**COUNCIL CHAMBERS CLOSED IN MARCH: The March 2 and 16 meetings of the Rapid City Council, as well as a special session slated for March 10, have been relocated to the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center's LaCroix Hall, Room C and D. The March City Council and several committee meetings are being relocated due to renovations in the City Hall's Council Chambers. Various committee meetings scheduled in March will be held in the newly-renovated third floor conference room of City Hall. These meetings will include the City's Public Works meeting March 10; Legal and Finance Committee meeting March 11; the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) meeting March 11; the City's Zoning Board of Adjustment/Planning Commission meetings of March 5 and 26; the City's Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) meeting March 20; and the Board of Equalization hearings scheduled for the week of March 16-20.
**STATE, CITY BEGIN NEXT PHASE OF EAST BOULEVARD/EAST NORTH STREET PROJECT: The next stage of the multi-year, multi-phase East Boulevard/East North Street Reconstruction Project began February 17. The project is a joint venture involving the South Dakota Department of Transportation and City of Rapid City and this phase impacts traffic on East Boulevard and Omaha Street throughout the year as different steps of the project are completed.
The first phase includes the closure of East Boulevard just north of the Omaha Street intersection to St. Louis Street. Beginning February 17, eastbound traffic on Omaha Street is detoured to Maple Street to St. Louis Street to East Boulevard. Westbound traffic on Omaha Street is detoured to Fifth Street to New York Street to East Boulevard. This portion of the next phase of the project is scheduled from February 17 to May 28. Initially, traffic travelling east and west bound on Omaha will not be impacted.
Beginning April 1, work will move into Omaha Street at East Boulevard. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction.
Simon Contractors of South Dakota is the prime contractor for the project. Their crews are replacing the aging infrastructure including storm sewer, water, pavement and bridge surfacing.
Access to affected businesses will be maintained during the project. The construction will not affect the bus stops for Rapid Transit Services, however buses will be adjusting their routes to accommodate the construction work. Drivers are advised to use caution and allow additional time to navigate construction areas and travel detour routes.
**SIXTH STREET CORRIDOR STUDY OPEN HOUSE: Officials with the Rapid City Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) remind the public of an upcoming public meeting on its Sixth Street Study. The public meeting will be conducted by the Study's project team and will be held Tuesday (February 25) from 3:30-6 p.m. at the Dahl Arts Center.
The purpose of the MPO's Sixth Street Study is establishing a cohesive vision for Rapid City's Sixth Street corridor from the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center to the Performing Arts Center and exploring opportunities to make it more walkable, bikeable and liveable, including an improved crossing at Omaha Street.
The meeting will have an informal open house format, allowing for one-on-one discussions with the project team. Brief presentations will be given at 4 and 5 p.m. to introduce the study to the public and gather input on both opportunities and challenges along the Sixth Street corridor.
For those who cannot attend the public meeting, information about the study is available online at www.sixthstreetstudy.com. The website also provides the opportunity to view an online map of the study area and pin a comment to a specific location of interest. Presentations and displays shown at the public meeting will be available online within a few days of the public meeting.
**RAPIDRIDE REPORTS SOLID JANUARY YOUTH NUMBERS: Youth ridership on the City's Rapid Transit System was at its highest level since October with more than 12,600 youth passenger trips recorded in the month of January.
A total of 12,627 youth passenger rides were recorded in January compared to 10,498 in December and 10,206 in November. More than 60,000 youth passenger trips (60,132) have been recorded on RapidRide from September through January, coinciding with the approximate start of the 2019-20 school year.
**CITY ISSUES JANUARY BUILDING REPORT: The City's Building Services Division issued 226 building permits in January with a total valuation of $10,317,589.
The permit total is the second-highest number of permits issued for January in the past six years and fourth highest since 2009. The valuation total of $10.31 million compares to $11.95 million in valuation from the permits issued a year ago in January 2019.
The City issued three permits with valuations over $1 million last month. The list includes Rapid City Club For Boys Inc. for additions/alterations at 320 N. Fourth Street ($1,254,500); Pilot Properties LLC for the Pilot 12 Plex at 4114 Berniece Street ($1.2 million); and Black Hills Works Foundation for a group home at 314 Wright Street ($1,076.062). Other top-valued permits issued in January went to C2RC LLC for alterations at the Veterans Center, 21 E. Omaha ($990,000) and to Kohl's Illinois, Inc. for re-roofing of the facility at 737 Disk Drive ($294,091).
MOBILE PRINTING NOW OFFERED AT LIBRARY – Starting this month, Rapid City Public Library is now offering remote printing. Anyone can send documents to be printed at the library directly from their home computer, phone or tablet through our new Mobile Printing service.
CITY PROMOTING REGISTRATION AND APPLICATION PROCESS FOR ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS (ADUs): After December's City Council approval of an ordinance allowing Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in Rapid City's residential districts, the City's Community Development Department has developed registration and application information for the public to register their units.
The registration information includes a form, procedure sheet and checklist and are accessible by visiting the city's website at rcgov.org . It can be found by clicking on the Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) icon in the Community Bookmark section of the City's home page or by visiting the Community Development Department/Current Planning Division page.
The ADU ordinance was created in response to the City's goal of providing more housing options in Rapid City. The ordinance creates opportunities for development of new small housing units and allows existing ADUs to operate within the City's municipal code. All existing ADUs, in order to be considered legal, must be registered with the City. A $50 registration fee must accompany the registration materials.
ADUs are defined as a dwelling with its own cooking, sleeping and sanitation facilities that can be within or attached to a single-family residential building or is located on the property of a larger primary structure and is on a permanent foundation. ADUs are often called granny flats, mother-in-law units or carriage houses.
CITY BRIDGE CLOSED DUE TO HOLE IN BRIDGE DECK: City Public Works officials continue to keep the bridge over Rapid Creek on East Main Street North, between Steele Avenue and Brennan Avenue, closed after discovery December 2 of a hole in the bridge deck. The public is advised to seek an alternative route until further notice.
Closure and detour signs have been placed in the area notifying the public of the bridge closure.
The hole is approximately 3 feet x 1 foot in diameter and is located on the east end of the eastbound lane of the bridge deck. City Traffic Engineer Steve Frooman indicates a chuck of concrete fell through the bridge, leaving a hole with exposed rebar. City Public Works Director Dale Tech indicates the bridge is approximately 35 years old and the City had scheduled the bridge for upgrades next year after receiving a Department of Transportation grant earlier this year.
No cause has been determined for what created the hole. Tech says officials will be assessing the condition of the bridge and determining options for repair of the affected area in advance of the permanent upgrades.
PLACEMENT OF WINTER APPAREL ITEMS ALLOWED ON DOWNTOWN STATUES: November 15 began the fifth winter season items such as gloves, scarves, ear muffs and hats have been approved by the City for placement on the downtown statues. During wintery conditions, the items are often taken soon after placement by individuals who need them. Churches, schools and other organizations have also joined in the random placement of apparel items on statues by local residents.
Mayor Steve Allender authorized the placement of winter apparel items on downtown statues in November 2015 and the City Council approved the resolution in April 2016 allowing items to be placed on the statues annually from November 15-March 15.
Authorized placement of winter apparel items on the downtown statues coincides with National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, this year observed November 16-24.
"Response from the community since this project was initiated back in 2015 is tremendous," said Mayor Allender. "These apparel items are put to good use immediately by those who need them and it's great to see the level of community response."
After March 15, any items placed on the statues will be removed.
RESIDENTS REMINDED OF DOWNTOWN SNOW ALERT TEXTS, PROCESS: The City of Rapid City reminds residents the City can declare a downtown snow alert under certain conditions and encourages the public to sign up for text notifications for such declarations.
The City is again partnering with the 211 Helpline Center to notify affected residents and business employees when a downtown snow alert is declared as well as other winter messaging.
Anyone wishing to receive downtown snow alerts via text message may subscribe by texting 'RCSnow' to 85511.
In April 2016, the City Council approved an amendment to the City's Snow Removal Policy, authorizing the issuance of a snow alert in the downtown core area under certain conditions. The downtown snow removal core area is defined as both sides of the street on Ninth Street to the west (this will be extended to West Boulevard as of the first of the year), Fifth Street to the east, Omaha Street to the north and Kansas City Street to the south.
To date, there are nearly 800 subscribers to RCSnow.
When a Snow Removal Alert is declared, any vehicle or trailer parked in the core area from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. may be removed by the police department and the vehicle's owner or operator assessed a fine and charges for towing and storage of the vehicle.
The City's Public Works Director can declare a Snow Removal Alert in the downtown core area for snow to be cleared for the safe and orderly flow of traffic and for the safety, health and welfare of the general public.
If a Downtown Snow Alert is declared, the City will communicate the message through the 211 Helpline Center as well as utilizing traditional media sources and the City's social media platform.
CITY REMINDS RESIDENTS OF SIDEWALK SNOW & ICE REMOVAL POLICIES: City officials are reminding the public it's their responsibility to keep sidewalk areas in front of their home free from snow and ice.
City Ordinance 12.12.090 states it is the duty of the homeowner to keep the sidewalk(s) fronting or abutting a lot, parcel or plot of ground free from snow and ice at all times. When it is impossible to take the snow and ice from the walk by reason of it be being frozen to the sidewalk, the owner or occupant shall sprinkle or spread suitable material to prevent the walk from becoming slippery and dangerous to travel.
Sidewalks not kept free from snow and ice are declared a nuisance, and upon the failure, neglect or refusal to comply, the owner or occupant may be held in violation. If the snow and ice is not removed, the City can have the area cleared of snow and ice with the costs assessed to the property. In addition, the City is reminding residents to make arrangements for the clearing of snow and ice on their sidewalks if they plan to leave for an extended period of time, such as during holidays or to leave the area entirely ('snowbirds').
The snow and ice removal ordinance does not require a written notification to the homeowner of the violation since the ordinance requires sidewalks to be clear of snow and ice at all times.
"It's a safety issue. As many people know, it doesn't take long for a snow-covered sidewalk to turn to ice with even limited traffic," said Matt Owczarek, Rapid City Code Enforcement Division Supervisor. "Now is the time to make preparations and arrangements for snow removal around the home for the safety of the homeowner and the public.
"It is the obligation of the homeowner to keep their sidewalks safe for pedestrian travel."
Owczarek also reminds the public it is unlawful to place snow upon any public sidewalk, street or other public property (City Ordinance 12.12.100). Officials also advise homeowners to place snow in an area that will not result in melting snow to run off onto sidewalks and streets, freeze and create an ice buildup and safety issue.
'YOUTH RIDE FREE' REQUIRES NEW PASSES FOR 2019-20 SCHOOL YEAR: Rapid Transit System officials are reminding youth and their parents the 'Youth Ride Free' program requires new bus passes for this school year.
Rapid City youth will need a new bus pass in order to utilize the RapidRide system. Bus passes are free, registration can be done online at rapidride.org , clicking on the 'Youth Ride Free' icon at the top left of the page and accessing the red registration button.
Parents and youth can also pick up a form from the Rapid Transit System office at 333 Sixth Street. The passes are received within five days of submitting the form.
RapidRide also provides and publishes maps, material and regular ride schedules. For more information about the bus passes, contact 394-6631.
**CITY IMPLEMENTS ONLINE PAYMENT SYSTEM FOR PARKING TICKETS: Among the parking system changes for Rapid City this summer is an online payment system for payment of old and new parking tickets.
Vehicle owners can go online to rapidcity.citationportal.com and look up their citations by the citation number, license plate number or the VIN number. Owners can then pay the citations online. Per City ordinance, parking enforcement can place a boot on vehicles with three outstanding parking tickets or $125 in fines. Currently, there are 12,000 unpaid parking tickets and about 700 vehicles on the boot list.
Paying fines online will also avoid citations being sent to collections for non-payment. Parking tickets are sent to collections after 30 days.
For more information or questions about the downtown parking changes, visit www.ipsgroupinc.com/rapidcity .
Council member Becky Drury will chair the City's Legal and Finance Committee with Council member Darla Drew serving as vice chair. Other Committee members include Ritchie Nordstrom, Lance Lehmann and Lewis. Council member John Roberts will chair the City's Public Works Committee with Lisa Modrick continuing as committee vice chair. Other Committee members include Bill Evans, Greg Strommen and Armstrong. Nordstrom will chair the Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) Committee, which will be comprised of Council members Drury, Drew, Roberts and Strommen.. Roberts will be the Council's liaison to the City's Zoning Board of Adjustment/Planning Commission.
**CIVIC CENTER WARNS GUESTS OF PURCHASING COUNTERFEIT TICKETS: The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center wants to remind patrons to be wary of purchasing counterfeit tickets for events held at the facility. Guests are encouraged to only buy tickets from authorized ticket agencies, including www.gotmine.com, by phone at 1-800-GOT-MINE, or in person at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Box Office and Ellsworth Airforce Base Outdoor Recreation. Purchasing from other sources is done at the buyer's risk.
Only tickets purchased from official outlets guarantee entry to events held at the facility, and individuals attempting to gain admission using fraudulent tickets will not be allowed entry. If you are unsure of the validity of the tickets being purchased, we encourage you to contact our box office at 1-800-GOT-MINE.
**CITY RESIDENTS RECEIVING LETTERS: It's not a scam! Letters sent from the City of Rapid City recently are the latest effort to inform residents about an optional customer service line protection plan offered to homeowners.
Letters have been sent in August 2018, this past February and in May about the City partnering with Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) to offer the optional coverage. Residents received an introductory postcard last September about the protection plan and the agreement between the City and SLWA and more detailed letters have been sent in recent months. With its membership in the National League of Cities, Rapid City is able to offer the service line protection plan, which is administered by SLWA and offers important coverage for interior plumbing and drainage systems, exterior sewer/septic lines and exterior water service lines. City Public Works Director Dale Tech advises homeowners the postal material they have and are receiving is legitimate. There is no cost to the City in offering the voluntary coverage plan to homeowners and is being offered because of the City's membership in the National League of Cities.
**KEEPING UPDATED ON CONSTRUCTION: To view City construction public service announcements, click on 'Cone Zone Road Construction & Closure Information' on the City's website.
**FIXING POTHOLES IS JUST A TELEPHONE CALL AWAY: Potholes can form on Rapid City streets any day of the year. They are a common occurrence and the result of traffic and weather conditions on road surfaces, and not the result of a poorly-maintained road.
City officials encourage residents to call the City's Pothole Hotline at 394-4152 to report a pothole for crews to repair.
"Our crews try to get out and repair them the same day or the next day," according to City Street Superintendent Dale Pfeifle. "We patrol the streets and work to repair potholes and also rely on the public's help to notify us if they have a pothole in their neighborhood or on a City street they travel."
Pfeifle says major intersections and roads with considerable daily traffic may receive attention in the very late hours or early morning hours to minimize interaction with traffic.
**SNOW ALERT MESSAGES: It's never too early to be thinking about snow. The City and the 211 Helpline Center have partnered to promote information when Snow Removal Alerts are declared in the downtown core area from Fifth to Ninth Streets and Kansas City Street to Omaha. Text 'RCSnow' to 85511.
**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.