September 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 SEEKS APPLICANTS FOR HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION/MOA ALLIANCE: The City is seeking applicants for the new Human Relations Commission/MOA Alliance.

Applicants must be legal residents of Rapid City. Due consideration will be given to racial minorities and other under-represented groups, with a goal of matching the racial, religious, and gender distribution of our City.

Interested citizens are encouraged to apply by submitting a citizen interest application online. Application deadline is October 16th, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.  

The HRC/MOA is committed to creating an inclusive alliance that promotes and ensures civil discourse, human rights, and resource development in Rapid City.  Together, through education and engagement, we hope to nurture a community culture that values equity, respect, and understanding.

Appointments are made by the Mayor. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Please contact the Mayor’s Office at 394-4110 

DEADLINE APPROACHING FOR CANDIDATES TO FILE PETITIONS FOR WARD ONE SPECIAL ELECTION: Candidates for the vacant Ward One position on the Rapid City Council have one week remaining to file petitions.  The special election is set for Tuesday, November 3.

            Election packets containing petitions and other important information are available from the City's Finance Office, 300 Sixth Street. Deadline to submit petitions to the Finance Office is next Friday, October 2.

            The date of the special municipal ward election coincides with the November general election. Candidates will be vying to fill the remaining 20 months of the three-year Ward One position vacated in March with the Council's removal of Lisa Modrick.

            The candidate receiving the most votes in the special election will be declared the winner.  There will be no runoff elections.

            The election packets include important information including deadlines for candidates to file financial interest statements.  Any petitions signed or notarized before September 4 will not count.  Petitions containing verified signatures of at least 50 persons registered to vote in ward one must be filed with the City Finance Office by October 2 at 5 p.m.

            Voter registration deadline for the Ward One special election is October 19, the same date early voting would begin.  The early voting date is different for the special election (October 19) than the general election (September 18).

            For more information or questions, contact the City Finance Department at 394-4143.

**COUNCIL MEMBERS ARMSTRONG, DREEW HOSTING WARD FIVE TOWN HALL MEETING OCTOBER 7: Rapid City Council members Laura Armstrong and Darla Drew will host a town hall meeting Wednesday, October 7 in the City Hall's Council Chambers beginning at 6 p.m.

            Armstrong and Drew have hosted biannual public forums and town hall meetings since November 2017.  Their spring forum was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

            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 and Drew emphasize the meeting is open to the public, not just residents of Ward Five.

**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.

REGISTRATION OPENS FOR SWIM CENTER EXERCISE CLASSES: The Roosevelt Swim Center's land and water exercise classes are resuming at the facility in September.

            The land exercise classes began September 21 and water exercise classes begin Monday, September 28.  Participants must make online reservations to attend as drop-in participation are not guaranteed space.  Participants can sign up online at undefined . Complete your user profile and reserve the class.

            Registration is now open for the land exercise classes and the water exercise classes.

            For more information or questions, contact the Roosevelt Swim Center at 394-5223.

**CITY TO RECEIVE ADDITIONAL CARES ACT FUNDS: The City of Rapid City is set to receive $416,515 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds as part of the remaining $1.988 billion in CARES Act funding set aside for CDBG programs nationwide.  The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development issued the announcement in mid-September..

            The allocation announced for Rapid City is in addition to the $307,390 in CARES Act funding announced by HUD for Rapid City in May.  These latest grants are to be focused on areas where households are facing a higher risk of eviction.  To date, HUD has provided nearly $5 billion in CDBG funding nationwide to help communities address the Coronavirus and alleviate economic hardship.

            HUD indicates the funds can be used to provide temporary financial assistance to meet rental obligations for up to six months. 

            Rapid City officials welcomed the news of the additional grant awards. 

            "The CARES Act funding will be utilized to assist those who are facing burdens due to the pandemic, including challenges in meeting financial obligations. Keeping people housed is critical during this crisis," said Michelle Schuelke, Rapid City’s CDBG Program Division Manager.

            Schuelke says the City will be reviewing options for the funding and seek partners to carry out programs that meet the needs of the community.

**LIBRARY LAUNCHES 1000 BOOKS BEFORE KINDERGARTEN: Starting September 1, Rapid City Public Library will contribute to early literacy by encouraging area children and their families to read 1000 Books Before Kindergarten. Designed to support our community’s early literacy, school readiness, and child-parent/caregiver bond, 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten will help children achieve early education goals and help them grow into lifelong learners. The program aims to have children read (or be read) 1,000 books before entering their first year of Kindergarten in order to equip them with the literacy skills necessary to become successful readers and students. As children read they will earn progress rewards provided by local sponsors, for the milestones of reading 200, 400, 600 and 1000 books.

Preschoolers and their families can pick up custom Black Hills-themed wall charts to track their reading progress at the downtown library. The wall charts have the option to track reading progress in English or Lakota.

**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 and Finance Committee:  8 a.m. the day of the meeting

*Public Works Committee:  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.

**PORTION OF UPPER LEVEL PARKING LEASED TO HOTEL ALEX JOHNSON: A portion of the third or upper level of the downtown parking ramp is now specifically leased to the Hotel Alex Johnson.  The Rapid City Council approved the lease arrangement in August 2019.

            The lease arrangement with Hotel Alex Johnson allows for 66 dedicated spots on the third or upper level of the parking ramp with controlled access. This is a reduction of nine spots in overall leased parking for the Hotel.  Public parking remains available on the ramp's first level and leased parking is available on the second level and the east side of the upper level of the ramp.     

            The controlled access point contains signage reading 'Hotel Parking Only' along with pole signage indicating hotel parking only.  The east side of the upper level parking area contains pole signage indicating leased parking areas and the time availability for leased and free parking.

**REMOTE YARD WASTE SITE REMAINS OPEN AT FITZ STADIUM DURING RENOVATIONS: The remote yard waste site will remain open at the Floyd Fitzgerald Stadium location as renovations get underway.  This includes the yard waste containers and the recyclable containers.

            Solid Waste officials indicate the containers may move to another location on the same parking lot campus at some point during the renovation work and this will be promoted heavily to the public if a change is made.

            Drivers are advised to use caution when arriving and departing the remote yard waste area and the nearby vicinity due to increased traffic including heavy construction equipment due to the renovations work.

**APPLICANTS SOUGHT FOR METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION: 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 citizens 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

**RAPID TRANSIT RESUMES WEEKDAY OPERATIONS: RapidRide and Dial-a-Ride transportation operations resumed regular weekday services effective July 20, according to Rapid Transit System (RTS) officials.

            RapidRide's Monday-Friday routes are from 6:20 a.m. to 5:50 p.m. and Dial-a-Ride operations are from 6:10 a.m. to the last scheduled ride at 5:30 p.m.  Saturday transit services remain suspended due to a shortage of drivers.

            RTS Manager Megan Gould said social distancing and hygiene practices on City buses and among RTS employees continue. The social distancing and hygiene protocols include a six-foot distance between passengers, limited passengers on the buses, hygiene requirements that include washing hands with sanitizer.  The practices have been in place since March and resumed when RTS reopened for operations June 15.

            Gould said drivers are required to wear a mask and the public is "highly recommended" to wear masks on the bus.  Masks are available on the buses.

**GROUP EFFORT LEADS TO RENOVATION OF DOWNTOWN INTERPRETIVE SIGNS: The historic interpretive placards in the downtown core area are getting a much-needed makeover

The Rapid City Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) applied for grant funds from the Business Improvement District to renovate the signs, which provide information to local residents and visitors about many of downtown Rapid City's historic landmarks.

"The project is a partnership between The Historic Preservation Commission, Destination Rapid City and the Business Improvement District.  With technical assistance provided by Destination Rapid City staff, and funding from Prairie Edge and the BID, these historical markers will receive a much needed facelift," said Domico Rodriguez, executive director of Main Street Square.

The interpretive signs will receive new plexiglass, new base boards, fresh paint, and a thorough cleaning of the enamel panels.

"The Historic Preservation Commission extends its thanks to these project partners for making needed improvements to these signs," said Brittany Neiles of the Commission.  "The renovations are needed and it will be a great benefit for the community. With the makeover, these signs will continue to inform and educate the public for many years into the future."

The project is scheduled for completion in September.

**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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