April 01, 2021

What's News In The City

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

**REMOTE YARD WASTE DROP-OFF LOCATIONS TO OPEN APRIL 5: The City’s Solid Waste Division announces the remote yard waste drop-off locations will open for the season Monday April 5.

The remote yard waste drop-off sites are located at Fitzgerald Stadium and W Blvd North.  Both locations will open for the season Monday, April 5.  The locations will include the yard waste containers along with the mixed recycling, cardboard, and newspaper containers.  The yard waste containers will be available at both sites through November.

Officials remind the public to utilize the containers for their intended purposes: yard waste, recycling materials, cardboard and newspaper.  The remote collection sites are not dump sites for large items such as appliances, furniture, and items that should be taken to the Rapid City Landfill.  If you have questions, contact the Solid Waste Division at 355-3496.

Solid Waste officials also remind the public to sign up for adjusted collection notices by visiting www.rapidcityrecycles.org and sign up for email reminders.  The public can also keep up with Solid Waste information on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SolidWasteRC .

**6th ANNUAL PEEPS DIORAMA CONTEST GOES VIRTUAL: Spring has spring, and that means that Peeps are back! Using Peeps and your imagination, create a scene from one of your favorite books, favorite authors, or favorite animal stories! Submit your diorama by posting a picture of it to the “Rapid City Public Library’s 6th Annual Peeps Diorama Contest” event page on Facebook between Thursday, April 1 and Saturday, April 17. Dioramas will be displayed on the library’s Facebook page from Monday, April 19 - Friday, April 23. Voting is open to the public at this time for the Peeple’s Choice Award prize, which will be determined by the number of likes each diorama gets. 3 winners will be chosen on Monday, April 26: a winner of the Peeple’s Choice, the library’s choice, and for best animal themed diorama.

Winners will be announced on the Rapid City Public Library’s Facebook page, and will each receive a $15 gift card to Eileen's Colossal Cookies!

**CITY OPENING SOME PARK RESTROOM FACILITIES APRIL 1: The calendar says it’s officially spring and the warmer weather is resulting in more activity in and around City parks. Another clear sign of spring is the opening of some restroom facilities in the City's park system.

            The restroom facilities in Sioux Park, Vickie Powers Park and the Parkview Tennis Courts will be open and available for use beginning this Thursday, April 1.  They will join facilities at Founders Park, Legacy Commons, Skyline Wilderness and Canyon Lake West which are open throughout the year. 

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

**CITY SEEKS APPLICANTS FOR LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES: The City is seeking to fill one vacancy on the Library Board of Trustees.

Applicants must be residents of Rapid City. The Board vacancy is for a term expiring 12/31/2022.

Interested citizens are encouraged to apply by submitting a Citizen Interest Application online. Application deadline is April 16th, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.  

The Library Board of Trustees participates in the ongoing responsibilities of the governing body, including the establishment of library policies and planning for future Library services and programs. Board members maintain an awareness of library issues and trends and the implications for Library users. They act as a liaison with the public, interpreting and informing local government, media and public of Library services and needs.

The Library Board typically meets on the second Monday of every month at 12:00 p.m. in the Rapid City Public Library. More information can be found on the Rapid City Public Library and Library Board of Trustees web pages on the City website at www.rcgov.org.

Appointments are recommended by the Mayor and confirmed by the Rapid City Council. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Please contact the Mayor’s Office at 394-4110 with questions.

**CITY'S ESTIMATED POPULATION TOPS 78,000: Rapid City continues to grow steadily in population.

            The City’s Long Range Planning Division estimates the 2020 year-end Rapid City population estimate at 78,369, up from 1.53 percent from the 2019 population estimate of 77,185.

            The Community Development Department issues an annual population estimate based on methodology approved by the US Census Bureau.  The estimates are based on approved building permits, housing demolitions, the 2010 Census occupancy rate and the 2010 Census persons per household rate for Rapid City.

            City officials expect the official 2020 Census data for Rapid City in late May.  The data will become the basis for next year’s population estimate and will be utilized by officials for the next decade in relation to priorities and funding for programs.

            The US Census Bureau indicated Rapid City’s population at 61,167 in 2000 and 67,956 in 2010.  City officials estimate the average population growth since 2000 at 1.4 percent.

**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.

**CITY SEEKS TO FILL VACANCIES ON FORESTRY, BEAUTIFICATION COMMITTEES: The City's Parks and Recreation Department seeks to fill vacancies on two of its prominent boards and committees.

            There are currently vacancies on each of the City's Urban Forestry Committee and Beautification Committee.

            For more information about the committees and to complete a Citizen Interest Application, visit the Boards, Commissions and Committees page on the Government tab at www. rcgov.org .  This application process is open until vacancies are filled.

            The five-member Urban Forestry Committee reviews and makes recommendations on city tree plans developed by the City's Community Development Department and City's Parks Department, among other duties.

            The five-member Beautification Committee develops and implements beautification projects and policies and encourages public and private beautification activities in the community.

            Appointments for the committees are approved by the Parks and Advisory Board.  For more information, contact the City's Parks and Recreation Department at 394-4175.

**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.

**CITY'S HOME RULE COMMITTEE WEBSITE AVAILABLE FOR INFORMATION, OBTAIN PUBLIC FEEDBACK: The City's Home Rule Charter Committee has established a website for the public to learn more about the home rule concept, address questions and provide input.

            To access the site, visit rapidcityhomerule.org .  Specific features to the site include a brief history of home rule in South Dakota, comparisons between home rule and the City's current mayor/aldermanic form of government, frequently asked questions, a tab to ask a question or provide input, opportunities and challenges to home rule and local media stories about home rule,

            The Rapid City Council authorized the mayor to establish a Home Rule Charter Committee last December with citizens appointed to the committee in early May after a delayed selection process due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   The Committee meets twice-monthly with subcommittees working on a weekly basis.  It is anticipated the Committee will bring forth a formal recommendation to the City Council early in 2021 for discussion and possible action, which could include a public vote later in 2021.

            "Once it got started in May, the committee has been committed to learning more about home rule, how it would impact the community and citizens," said Mayor Allender.  "They are under a specific time line to bring forth a recommendation to the City Council and the new website will provide an opportunity for awareness to the community, flush out questions and obtain important feedback from the citizens, who would be making the ultimate decision if Rapid City becomes a home rule community."

            The site will be available for public access throughout the committee's work into at least early next year. 

**PUBLIC REMINDED TO SUBMIT ONLINE COMMENTS FOR CITY MEETINGS: City officials remind the public to utilize a convenient online option to submit comments for City Council and committee meetings.

            In early April, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in adherence to social distancing protocols, the City initiated an online process for the public to submit comments.  A link to the public comment form is added to the respective Council and Committee agenda pages, to the COVID-19 updates link on the City's website.

            The public is advised to submit comments by the following deadlines:

*City Council: Noon the day of the meeting

*Legal/Finance & Public Works Working Sesson: 8 a.m. the day of the meeting

*Planning Commission/Zoning Board of Adjustment: 3:30 p.m. the day before the meting

            Late submittals and anonymous submissions will not be added to the agenda.  There is a 950-character limit to the online public comment form.

            "COVID-19 is a challenge but it cannot silence the public.  We have been encouraged by the public's use of the online comment form for citizens to use and share their comments, input and feedback," said Darrell Shoemaker, City Communications Coordinator.  "We are able to compile the comments and make them available to the mayor and council members as part of the public comment portion of the meeting.

            "We are not prohibiting the public from attending the meetings but with COVID concerns and the need for social distancing, the seating in Chambers is severely limited. Even though members of the public may not be able to attend the Council or committee meeting, their voice can still be heard."

            Online comments provided by the submission deadline for the respective meeting will be included as part of the official meeting record.  Due to the COVID-19 social distancing protocols, seating is extremely limited in Council Chambers.  Members of the public attending the sessions in person can still submit a paper comment form prior to the start of the session.

**KEEP UP WITH CITY COVID UPDATES WITH THE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE HUB: City officials remind the public of a convenient online vehicle to remain updated on local COVID information.

            Launched in April as one of several tools to keep the public informed on local COVID response efforts, the City's Coronavirus Response Hub provides the public - both residents and visitors to the community - with various updates on COVID-19 community response efforts, important information from local medical providers and virus updates.

            The Coronavirus Response Hub can be accessed by visiting the City's website rcgov.org and clicking on COVID-19 Updates for the Hub link. It can also be accessed by clicking on https://city-of-rapid-city-coronavirus-response-rcpc.hub.arcgis.com/ .  The site was produced by the City's Geographic Information System (GIS) Division.

            The Response Hub provides City government updates; COVID-19 virus updates; community resources information; updates from Black Hills Urgent Care, Monument Health and Black Hills VA Health Care System; maps of community feeding sites and donation locations; and active tweets from the City, Mayor Steve Allender, Monument Health and the Centers for Disease Control. 

            Other information on the site includes links to Rapid City-Pennington County Emergency Management, the 211 Helpline Center, Pennington Outdoors and important COVID information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

**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.

**CITY OF RAPID CITY AND COVID-19 UPDATES: The City of Rapid City is providing frequent COVID-19 Updates on its website at rcgov.org .  Click on COVID-19 Updates in the red menu bar on the home page.  The page includes updates, a City COVID Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) link, a link to an online public comment form for City meetings, releases and other helpful information.

**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.

**CITY ENCOURAGES PUBLIC TO USE ONLINE, PHONE OPTIONS FOR PAYMENTS, SUBMIT INFORMATION

City officials are encouraging citizens to by use online and phone options to conduct business with City Hall during the Coronavirus/COVID outbreak and to minimize personal visits to City facilities.

            The City advises residents to consider automatic payment of their utility bills and to pay parking tickets online as ways to minimize visits to City Hall.  In addition, questions regarding building permits and other City policies should be done by phone or e-mail to the individual City department.

            City officials provide the following guidance to limit or eliminate visits to City facilities:

**Utility Bills:  Residents are encouraged to use online automatic payment of utility bills by visiting https://selfservice.rcgov.org and clicking on Citizen Self Service on the left hand side for utility bills or by using the City's Utility Billing "Sure-Pay" system.  Call 394-4125 or visit the Water Division's page on the City's website at rcgov.org .  If you visit the self-service portal, you will need to know your account number and customer number to register, both of which can be found on your most recent utility bill.

            In addition, residents are encouraged to mail in their payment or use the night drop box on the west side of the building, which is available any time of the day.

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

**Shut-off Notices:  Residents facing shut-off notices from the City will not have their utility services and solid waste collections suspended, however late fees for non-payment will continue to accrue.

**Permits: If you have questions regarding building permits or air quality permits, contact the City's Community Development Department at 394-4120.  Customers can also e-mail questions and plan information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Staff can also work with customers for online submittals of plans.

**Development Applications: If you have questions regarding development applications, contact the City’s Community Development Department at 394-4120. Customers can also e-mail questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Staff can also work with customers for online submittals of preliminary applications.

**General Business:  Residents with general questions about City services, should call or e-mail the individual City department rather than making a personal visit to the department office.

            Residents are advised and encouraged to visit the City's website at rcgov.org for department and contact information.

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

--No travel advisories

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

--Structure fire that creates traffic hazards

--Wild Fire with evacuations and/or closures

--Major accidents with road closures

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

**DIGITAL MEDIA POLICY: The City is advising the public of a 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/School Administration Center welcomes visitors.  There are four blocks of information, including a block for daily meetings and locations; a block explaining the location of meetings rooms in the building; a 'what am I looking for' block that provides a brief explanation of specific offices and their missions; and a date/time/temperature block.

 

 

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