**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.
In August, the City partnered with Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) to offer the optional coverage. Residents received an introductory postcard in early September about the protection plan and the agreement between the City and SLWA and now a more detailed letter has been sent. 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.
**REGISTRATION BEGINS FOR CITY REC WINTER SPORTS LEAGUES: Sign-ups are underway for the Rapid City Recreation Department's Dodgeball and Winter Volleyball Leagues. Registration deadline for Dodgeball Leagues is October 24 and deadline for registrations for Winter Volleyball Leagues is October 31.
"The volleyball and dodgeball leagues are a great way to fend off the winter blues, have a lot of fun and a great way to stay active at the start of winter," said Matt Brandhagen, Recreation Program Specialist. "There are divisions for everyone, no matter their level of experience."
The six-week Dodgeball League will begin October 30 at West Community Gym with men's and coed divisions. Cost is $135 per team. Matches are played on Tuesday nights and the league season is followed by an end-of-season tournament. The City's Winter Volleyball Leagues will begin the week of November 6 at South and West Community Gyms. The leagues will run for 11 weeks followed by a double-elimination tournament. Various divisions in coed, men's and women's leagues are available. The cost is $235 per team.
**RSVP+ SEEKING DONATIONS OF SOCKS & SWEATS FOR CORNERSTONE VETERANS: Each October, Black Hills RSVP+ embarks on a project to make a difference in the lives of homeless veterans at the Cornerstone Rescue Mission with the Make A Difference Day effort to collect socks and sweats. From now until October 26, the local RSVP+ organization is accepting donations of socks and sweats.
The local effort is part of a nationwide event held the fourth Sunday in October with tens of thousands of people across the nation participating with the common mission to improve the lives of others through community-driven service projects.
Last year, Black Hills RSVP+ collected and donated 220 pairs of socks and sweats to the Mission.
"This is a great way to make a difference in the lives of homeless veterans," said Black Hills RSVP+ Manager Ann Hines. "The socks and sweats go a long way in showing the veterans the community and its citizens care about them and these items are definitely welcomed as we approach winter."
Hines says the donations should include new socks and new or slightly-used and clean sweatshirts and pants. Donations can be dropped off at the RSVP+ Office, 333 6th Street, or the City Finance Office at 300 6th Street.
**MOST CITY PARK RESTROOMS CLOSING: Another sure sign the seasons are changing is the closure of several of the City Parks' restroom facilities.
Restroom facilities in the City's parks will close Monday, October 1 with the exception of the Sioux Park, Vickie Powers Park and Parkview Tennis Court facilities which are scheduled to be open through October 31. In addition, restroom facilities at Founders Park, Legacy Commons, Skyline Wilderness and Canyon Lake Park-West are winterized and are open throughout the year. According to an official with the Rapid City Area Schools, the Sioux Park Stadium restroom facilities will be open to accommodate scheduled events through October.
**CHAOS Kids Curiosity Club: If their favorite questions are 'Why?' and 'How?' bring your inquisitive kids to the Library's Curiosity Club, where they will discover answers through exploration, invention and creation. Tuesday afternoons beginning October 9 from 3-4:30 p.m. at the RC Public Library downtown, Librarian Carrie will be ready with a new theme each week. October's activities include Little Bits Lab, Soft Circuits, LEGO Robotics, Hovercrafts and Secret Codes.
**TREAT YOURSELF TO YOGA AT THE LIBRARY: Align yourself to the rhythm of the seasons. Sit, stretch, and strengthen your way to increased balance, stability and range of motion in a supported practice available to all fitness levels and physical conditions. The Gentle Chair Yoga Class offers two sessions: Monday, October 1 and 15 from 10:30-11 a.m. in the Helen Hoyt Room/downstairs.
For a more traditional practice utilizing mats and blocks, our community Yoga @ the Library class will meet upstairs on Monday, October 8 from 6 – 7 p.m. Open to ages teen through adult, mats and blocks are available or bring your own.
Teachers from Sōl Yoga Collective will guide and encourage you. Wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move easily.
**BEAUTIFICATION COMMITTEE RECEIVES GRANT: The Gwendolyn Stearns Foundation has awarded the Rapid City Parks and Recreation's Beautification Committee a $20,000 grant.
The grant will be used by the Beautification Committee for plant material to enhance the boulevards and medians on the West Omaha Street Project between 12th Street and Sheffer Street. The Foundation is an independent philanthropic organization that awards grants each year to local community organizations for various purposes.
**RSVP+ RECEIVES GRANT: The Black Hills RSVP+ has been awarded a $7,500 grant from the Gwendolyn Stearns Foundation for a second consecutive year.
In recent years, the Black Hills RSVP+ has expanded to include volunteers under the age of 55, hence the addition of the plus (+) sign to their name. The Retired Senior Volunteer Program, or RSVP, is sponsored in part by a federal grant through the Corporation of National and Community Service and no RSVP funds can be used for support of volunteers under the age of 55. The Stearns Foundation grant will assist Black Hills RSVP+ with specific funding for recruiting, training and coordination of non-senior volunteers. In the past year, more than 600 RSVP+ volunteers provided nearly 160,000 hours of community volunteer service. The total years of service to RSVP and the Rapid City community of these 600 volunteers represents a combined total of 49 centuries.
**NORMAN SHORTBULL ARTWORK DISPLAYED IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS: Two artwork pieces from the late artist Norman Shortbull have been donated to the City and are now on display next to the lectern in the Council Chambers. The artwork pieces were donated by Norman Shortbull's son, Dr. Thomas Shortbull in coordination with the South Dakota Hall of Fame and former Rapid CIty Mayor Don Barnett. The artowrk was presented to Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender in a September 10 ceremony in Chambers. One artwork piece shows a buffalo and the other shows a Lakota woman and child.
**CITY CONTINUING MOSQUITO FOGGING OPERATIONS: City crews continue to fog areas of the City as a control measure on mosquitos. Through the balance of August, crews will be focusing in on park areas where community and school activities are scheduled. General time for fogging is 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
**KEEPING UPDATED ON CONSTRUCTION: To view City construction public service announcements, click on 'Cone Zone Road Construction & Closure Information' on the City's website.
**CITY TESTING NEW DOWNTOWN PARKING METERS: New credit card smart meters are in Rapid City's foreseeable future and the City will be testing new parking meter technology during a 60-day pilot project that began the week of August 1. The meters are installed at the first level of the parking garage and the surface parking lot located at Sixth and St. Joseph Street, where parking meters are already located. Starting August 1, downtown parkers will be able to use a credit/debit card and coins. The meters will have a $1 minimum transaction fee for credit/debit card use.
The City is testing meter technology from three vendors as part of the pilot project. The types of parking technology being tested include parking meters and parking pay stations. The parking ramp and leased lots are signed to provide more information about how to use the parking meters and pay stations. The demonstration will assist City officials in determining which parking technology is best suited for Rapid City based on performance of the technology. Updated parking meters is one of the priorities of implementation of the City's Downtown Area Master Plan. For more information about the meters, contact the City's Parking Enforcement Division at 394-4133.
**COUNCIL LEADERSHIP FINALIZES COMMITTEE CHAIRS FOR 2018/19 TERM: Rapid City Council leadership has designated committee chairs and completed committee and board assignments for the 2018-19 term.
Council President Amanda Scott and Vice-President Becky Drury advise Council member Laura Armstrong will chair the City's Legal and Finance Committee with Council member Steve Laurenti serving as vice chair. Other Committee members include Chad Lewis, Jason Salamun and Drury.
Council member Darla Drew will continue to chair the City's Public Works Committee with Lisa Modrick tabbed as committee vice chair. Other Committee members include Ritchie Nordstrom, John Roberts and Scott.
Nordstrom will chair the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Committee, which will be comprised of Council members Modrick, Salamun, Scott and Drew. Salamun will be the Council's liaison to the City's Zoning Board of Adjustment/Planning Commission.
**RAILROAD QUIET ZONE DRAFT REPORT ISSUED: The City Council recently approved the Draft Report of the Rapid City Railroad Quiet Zone Study. The Study identifies options to improve safety and minimize the impacts of train horn noise at multiple railroad crossings in the downtown Rapid City area.
Thirteen rail crossings were assessed through a field diagnostic review, and the Study details proposed crossing improvement scenarios with planning level layouts, construction cost estimates, and potential phasing options for quiet zone implementation.
The four crossing improvement scenarios included in the report are a baseline scenario that implements a quiet zone but requires an annual review, a high safety scenario that provides the greatest risk reduction at the highest cost, and two cost effective scenarios that involve prioritizing improvements for maximum return on improvement investments.
**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.
**CITY SEEKS TO FILL VACANCIES ON AIRPORT BOARD, RSVP AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION: The City is seeking residents to fill multiple vacancies on the Rapid City Historic Preservation Commission, Rapid City Airport Board and Black Hills Retired Senior Volunteer Program+. Interested residents should complete a Citizen Interest Application online at www.rcgov.org, or stop into the Mayor’s Office to pick up an application or ask questions regarding the vacancies.
**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 898211.
**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 898211 for Rapid City events and 'AlertPC' to 898211 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.
**COUNCIL LEADERSHIP MAKES COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS:
RAPID CITY--City Council President Jason Salamun and Vice President Chad Lewis have finalized member assignments to the City's Public Works Committee and Legal and Finance Committee.
Darla Drew, Lisa Modrick, Ritchie Nordstrom, John Roberts and Salamun will serve on the City's Public Works Committee with Drew appointed as Committee chair and Modrick as Committee vice-chair.
Assigned to the City's Legal and Finance Committee are Amanda Scott, Steve Laurenti, Becky Drury, Laura Armstrong and Lewis with Scott appointed as Committee chair and Laurenti as Committee vice-chair.
The Public Works Committee meets the Tuesday, and the Legal and Finance Committee meets the Wednesday prior to a City Council meeting. Both meetings are scheduled at 12:30 p.m. in Council Chambers.
**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.
**NEW RAPID CITY POLICE ONLINE SERVICE: In an effort to provide added convenience to the public, the Rapid City Police Department is offering an online service in which victims of crime may report non-emergency incidents to police. The ability to do so is currently live on the RCPD homepage at RapidCityPolice.org.
The service is located under ‘Online Crime Reporting’ on the website, and will allow citizens to report the following types of crime:
- Vehicle Burglary
- Gas theft
- Hit and Run
- Lost Property
- Unauthorized Tampering with a Motor Vehicle
From there, a simple and easy-to-use interface will guide citizens through the reporting process. Police personnel will review the report and, once approved, the reporting party will receive an email with a copy of the report attached without cost. The report will transfer into the RCPD’s records management system and receive the same investigation and statistical analysis review as if a police officer had filed the report.
It's important to note that this service is not for use in emergency situations. Members of the public should always call 911 in an emergency.