November 25, 2020

What's News In The City

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

**CITY COUNCIL SCHEDULES SECOND MEETING ON COMMUNITY MASK REQUIREMENT: The Rapid City Council will meet in special session next Monday to consider second reading of an ordinance requiring the wearing of masks in public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The session will be held in Council Chambers at 5:30 p.m.

            The meeting is open to the public, however due to COVID social distancing requirements, there is limited seating in Council Chambers.  The public is encouraged to submit comments by completing an online public comment form found in the Community Bookmark Section of the City's home page at www.rcgov.org.

            The public is reminded visitors to city facilities, including City Hall, are required to wear facial coverings as are City employees providing face-to-face customer services.

**CITY AGAIN OFFERING CHRISTMAS LIGHTS RECYCLING PROGRAM: It's that time of year again!

            You bring out the box of holiday lights from the attic, garage or crawl space.  You work tirelessly to unravel the strings and then place them end-to-end on the floor and connect them.  You plug them into the outlet only to find one string doesn't work.  Worse yet, you're on the ladder and you've carefully connected those strings of icicle lights and you plug them in only to find one string isn't working. You try the replacement bulbs, you push in all the tiny bulbs and they still don't work.

            So what do you do with the non-working string of lights?

            The City's Solid Waste Division is again encouraging the public to recycle those non-working lights by dropping them off in one of several collection boxes in Rapid City.  Officials strongly advise residents to not put the lights in the blue recycling bins or trash containers.

            "We've all been there and we set those non-working sets of lights aside hoping they'll work next year," said Jancie Knight, Solid Waste Division outreach coordinator.  "Well, it's next year, and they still don't work. We ask the public to utilize the collection boxes to recycle the lights and not just toss them into the trash or recycling containers.

            "We don't want homeowners to put the lights into the curbside recycling containers because they are what we call 'tanglers'. When they get into the recycling line at MRF, they can get twisted up in the machinery causing backups and delays."

            Beginning Monday, November 30, the Christmas Light Recycling containers are available at the following locations:

            *Ace Hardware: 1602 E. St. Patrick Street, 320 W. Boulevard, 1724 W. Main Street

            *Western Dakota Tech: 800 Mickelson Drive

            *Boyd's Drug Store: Baken Park (entrance to Boyd's Liquor)

            *City Hall: 300 Sixth Street

            *Rapid City Public Library: 610 Quincy Street

            *MRF Office Building/Landfill: 5165 S. Highway 79

            The bins will be located at these locations until January 31.

**CITY TO OFFER HALF-PRICE PARKING ON SATURDAYS THANKSGIVING TO CHRISTMAS: There will be half-price parking at downtown meters on Saturdays between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, city officials announced today.

            The half-price parking will be effective November 28, December 5, 12 and 19.  Meters will be 25 cents per hour with a minimum $1 purchase if using a credit or debit card. 

            "We are hoping for a great holiday season and encourage the public to visit the downtown businesses," said Domico Rodriguez, executive director of Main Street Square.  "Half-price parking is a great incentive for the public to come downtown and enjoy a nice meal with family or a friend, shop for the holidays, take in a movie and experience the holiday magic of various events including the Holiday Celebration and Winter Market, and the Festival of Lights Parade."

            The Holiday Celebration and Winter Market is scheduled this Saturday (Nov. 28) and will offer various events including the tree lighting ceremony in Main Street Square. 

            The public is also encouraged to utilize mask, hygiene and social distancing protocols during their downtown holiday visits.

**REMOTE YARD WASTE DROP-OFF LOCATIONS TO CLOSE FOR SEASON DECEMBER 1: The Fitzgerald Stadium and West Boulevard North yard waste locations will close for the season on Tuesday, December 1. 

            All yard waste containers will be removed from the two sites.  Mixed recycling, cardboard and newspaper containers remain at the sites throughout the year.  Anyone with yard waste can bring the material to the Rapid City Landfill for disposal from December through March.

            The yard waste containers are scheduled to return to the remote sites in April.

            For more information, contact the City's Solid Waste Division at 355-3496.

**CITY SEEKS APPLICANTS FOR CARES ACT FUNDS: The City of Rapid City is seeking applicants for a second round of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) CARES Act funds.

            A total of $355,000 is available to qualified recipient organizations to deliver public service programs for Rapid City residents impacted by COVID-19.  Targeted programs include short-term emergency rent and mortgage assistance, assistance to child care programs, food security, utility assistance, transportation, COVID-19 testing and other COVID-19 related assistance.

            The funding is made available through the $416,000 in additional CDBG CARES Act funding announced by the City in September.  Eligible programs must meet a CDBG National Objective and prevent, prepare for, and respond to the Coronavirus pandemic.

            The CDBG-CV3 application can be obtained at https://www.rcgov.org/departments/community-planning-development/cdbg-program-division/cdbg-program-division-8389.html . Applications can be submitted or mailed to the CDBG Program Division Program at 300 Sixth Street and the submission deadline is 4 p.m. December 3. 

            For more information, contact CDBG Program Division Manager Michelle Schuelke at 394-4181

**CITY SEEKING APPLICANTS FOR MPO CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITEE: The Rapid City Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is seeking to fill vacancies on the Citizen’s Advisory Committee

The Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) serves as the primary public participation forum for the transportation products of the MPO.  The CAC makes recommendations to the MPO Executive Policy Committee regarding MPO studies, plans, and transportation products.

Interested citizens may apply by submitting a Citizen Interest Application online or by submitting a short statement describing qualification and interest in transportation matters to:

Melissa Karpo

Department of Community Development

300 6th St

Rapid City, SD 57701

Members must live or work within the MPO boundary. More information on the MPO can be found on their website at http://rapidcityareampo.org/ . Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Questions may be directed to Melissa Karpo at 605-394-4120 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

**CITY IMPOSES WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS ON TWO LOCAL BRIDGES: New weight limits have been posted on two bridges in Rapid City.  Bridges on San Marco Boulevard and Tomahawk Drive will have reduced weight limits after recent inspections reflected deterioration of the bridge structures.

            The new weight limits are effective immediately. 

            "We are advising the public of these new weight restrictions after the most recent bridge inspections," said City Public Works Director Dale Tech.  "One of the bridges is on the state DOT's four-year plan for replacement and we are working on a plan to repair the other bridge.  In the meantime, we are requiring weight restrictions for vehicles and loads until replacement and repairs can be made."

            The San Marco bridge is located between Pierre Street and Capital Street and is now restricted to a total weight of five tons for vehicle, cargo and trailer combinations.  This is a reduction from the previous weight limit dating back to 2016 of 12 tons for single-unit and 20 tons for combination units.  Vehicles over five tons are advised to use Pierre Street and Capital Street as alternate routes.

            The Tomahawk Drive bridge is located between the intersections of Country Club Drive and Stockade Drive and is restricted to 12 tons for single-unit vehicles and 20 tons for vehicle/trailer combinations.  Vehicles exceeding the posted weight limits will need to detour using Jackson Boulevard.

            Each weight limit includes passengers and cargo. 

            The reduced weight requirements will extend the life of the bridges until replacement bridges can be constructed.  The South Dakota Department of Transportation is scheduled to replace the San Marco bridge in 2023.  City officials are developing a proposal for repair of the Tomahawk bridge structure and would seek to use Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding. 

**CITY SEEKING APPLICANTS FOR HOTEL BID BOARD: The City is seeking qualified candidates to fill one (1) vacancy on the Hotel Business Improvement District (BID) Board.

Members must own property or a business located within the Business Improvement District or operate a business located within the District. Terms on the Board are 3 years.

Interested citizens are encouraged to apply by submitting a Citizen Interest Application at https://www.rcgov.org/28-citizen-interest-application-mayor-s-office/4-citizen-interest-application.html . Application deadline is November 30 at 5:00 pm.

The Hotel BID Board oversees the administration of the District, the establishment of programs, and the expenditure of BID funds on marketing and promotion for the City of Rapid City and its hotels and motels included within the District. Hotel BID funds are administered by Visit Rapid City. The Board typically meets on the third Thursday of every other month. More information can be found on the webpage on the City website at https://www.rcgov.org/public-meetings/city-committees/hotel-business-improvement-district-bid-board-488.html .

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 605-394-4110 with questions.

**MORE CITY RESTROOMS CLOSING FOR SEASON:  City Parks officials remind the public that additional park restroom facilities are closing for the season.

            Most City Parks restrooms were closed October 1.  Due to activities, facilities at Sioux Park, Vickie Powers Park, Parkview Tennis Courts and SIoux Park Stadium remained open but will be closed by this weekend (October 30/November 1).  Restroom facilities at Founders Park, Legacy Commons, Skyline Wilderness and Canyon Lake Park-West are winterized and remain open throughout the year.

**CITY RESUMING UTILITY SHUTOFFS DUE TO NON-PAYMENT:  Beginning in January, the City will resume discontinuation of residential and commercial utility services for non-payment of utility bills.  This practice was suspended in March due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

            City utility customers with overdue accounts will receive a notification letter in November and a reminder will be placed on the billing statements.

            On March 17, the City announced discontinuation of utility service for non-payment would be suspended for local residents and businesses.  Many municipalities and private utility companies provided similar moratoriums but nearly all have reinstated or resumed payment requirements.

            "The COVID-19 pandemic caused hardship for many in our community and to help ease the burden on our utility customers, the City suspended discontinuing service for overdue accounts on March 17," said City Public Works Director Dale Tech.  "We need to move toward resuming normal operations and will lift the suspension of discontinuing service for non-payment after the holidays."

            Any Rapid City account that remains delinquent as of January 4, 2021 will be subject to discontinuation of utility service.  Late fees which have been charged to accounts and remain unpaid on January 4 will be due and payable in full and will need to be paid before service is restored.

            Citizens who continue to experience a significant financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for an exemption on a form available on the City's website www.rcgov.org/covid19.  If granted, the hardship exemption may allow customers additional time to become current on their City utility account.  The City will offer a short-term utility payment plan to those who may need this additional time.

            "Our utility billing team is committed to working with those customers who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and encourage residents to contact us to make arrangements to bring their accounts current before discontinuation of service resumes," said Tech.

            In addition to a letter and utility bill notifications, the City will promote messaging on the City's website and social media platform.

            Customers who may need financial assistance in bringing their accounts current are encouraged to contact 211 for the most up-to-date information on local, county and state resources.  The State of South Dakota in collaboration with the South Dakota Housing Development Authority, 211 Helpline Center and partner agencies, are making available CARES Act funding to assist residents with housing and utility expenses.  More information can be obtained at www.helplinecenter.org/sdcares .

            For more information, contact the City's Utility Billing at 394-4125, via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or download the application at Discontinuation Exemption Request Form  .

**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 SEEKS TO FILL VACANCIES ON PARKS BOARD; FORESTRY, BEAUTIFICATION COMMITEES:  The City's Parks and Recreation Department is seeking to fill vacancies on three of its prominent boards and committees.

            There are currently two vacancies on each of the City's Urban Forestry Committee and Beautification Committee, and one vacant position on the City's Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

            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 City's seven-member Parks and Recreation Advisory Board initiates, reviews and makes recommendations for ordinances, policies and rules governing the use of the City's public parks, swimming pools and other facilities including the golf courses.

            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.

            The Parks and Advisory Board is appointed by the mayor.  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.

**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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