January 10, 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 MOVES MEETING DATE:  Due to the federal Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday, January 20, the next Rapid City Council meeting will be held Tuesday, January 21 at 6:30 p.m.

THREE LOCATIONS SET UP FOR DISPOSAL OF TREES, WREATHS: The City's Solid Waste Division has set up three recycling locations for disposal of natural holiday trees, wreaths and garland greenery items.  The locations are set up at Fitzgerald Stadium, West Boulevard North and the Landfill on Highway 79.  The public is asked to remove tree stands, decorations and lights from the items and to remove any plastic bags.  Anyone needing to dispose of artificial trees are advised to take them to the Landfill.  Trees of any kind will not be collected curbside.

CITY AGAIN OFFERING CHRISTMAS LIGHTS RECYCLING PROGRAM: The City's Solid Waste Division is again encouraging the public to recycle those non-working holiday 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.

            The Christmas Light Recycling containers are available at the following locations:

            *Rapid City Downtown Public Library: 610 Quincy Street

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

            *Western Dakota Tech: 800 Mickelson Drive

            *Family Fare Stores: 1516 E. St. Patrick Street and 751 Mountain View Road

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

            *City Hall: 300 Sixth Street

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

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

RC LIBRARY'S LUNCH & LEARN SERIES: Stanford M. Adelstein/The Question is 'Why?' Join us Wednesday, January 15 from noon to 1 p.m. at the downtown library (610 Quincy Street, upstairs), to meet philanthropist Stanford M. Adelstein and learn about the question that inspired his journey.

Stanford M. Adelstein is well-known for serving in the South Dakota State Legislature and advocating for Jewish organizations. Stan will speak about his new book, his life and the choices that brought him here.

While lunch registration is closed at this time, feel free to bring a lunch and join us for this event.

For more information about library programs for adults, including movie series, hands-on events, classes and live music, please visit our website at www.rapidcitylibrary.org.

COUNCIL APPROVES APPOINTMENTS TO CITIZEN BOARDS (City Supports 30+ Citizen Boards; Encourages City Participation): The Rapid City Council Monday night (January 6) approved several appointments and reappointments to City boards.

            The Council confirmed the reappointments of Joe Jarding, Kristofer James and Doug Wilson to the Rapid City Trenching Board; the reappointment of Dr. Judy Sneller and Faye Bice to the Rapid City Library Board of Trustees; the reappointment of Megan Reder-Schopp and the appointment of Stacie Granum to the Museum Alliance of Rapid City/Journey Board of Directors;  the reappointment of Karen Gunderson Olson to the City's Parks and Recreation Advisory Board; and the appointments of Tim Johnson and Charity Doyle to the Civic Center Board of Directors.

            The City supports more than 30 citizen boards, committees and commissions providing citizens an opportunity to provide important input on policies that shape the City and its government. These boards advise the mayor and City Council on a variety of issues and in most cases, appointments are recommended by the mayor and confirmed by the Council.

            For more information or to apply for one of the boards, visit the 'Boards, Commissions and Committees' listing under the 'Government' section at the City's website rcgov.org .

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 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.

**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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