November 01, 2019

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)

RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM CLOSED VETERANS DAY: Rapid Transit System (RTS), including RapidRide and Dial-A-Ride services, will not be operating Monday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day.

            This one-day suspension in service will impact youth who utilize RapidRide for school transportation. Youth and their parents, along with all RTS riders, are advised to seek alternate transportation on November 11. RTS is currently notifying riders of the holiday closure through notices on the RapidRide buses, contact with Rapid City Area School officials and will have social media posts on RTS Facebook and the City's social media platform.

CITY LANDFILL CLOSED VETERANS DAY; TRASH COLLECTION ADJUSTED: The Rapid City Landfill will be closed Monday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day. Trash and recycling collection will be adjusted with the Monday, November 11 collection set for Tuesday. Tuesday-Friday is normal collection, leave out until collected.

WARD FIVE COUNCIL MEMBERS HOSTING TOWN MEETING: Rapid City Council members Laura Armstrong and Darla Drew will host a town hall meeting Wednesday, November 6 at Black Hills Bagels from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Armstrong and Drew have hosted biannual public forums and town hall meetings since November 2017.

            The session will include an update and overview of current topics and issues facing the community and City Council.  There will be time available for questions and feedback.  Armstrong emphasizes the meeting is open to the public, not just residents of Ward Five.

CITY HOSTING OPEN HOUSE ON TAX INCREMENT FINANCING RESOLUTION: Proposed changes to the City's tax increment financing (TIF) policies will be the focus of an open house next week hosted by the Department of Community Development. The session begins at 11:30 a.m. in City Hall's Council Chambers. The public is invited.

            For several months, department staff have been working on a resolution with changes to existing tax increment financing policies.  The purpose of the open house is to share specifics to the draft resolution and gain public feedback and input.  The department plans to bring the resolution forward for City committee and council consideration in November. The open house will include a presentation from City staff and an opportunity for questions and feedback from the public.

'COFFEE WITH PLANNERS' QUARTERLY SESSSION NOV. 6:  The City's Department of Community Development will host its quarterly "Coffee With Planners" Wednesday, November 6, at 9 a.m. in the City Hall's Council Chambers.  The public is invited.

            The hour-long session offers participants the opportunity to rotate to three discussion tables featuring various topics, according to City officials.  Table discussions at the November 6 session will include zoning for small lot homes (such as tiny homes and garden homes), the basics of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, and an update on the new Civic Center arena project. The coffee events are held quarterly.  Coffee, bagels and doughnuts will be provided.

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.

CITY ISSUES BUILDING REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER: Rapid City issued 492 building permits in September, the second-highest number of permits issued in the month of September since 2013.  The total valuation of the permits issued was $25,672,258, which is the fifth highest valuation total for a September month since 2000.

            For the first three quarters of 2019, the City has issued a total of 2,928 building permits.  The number compares to a similar number of permits issued (2,938) through the first three quarters of 2018.

            "Building activity remains strong in Rapid City," said Ken Young, City Community Development director. "The City is issuing the same amount of permits as it did last year. Behind those permits are roofers, electricians, plumbers, welders - people that are working on various residential and commercial projects throughout the city."

            September was another solid month for roofing activity in Rapid City with 252 residential roofing permits issued with a combined total valuation of $2,459,368.

            Three permits topped one million in valuation, including: Whisper Rock II Limited Partners for an apartment complexes at 424 Neel Street ($4,965,188); Diocese of Rapid City for the pastoral center at 225 Main Street ($2,116,200) and Abbott House, Inc. for the Abbott House at 410 Neel Street ($1,135,000).  Other sizeable permits issued included DJS Holdings LLC for the Super Clean addition at 1501 Cambell Street ($438,730); and Presbyterian Retirement Village for six townhouses with attached garages on Nebraska Street (each permit valued at $436,870).

**TRAFFIC RESTRICTION: DISK DRIVE & HAINES AVENUE: Effective Monday, August 12, the area near the intersection of Disk Drive and Haines Avenue will have multiple lane closures that will restrict traffic for a utility and street replacement project.  Motorists are encouraged to utilize alternate routes to avoid the I-90 Exit 58 off ramps as well as traveling northbound on Haines Avenue.  This work is expected to be completed by December 2019.

**MOST CITY RESTROOMS CLOSED OCTOBER 1: Restroom facilities in the City's parks will closed October 1 with the exception of the Sioux Park, Vickie Powers Park and Parkview Tennis Court facilities which are scheduled to be open through October 31.  In addition, restroom facilities at Founders Park, Legacy Commons, Skyline Wilderness and Canyon Lake Park-West are winterized and are open throughout the year.

            In addition, Sioux Park Stadium restroom facilities will be available to accommodate scheduled events during October.

'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 LEADERSHIP SELECTED; COMMITTEE CHAIRS & ASSIGNMENTS NAMED: Mayor Steve Allender and Council members Lisa Modrick (Ward One), Bill Evans (Ward Two), Greg Strommen (Ward Three), Lance Lehmann (Ward Four) and Darla Drew (Ward Five) were given their oaths of office at the July 1 City Council meeting.  The new Council convened and elected Laura Armstrong (Ward Five) as Council president, and Chad Lewis (Ward Three) as Council vice-president for the 2019-20 term.

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.

**PROPER SUMP PUMP DISCHARGE: With the excessive precipitation, City officials remind residents using sump pumps to pump the discharge to their yards or to the curbs/storm water drains and not pump the discharge into their sanitary sewer system.  This includes residents living in the northeast area of the community as City lift stations there are at maximum capacity at the present time.

**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.

**LIBRARY: NO MORE LATE FEES ON CHILDREN'S MATERIALS: Rapid City Public Library is pleased to announce that starting May 1, there will be no more late fees on children’s materials. This includes books, audiobooks and DVDs. We are making this change to better support our community’s literacy and early childhood education.

**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.

 

 

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