provides mapping services, data and technical support to the public as well as staffs of City and County government. the GIS Division page which includes access to City and County voting precincts, the City's air quality zone, downtown parking map, the City's major street plan. RapidMap services offers information on land parcels, aerial photos, address points and other map information.  Survey Points provides information on area survey points.

**CITY REMINDS RESIDENTS OF UTILITY RATE RELIEF PROGRAM: Rapid City utility customers can apply for a reduction of their monthly utility charges through a decade-long program administered by the City's Public Works Department.

            The program, entitled the Utility Rate Relief Program, is designed to lower the monthly utility expense for senior citizens and people with disabilities. The program recently underwent an update, to make the qualification process more straightforward.

            Under the City's updated Utility Rate Relief Program, applicants must meet all of the following eligibility criteria: they must be 65 or older or disabled as defined by the Social Security Act; they must fall below the “very low income” limit criteria outlined by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the Rapid City Metro Area; the applicant must be the person who is responsible for payment of the utility bill directly to the City; the property must be the applicant’s primary residence.

If qualified, the rates charged for utility services billed to the applicant will be reduced by 25 percent for a period of two years or until the renewal date established by the Public Works Director.  New applications are accepted at any time, but renewal requests must be received by April 30, 2021 in order for current participants to remain on the program.

            For more information and an application, visit https://www.rcgov.org/departments/public-works/water-division/urr-587.html or call the City's Public Works Department at 394-4165.

**PUBLIC REMINDED TO SIGN UP FOR COLLECTION ALERTS: Officials with the City's Solid Waste Division remind residents to sign up for alerts about curbside collections and adjustments in pickups due to holidays and weather.

            "We've had great response since launching our website back in January," said Jancie Knight, Solid Waste community outreach coordinator.  "The site is an excellent way to receive alerts and reminders on trash collections and other updates."

            Knight says residents can visit www.rapidcityrecycles.org to register in the 'Stay Informed' section.  Other informational items on the page include a color-coded map of the city to determine specific curbside pickup days, where to dispose of specific items, and hours and contact information.

**GOT A POTHOLE? CALL THE POTHOLE HOTLINE: The City Street Department's pothole patching crews are at it as the calendar flips toward summer.  If you see a pothole that needs to be fixed, call the Pothole Hotline at 394-4152 and provide a location and crews will be on it quickly.

**CONSTRUCTION MAP FEATURE ALLOWS DRIVERS TO STAY UPDATED ON PROJECTS: To stay updated on local construction projects, City officials remind the public they can utilize a newly-launched road construction site feature on the City's website which provides detailed site, map and project information.

            The City's Geographic Information System (GIS) Division launched the 'Rapid City Road Construction Site' link on the GIS page last month, accessed by visiting rapidmap.org and clicking on the orange construction barrel. It is also available by clicking on 'Road Construction Updates' on the City's home page at rcgov.org .  Once on the site, users can click on a highlighted segment and get additional information such as the project's location, the start date and estimated end date of the project, listing of the contractor and other useful information.  Each segment on the map will also have the public service announcement attached to it and there will be a link provided for State Department of Transportation projects.

            The site will be updated as active projects begin and sites will remain on the map through the duration of the specific projects.

            With local construction season well underway, City officials are also reminding drivers to slow down and use caution when driving near and through all road construction areas, allow additional time to reach their destinations and to consider alternate routes.

**DIGITAL MEDIA POLICY: The City is advising the public of a 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. In addition, no digital media containing music will be accepted.

 "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 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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