**AIR QUALITY INDEX:
Check out this link regarding the current air quality conditions in Rapid City.
**CITY INVITING PUBLIC TO FREE 'FAMILY NIGHT OUT' EVENT: The South Dakota Municipal League will be holding its annual conference in Rapid City October 3-6 and as host, the City of Rapid City is inviting the public to a special ‘Family Night Out’ event at Main Street Square.
The free admission ‘Family Night Out’ event will be held Wednesday, October 4 and will feature a special performance by musical artist Rowan Grace. The event is free to the public and will also include food trucks, yard games, S’Mores at the firepit, vendor booths and activities.
“We’re proud to be hosting this year’s annual statewide municipal conference and very pleased to invite the public to a special evening of events and activities,” said Mayor Jason Salamun. “We’re looking forward to showing hundreds of conference attendees what a night of fun is like in Rapid City and to share the energy and enthusiasm of our locals.”
Vendor booths will include the Police Activity League with youth outreach trailer and 9-square game, Fire Department with Dexter, pop-up library hosted by Rapid City Public Library, Sustainability Committee, Youth City Council, Community Development with interactive parking app demonstration and City Human Resources.
The conference brings together leaders and public servants from municipalities throughout the state. Several information sessions, panel discussions and meetings with various topics important to municipalities and officials will be held. Breakout sessions for code enforcement officers, airport managers, human resource officers, police chiefs, finance officers, street maintenance and public works officials and other specialty areas will be convened.
“It’s a great way to connect with colleagues from around the state and meet fellow municipal employees and elected officials,” said Salamun. “It’s important to share feedback and insights on the many issues impacting our communities and residents.”
The ‘Family Night Out’ event at Main Street Square is open to the general public and is part of ‘An Evening To Explore’ for conference attendees to tour Rapid City sites, browse the downtown area and visit downtown shops and galleries.
**PUBLIC REMINDED OF SAINT JOSEPH STREET ROAD WORK: J. V. Bailey Co. Inc. crews have initiated concrete and road repair work on Saint Joseph Street from West Boulevard to Third Street. The two northern eastbound lanes and parking spaces will be initially closed on Saint Joseph Street Lane to accommodate the water valve and road repair work being completed. Once all work is completed on the northern two lanes of St. Joseph street, traffic control will be switched to close the southern lane and parking spaced to finish the repair work required.
This construction project will be completed in phases, with three blocks closed at a time, and lane traffic will be adjusted as needed. Construction on the concrete panels and curb and gutter begins at West Boulevard, and continues through to 7th street, for the first phase of roadwork. All work on St. Joseph Street is anticipated to be completed by November 30, 2023.
If you have any questions, please contact Ryan Steinback with J.V. Bailey Co. Inc. at 605-343-2390
**RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM WORKING ON ADJUSTMENTS TO ROUTE SYSTEM: Rapid Transit System (RTS) is currently working on refreshing RapidRide routes to produce efficiencies and to address growth within the fixed-route system. RTS will be holding two events later this month, seeking comments from the public regarding the proposed transit service changes impacting RapidRide services and patrons.
Staff and information will be available at the entrance booth at the Pumpkin Festival’s Touch-A-Truck event in the City Hall parking lot on Saturday, September 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition, an open house will be held at the Milo Barber Transportation Center, 333 6th Street, September 25 – 29 from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to discuss changes in routes and receive public comments.
Written public comments on the refreshed routes may also be submitted to Public Participation Comments, Rapid Transit System, 333 6th Street, Rapid City, SD 57701. Written comments will be received until September 25, 2023. For special accommodations or translation services, citizens may call (605) 394-6631 at least 48 hours in advance of September 23, 2023. Rapid Transit System assures nondiscrimination in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the American with Disabilities Act.
**COMMUNITY DIAPER DRIVE: City Hall, Fire, Police, Library Serving as Collection Points for Citywide Diaper Drive: Mayor Salamun is proclaiming next week, September. 18-24 as Diaper Need Awareness Week in Rapid City. The Diaper Drive is a project undertaken by Volunteers of America Northern Rockies (VOA). City Hall, Fire Station 2, the Library and the Public Safety Building will serve as collection points for diapers and diaper wipes through Monday, September 25.
All sizes of children’s diapers will be accepted with an emphasis on size five diapers since young children remain in that size longer than other sizes. Check and cash donations will also be accepted.
Mayor Salamun is encouraging citizens to donate generously to the diaper drive during Awareness Week and throughout the year to diaper banks, diaper drives and organizations that distribute diapers to families in need in the community.
“The community deserves credit for responding every year to the annual Diaper Drive,” said Mayor Salamun. “The donations of diapers serve a very real need for our low-income families, who are coping with increased costs for most all items. Any relief, especially when it assists our youngest children, is welcomed. I’m encouraging the community to respond as they have in the past.”
VOA’s goal this year is to collect at least 15,000 diapers. More than 17,000 diapers and wipes were collected at City Hall and other collection sites during last year’s community-wide Diaper Drive effort.
The following locations will serve as collection points for packaged or boxed children’s diapers and diaper wipes during Awareness Week beginning Monday, September 18 and continuing through Monday, September 25:
*City Hall, 300 Sixth Street: For a seventh consecutive year, the front lobby of City Hall will serve as a collection point
*Fire Station 2: 1205 N. Maple Avenue
*Public Safety Building: front lobby at 300 Kansas City Street
*The Rapid City Public Library at 610 Quincy Street
*Mommy’s Closet: facility at 111 New York Street serves as an anytime collection location for diapers.
Monetary donations will also be accepted during the Diaper Drive. Checks can be mailed or dropped off to Mommy’s Closet at 111 New York Street, Rapid City, SD 57701 or donations can be made online as Thrivent financial is offering a 1 to 2 match and covering the processing fees for those who give using: https://thrivent.cotribute.co/events/799223/detail through October 1st, 2023.
**CITY EMPLOYEES PICK SUPER BOWL TEAMS, WINNER: City employees are predicting two familiar teams to match up in next February’s Super Bowl.
In a quick survey of City employees this week, the San Francisco Forty Niners and Kansas City Chiefs were the top selections of teams to make it to the NFL championship. The Chiefs have been in three of the last four Super Bowls, including a 31-20 win over the Forty Niners in Super Bowl LIV (54) in February 2020.
For the survey, City employees were asked to name their favorite team, which teams they would predict to win the AFC and NFC, which team would win the Super Bowl and which level of football – NFL, college, high school – did they prefer to watch.
WHO WILL WIN?
San Francisco is the top choice to win the Super Bowl among 31.8 percent of respondents, followed by the Kansas City Chiefs and the Dallas Cowboys, each selected by 15.9 percent. The Philadelphia Eagles garnered 11.4 percent of the predictions followed by Green Bay at 6.8 percent and then a tie between Buffalo and Cincinnati with 4.5 percent each.
San Francisco was the top NFC choice among 45.5 percent of survey respondents followed by the Dallas Cowboys at 15.9 percent and the Philadelphia Eagles at 13.6 percent. The Detroit Lions picked up 9 percent of the selections for NFC entrant into the big game, followed by the Green Bay Packers at 6.8 percent. Also receiving NFC votes were Minnesota, Seattle and Arizona.
As to the AFC team in the Super Bowl, Kansas City picked up 31.8 percent of the selections. The Buffalo Bills received a solid 20.5 percent, followed by Miami at 13.6 percent, Cincinnati with 9 percent and the Las Vegas Raiders and New York Jets each with 6.8 percent. The remaining votes were spread out amongst Jacksonville, Baltimore, New England and Cleveland.
FAVORITE NFL TEAM:
When it comes to overall favorite team of the survey respondents, the Minnesota Vikings are the top favorite of 18.2 percent of the survey respondents, followed closely behind by the Dallas Cowboys with 15.9 percent. Denver is the choice as favorite team among 13.6 percent, followed by Green Bay and San Francisco tied among 9 percent of respondents. The Las Vegas Raiders are mentioned as the favorite among 6.8 percent. Chicago and Seattle were mentioned by 4.5 percent of respondents with New England, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Atlanta and Buffalo receiving mention.
When it comes to football, more than 7 in 10 respondents (72.8 percent) prefer NFL football over college (12.5 percent). The remaining respondents were split over liking all types of football (NFL, college, high school) or not liking football at all.
**MAYOR'S PROPOSED 2024 CITY BUDGET AVAILABLE ONLINE: The 2024 City budget proposal can be accessed on the City’s home page in the Community Bookmark section entitled ‘Mayor’s 2024 Proposed Budget’. There is also a featured news item on the home page regarding the budget. The mayor’s proposed budget can also be accessed on the Finance Department’s budget page.
The City Council has scheduled first reading of the 2024 City budget at a special meeting slated for next Monday, August 28 at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers of City Hall, 300 Sixth Street. The public is invited.
Mayor Jason Salamun presented the 2024 City budget proposal to the City Council at a special session Monday night. The mayor provided the Council with a 50-page document, which included a $261.3 million budget proposal, detailed revenues and expenditures and outlined goals for City government and its 13 departments in 2024.
The budget book also includes economic indicators for Rapid City, shared the City’s guiding principles and vision, as well as the priorities for 2024: safer community, healthy economy, vibrant community, high-performing government and hometown spirit. The mayor also detailed plans and funding proposals for new initiatives, including a park ranger program.
Mayor Salamun’s budget presentation to Council can also be viewed on the City’s social media platform.
**CITY & PERFORMING ARTS CENTER SEEK APPLICANTS FOR BOARD VACANCY:
The Performing Arts Center of Rapid City is currently seeking applicants for a vacancy on the Center’s board of directors. Directors are appointed by the mayor and serve one-year terms subject to renewal.
The mission of the Performing Arts Center is to provide a home for the performing arts in the Rapid City area. The Center’s board of directors oversees the facility and staff. The Center is the host venue for five resident companies including Black Hills Community Theatre, Black Hills Showcase Chorus, Black Hills Symphony Orchestra, Rapid City Children’s Chorus and the Shrine of Democracy Chorus. The Center is also utilized by several non-profit and community event producers.
Application deadline is Friday, September 1 and applicants are encouraged to submit a Citizen Interest Application found on the City’s website at www.rcgov.org by clicking on the Government tab and visiting boards, commissions and committees.
**CITY OFFERING 'YOUTH RIDE FREE' TRANSIT PRORGRAM FOR EIGHTH YEAR: The City’s Rapid Transit System (RTS) is again offering the ‘Youth Ride Free’ program for the 2023-24 school year. This is the eighth consecutive year youth will be able to ride free on the RTS RapidRide bus system.
As parents and students scamper to buy school clothes, sneakers and supplies, one of the key boxes on the school checklist that impacts many families is reliable transportation to and from school.
More than 40,000 youth riders utilized the ‘Youth Ride Free’ program during the 2022-23 school year, an 18 percent increase over the number of youth riders using the program during the previous school year. From September through May – the 2022-23 school calendar -- Rapid Transit System (RTS) recorded 40,669 youth passenger trips. The number compares to 33,101 youth trips recorded during the same time period for the 2021-22 school year.
"We’re looking forward to another great year with the ‘Youth Ride Free’ program,” said Megan Gould-Stabile, RTS System manager. “The program continues to be a great success. It is a free and convenient option for transportation to and from school for youth and anywhere along our fixed route system.
“The service provides parents with peace of mind knowing there is a reliable option for getting their child to school. It’s also a great option when that school car isn’t working or we have cold, inclement weather with icy roads.”
Registration is required for the free transportation program. Parents and guardians can contact Rapid Transit Service at 605-394-6631 to register or go online to rapidride.org and click on the ‘Youth Ride Free’ button. Information requested includes student’s name, school, parent or guardian’s name, and a phone number for emergency contact purposes.
In announcing the free youth transportation program in the summer of 2016, former Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender indicated the free youth transit program would provide students better access to schools, libraries, recreation and social events as well as save money for families and foster appreciation for public transportation among the City's youth.
RapidRide will also have maps, material and regular ride schedules available as well as material published online under the ‘Youth Ride Free’ tab at www.rapidride.org .
**CITY PARKS SEEKS CITIZENS TO FILL VACANCIES ON BEAUTIFICATION COMMITTEE: The City's Parks and Recreation Department is seeking local citizens to fill a pair of vacancies on one of its most popular committees.
There are currently two vacancies on the City’s Beautification Committee. The five-member Beautification Committee develops and implements beautification projects and policies and encourages public and private beautification activities in the community.
Applicants are advised to complete a Citizen Interest Application found at the Apply Now link on the Boards, Commissions and Committees page on the Government tab at www. rcgov.org . This application process is open until vacancies are filled.
For more information, contact the City's Parks and Recreation Department at 394-4175.
There are more than two dozen City committees listed on the boards, commissions and committees page on the City’s website. These committees are comprised of citizen membership. Citizens are encouraged to check out the committee listing for more information and to file an application if interested.
**SOLID WASTE DIVISION SETS DATE FOR POPULAR HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE DISPOSAL EVENT: The City’s Solid Waste Division wants your household hazardous waste.
The City will host the popular Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Event Saturday, October 14 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Central States Fairgrounds. The event is held every two years.
The event is free to the public and City officials encourage the public to bring many household hazardous waste materials for disposal. The Solid Waste Division will also be accepting non-perishable food donations for Feeding South Dakota at the event.
A total of 1,127 vehicles passed through the Central States Fair gates at the October 2021 event, dropping off approximately 5,000 gallons of waste and toxic material, doubling the material collected in 2019. The 2021 event also yielded 3,323 pounds of donated food and $2,505 in cash donations. Feeding South Dakota reported the food donations provided more than 10,200 meals.
“It’s time to get rid of those chemicals and materials just sitting around the house, garage and yard. We don’t want these items getting dumped down the drain or disposed of in the environment,” said Solid Waste Outreach Coordinator Ria Hannon. “It’s a great opportunity to get rid of the items and at the same time, help with donations of food for those in need in our community.”
The event is for household items, and business or commercial items will not be accepted. Paint will not be accepted at this event. Acceptable items include aerosols; antifreeze, weed killer, herbicides, wood preserve, paint thinner, kitchen cleaners, spot removers; pool chemicals; stains/varnishes; transmission fluid, pest control chemicals; lawn and garden chemicals, household solvents; and disinfectants. Items not accepted include paint, ammunition and explosives; agricultural chemicals; E-waste, medical waste, lead acid batteries; tires and clean and used oil.
For a complete list of acceptable and non-acceptable items and information, visit the Solid Waste Division’s Facebook page, this direct link
Household Hazardous Waste - RAPID CITY SOLID WASTE DIVISION (rapidcityrecycles.org) or call 605-355-3496.
**CITY SETS BUILDING PERMIT VALUATION RECORD FOR JULY: The City’s Building Services Division issued 251 building permits in July with a combined valuation total of more than $66.3 million, a record for the month of July.
July’s valuation total was the fourth-highest month on record for building permit valuation totals, sparked by the fourth-highest valued permit in the City’s history. Last month, the City issued a permit valued at $56.2 million to RC Hotel 1 LLC with Lloyd Construction Company as contractor for the Block 5 development at 525 St. Joseph Street. A list of the top months for permit valuation totals and the top six-valued permits in the City’s history are show below.
Last month’s building permit valuation total far exceeds the previous July valuation record of $30.4 million set in July 2011. In July 2022, the City issued 215 building permits with a combined valuation total of $17.6 million.
“We are extremely pleased at the high valuation totals, whether they are a large single project, or a large number of projects at smaller values,” said Community Development Director Vicki Fisher. “Large or small, these projects are good for the local economy, as these project employ building crews, electricians, painters, welders, plumbers, HVAC crews and many others. And these projects make a difference in the future of Rapid City.”
Through seven months of 2023, the City has issued 1,604 building permits, slightly lower than the 1,670 permits issued for the January through July period of 2022. The combined valuation total for 2023 stands at nearly $282.3 million ($282,297,209), which is slightly higher than the combined valuation total of $280.13 million for the first seven months of a year ago in 2022.
**CITY APPLYING FOR $15 MILLION IN STATE FUNDS FOR HOUSING AND INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS: At this week’s meeting, the City’s Legal and Finance Committee will consider a request to support application for $15 million in state funds to support public infrastructure project assistance that promotes the development of single and multi-family housing in Rapid City.
Earlier this year, the South Dakota legislature approved $200 million for South Dakota Housing to promote housing development in South Dakota through grants and loans to communities. Of the $200 million, projects within the city limits of Rapid City and Sioux Falls are eligible for a combined total of $30 million in grants.
City staff is seeking Council approval for a resolution of support seeking funding for a half dozen projects. Four of the six projects will directly lead to 729 additional housing units, including 471 single family homes and 258 rental units. Two projects will improve the infrastructure for growth areas in the community, which will open up opportunities for an estimated 2,500 additional housing units in the future.
“These funds will greatly impact both Rapid City and Sioux Falls,” said Jaimie Toennies, manager of the City of Rapid City’s Grants Division. “In Rapid City, funds will go to housing projects that will benefit working families, seniors, individuals with intellectual disabilities and low-income families. The projects will also improve the infrastructure for areas that are slated as big growth areas in our community.”
If awarded the $15 million, Rapid City would use $7.42 million for two City projects:
The remaining half of the $15 million would support local developers with four housing projects:
After Wednesday’s meeting, the Committee’s recommendation on the request will move to the City Council meeting next Monday. If the Council approves the request to provide a resolution of support, the City and the developers will send applications for the funding to the state. The South Dakota Housing Authority will review the application and decisions are expected this fall.
**CITY FINANCE RELEASES MAY AND YEAR-TO-DATE SALES TAX NUMBERS: Monthly sales tax receipts for May in Rapid City dipped for just the second time since the COVID pandemic period from the springtime of 2020.
Sales tax receipts for May totaled $6,981,861, slightly lower than the $7,018,696 total from May 2022. Through the initial five months of 2023, the City’s sales tax receipts total nearly $32 million ($31,985,838), a 2.76 percent increase over the $31.1 million reported in sales tax receipts for the first five months of 2022 ($31,127,255).
“The total receipts for May were expectedly higher than April’s numbers, but slightly lower than the total of receipts for the same month a year ago,” said City Finance Director Daniel Ainslie. “Weather may have played a part with the rain and cooler temperatures impacting the travel plans of tourists. The sales tax numbers for June and July will give us a better picture of how the summer season is progressing as far as numbers of travelers and their spending habits.”
May’s dip in total sales tax receipts was just the second monthly dip in recent years in overall totals when compared to the same month the previous year. Sales tax numbers last December were lower than December 2021. Rapid City’s monthly sales tax receipts also dipped during the period of March, April and May of 2020 compared to the same period of 2019. During that period, the area was impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Included in the May report were general fund sales tax receipts. For May, the general fund sales tax receipts totaled $3.25 million compared to $3.26 million for the same month a year ago. For the period January through May, general fund receipts stand at $14.9 million, compared to a total of $14.5 million for the first five-month period of 2023, a 2.71 percent increase.
The May sales tax report includes breakdowns in receipts for general sales tax receipts, Vision Fund, Community Improvement Projects and BBB. The report will be among the items under consideration Wednesday by the City’s Legal and Finance Committee.
**CITY SEEKS APPLICANTS FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION: An approaching deadline looms to apply to fill one vacancy on the City’s Historic Preservation Commission.
Interested applicants can submit a Citizen Interest Application online. Applications sought until vacancy is filled.
The Rapid City Historic Preservation Commission works to preserve the quality of life and natural environment of the community, and enhance the economic vitality and diversity of the community through preservation and restoration of historically and/or architecturally significant buildings and sites.
The City encourages citizens with an interest in historic preservation who could represent the stakeholders of the Downtown Historic District, the West Boulevard Historic District, and/or industry professionals to apply to serve on the Historic Preservation Commission. Industry professionals should have demonstrated education and experience in the fields of history, architectural history, architecture, planning, urban planning, historic preservation, archaeology, American studies, American civilization, cultural geography, cultural anthropology, law or construction.
Appointments are recommended by the Mayor and confirmed by the Rapid City Council. Please contact the Mayor’s Office at 394-4110 with questions.
**DEADLINE APPROACHING FOR ORGANIZATIONS TO SUBMIT LETTERS OF INTEREST FOR CDBG FUNDS: Officials with the City of Rapid City remind organizations within Rapid City of an approaching deadline to submit letters of interest for $420,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for projects or programs benefitting low-income households.
The deadline to submit letters is August 16.
Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, government agencies, school districts, institutions of higher education and in limited instances, for-profit businesses. Priority consideration is given to projects or programs emphasizing rehabilitation and construction of owner-occupied housing and rental units, construction and improvements of public facilities, demolition and removal of blighted properties, public services for housing and non-housing purposes and economic development.
“This program of CDBG funding addresses a great need in the community relating to the construction and rehabilitation of low-income housing,” said Michelle Schuelke, manager of the City’s Community Enrichment Division. “We are encouraging eligible organizations to submit letters of interest as part of the process to increase and improve low-income housing in our community.”
The City’s Community Enrichment Division through the Finance Department is coordinating the effort. Submission deadline for letters of interest is 4 p.m. August 16. Once reviewed, qualified respondents will be invited to apply for CDBG funding. The timeline includes an invitation to apply prior to September 12, an application deadline of October 2 with preliminary funding approval anticipated prior to November 30 and final funding approval prior to December 19.
For more information, contact Schuelke at 394-4181.
**CITY SEEKS PROPOSALS TO UPDATE 2014 COMPREHENSIVE PLAN: The City of Rapid City is seeking Requests for Proposals (RFPs) from qualified firms to conduct an update to the City’s 2014 Comprehensive Plan.
The City’s Comprehensive Plan establishes the long term vision and goals for the community and sets forth a growth framework and recommendations to meet those goals. The currently adopted Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 2014 and has been instrumental in guiding policy, growth and general direction of the City since that time.
At its meeting Monday night, the Rapid City Council authorized staff to initiate the RFP process. Deadline for submission of RFP applications is 4 p.m. August 15. Proposals will be accepted at the Community Development Department, Planning Projects Division,300 Sixth Street, Rapid City, SD 57701. The full RFP can be accessed at this link on the City’s website https://www.rcgov.org/departments/community-planning-development/planning-projects-division.html .
The RFP seeks qualified firms with considerable experience in community design, land use, environmental planning, economic analysis and community engagement. The project will entail and update rather than a rewrite of the currently adopted comprehensive plan, Plan Rapid City (2014). The firm will work with the City’s Community Development Department to facilitate public engagement and confirm or re-confirm goals, objectives, and recommendations. The consultants will lead an update to the City’s Community Profile, analyze and update the Future Land Use Plan and recommend planning frameworks for future neighborhood/planning areas and priority corridor planning to respond to community needs.
“The City’s Comprehensive Plan serves as a guidepost – a playbook – to work from over the next decade or so when it comes to planning and development for the community,” said Sarah Hanzel, Community Development Planning Projects Division manager. “Rapid City has seen major growth in population since 2010 and especially in the last few years. We have tremendous growth expected with the arrival of the B-21 Raider and personnel at Ellsworth Air Force Base and projected growth overall in the region looking ahead.
“As a community moving forward we need to update the City’s Comprehensive Plan to address anticipated growth and the continued impacts and demands on everything from housing and infrastructure to transportation and recreation, culture and the arts. The Plan must address development of a diversified economy, practicing conservation and stewardship of the land and natural resources and allow for coordination between the joint jurisdictions to respond to regional growth demands.”
City officials indicate the process of developing a Plan update will include considerable public engagement and outreach. Ultimately, the process will lead to presentation of the Plan to the City’s Planning Commission, the Metropolitan Planning Organization committees and the Rapid City Council for full adoption. The project schedule includes selection of a consultant in October with project launch in January and completion anticipated within 12 to 18 months (January to June 2025).
**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.
**ARE YOU READY FOR SOME...FOOTBALL? CITY REC DEPARTMENT SEEKS EARLY REGISTRATIONS FOR SEPTEMBER'S YOUTH FLAG FOOTBALL LEAGUES: Are you ready for some football?
The calendar may indicate May, but the City’s Parks and Recreation Department is already making plans for this fall’s youth flag football leagues. City Rec officials are encouraging parents to sign up their boys and girls early for this fall’s youth flag football leagues, which are open to first through fourth grade participants.
Registration deadline is August 31 with the season beginning September 11 at the Omaha Street soccer fields. The program offers a six-week league with an end-of-season jamboree.
“We’re making an early push as these leagues can fill up fast,” said Matt Brandhagen of the City Recreation Department. “Football is very popular and the youth flag football leagues are a great way to introduce the game to young participants. Registration can fill up fast so we’re inviting parents to sign up now and it’s one less thing off the checklist as those final weeks approach the first day of school.”
The league includes two divisions consisting of teams of first and second grade players, and third and fourth grade players. The first/second grade divisions play on Monday nights with third and fourth grade teams playing on Tuesday nights.
CITY PARKS AND RECREATION ISSUES 2023 ONLINE SUMMER PROGRAM GUIDE: With the long, cold winter and with warmer temperatures becoming more normal, many people are turning their thoughts to spring and summer activities.
Looking for a one-stop guide for summer fun? Check out the City’s Parks and Recreation Department’s Summer Program Guide.
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 find out and learn more about programs as well as special events and activities going on this summer as well as important information about accessing and utilizing the City's pools, golf courses, and park shelters,” said Lindsey Myers of the Parks and Recreation Department..
“Spots fill up quickly for our activities so we encourage the public to check out what’s happening with Parks and Rec this spring and summer. The Guide provides great information for the public to plan their summer activities, special events and programs for children and families. Online visitors can obtain activity and facility information and register for classes, programs and activities.”
For more information, contact the Rapid City Department of Parks and Recreation at 394-5223.
**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.”
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.
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.