May 10, 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)

**REMINDER--MAIN STREET CONSTRUCTION: Construction continues on the two-month water valve replacement project in downtown Rapid City.  The first stage of the project began Monday, April 1 and affects the area of Main Street between Sixth Street and Mount Rushmore Road.  Two westbound driving lanes and one parking lane in the two-block area are closed throughout this initial stage of the project. Additional phases of the project will continue westward on Main Street to West Boulevard with similar traffic restrictions.  The public is advised to consider alternate routes or to allow additional time in their daily commutes in the affected area during the project.  Officials indicate there may be short-term water service disruptions during the construction project.  The project is expected to be completed by Memorial Day Weekend.

**CITY HOSTING 'COFFEE WITH PLANNERS' EVENT: The quarterly 'Coffee With Planners' session postponed earlier this month has been rescheduled to Wednesday, May 15 at 9 a.m. in City Council Chambers.

            The session, hosted by the City's Department of Community Development, had started May 1 when participants and everyone in the City/School Administration Center were evacuated due to odors and smoke present in the building.  Although everyone was allowed back in the building after a 45-minute investigation by the Rapid City Fire Department, session organizers decided to reschedule the 'Coffee With Planners' event. The coffee session is open to the public and will include the same three discussion topics: downtown parking, transportation projects, and updates on the City's Comprehensive Master Plan.  The hour-long session allows participants to rotate to discussion tables, which include City staff.

            The events are held quarterly.  Coffee, bagels and doughnuts are provided.

**LIBRARY HOSTING 'LUNCH & LEARN': LMB THERAPY AND FARMS: Craig Mullins and wife, Dr. Wendy Mullins, co-founded Live Move Be Farms which provides vocational support through farming, education, community and family support. Join us Wednesday, May 15 from noon to 1 p.m. at the downtown library (610 Quincy Street, upstairs), and learn how LMB creates opportunities and connections among people with autism and neuro-developmental differences.

**THREE BIKE PATH AREAS REMAIN CLOSED DUE TO FLOODING: The public is advised to not use three bike path areas along Rapid Creek after City parks department staff placed barricades in the affected areas due to rising water levels.  The barricades have been placed at the bike path crossings at the Canyon Lake Road bridge and Mount Rushmore Road bridge as rising water levels are flooding over the bike path in these areas.  In addition, a 20-yard stretch of bike path west of the 4-H Building at the Central States Fairgrounds has been closed due to water on the path.  City officials advise the public to not use these areas of the bike path until further notice and to never bike, walk or run through flooded waters of any depth.  

**STATE RECOGNIZES CITY FOR WATER, WASTEWATER EFFICIENCY, OPERATIONS: The State of South Dakota has recognized the City of Rapid City for the quality and efficiency of both its public water and wastewater systems in separate awards issued by the State Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

            "It's a great testament to the hard work, dedication and commitment of City staff of both the water and wastewater divisions to be recognized by the state," said Mayor Steve Allender.  "Nothing speaks louder to a community's commitment to quality of life for its citizens than to be recognized for efficiency and quality of operations in providing safe drinking water and having an outstanding wastewater treatment system."

           For a 16th consecutive year, the City of Rapid City's public water system is being recognized with the Secretary's Award for Drinking Water Excellence.  The award recognizes the City's water system and system specialists for demonstrating excellence in water system management and maintenance.

            The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has selected the City of Rapid City and its wastewater treatment system for the 2018 Operation and Maintenance Wastewater Treatment Award.

           The award recognizes outstanding operation of the wastewater system and environmental compliance with the state surface water discharge permit during the past year.  Qualifications are based on system compliance with state environmental requirements, quality of the treated and discharged wastewater, monitoring reports, state inspections and proper operation and maintenance of the wastewater treatment facility.

**CITY ISSUES APRIL BUILDING REPORT:  Rapid City issued 269 building permits in April with a total valuation of $15,441,894. The valuation total is lower than last year's April valuation total of $36,220,647 and higher than the April 2017 total of $11,931,817.  For the first four months of 2019, the City has issued 806 building permits with a combined valuation total of $75,464,754.  The valuation total is the lowest total for the period since 2015 but ranks sixth highest in first four-month valuation for the City in the past 20 years.

            Top permits issued last month included: Pennington County for the County Jail Expansion and Remodeling Project ($5,282,300); Penney-Haines Limited Liability for the Mae Jean Apartments at 605 Main Street ($970,960); Black Hills Power, Inc. for re-roofing of their facility at 409 Deadwood Avenue ($440,000); Villaggio LLC for a single family dwelling with attached garage at 5734 Villaggio Lane ($429,700); and to PLM Development LLC for a single family dwelling with attached garage at 414 Millstone Way ($411,782).  Also, another highlight of last month's valuation report was a sign permit issued to Store SPE Mills Fleet II for signage for the Fleet Farm Store at 1001 E. Mall Drive ($283,000).

**CITY ISSUES 2019 ONLINE SUMMER PROGRAM GUIDE:  One can't help but get a warm feeling browsing through the pages of the City's Parks and Recreation Department's Summer Program Guide, as the many activities, camps, classes and events immediately foster thoughts of summer!

            The City's Parks and Recreation Department has issued its 2019 Summer Program Guide, listing numerous activities, special events and programs available to the public this summer.  The Guide contains important information for the public wishing to utilize everything from the City's pools, golf courses, and park shelters, and to participate in camps, classes and special events.

            The Guide can be accessed online at .  The Guide is a convenient resource used to obtain activity and facility information and to register for summer programs, classes and activities.  Anyone wishing to reserve park facilities must call the City Parks Department.

            For more information, contact the Rapid City Department of Parks and Recreation at 394-5223.

**CITY GOLF COURSES OPEN:  City officials indicate both the Meadowbrook Golf Course and Executive Golf Course are now open for play.  For more information, contact Meadowbrook at 394-4191 or the Executive at 394-4124.

**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.

**YOUTH NEED PASS FOR 'YOUTH RIDE FREE' PARTICIPATION: Beginning in early February, all youth participating in the 'Youth Ride Free' program through the Rapid Transit System (RTS) will be required to have a bus pass.  City officials indicate the bus pass, which is similar to the pass required of adult riders on the RTS system, provides better safety and security for the youth rider.

       The youth pass requirement is effective February 4 for any child in kindergarten through 12th grade and there is no cost for the pass.  The Rapid City Area School District sent a letter addressed to parents from RTS Manager Megan Gould a few days before the District went into winter break.  Promotional flyers are also being distributed in local schools.   A completed RapidRide registration form is required for the Youth Ride Free pass.  The half-page form asks for the student's name, the name of a parent or guardian, home mailing address, phone and e-mail contact information, school and grade of the student. 

       The completed form can be submitted to the Rapid Transit System at 333 Sixth Street.

**AIRPORT RECEIVES SD HALL OF FAME ACT OF EXCELLENCE AWARD: The Rapid City Regional Airport and the Airport Board of Directors are proud to announce their honor from The South Dakota Hall of Fame for being named one of The Acts of Excellence in South Dakota. The program connects us with individuals and organizations who are building a culture of excellence in South Dakota, one act at a time.

Working with the SD School of Mines and Technology, the airport is creating a rooftop that is filled with small plants. The so-called green roof helps save water and reduce storm run-off. Green roofs also can help reduce heating and cooling costs. The plants absorb heat during the day to aid in cooling the building and releases the trapped heat at night, which keeps temperatures somewhat warmer than with a normal roof. The project meets the Airport’s mission to provide a safe, environmentally responsible and fiscally self-sustainable operation ensuring high quality services and facilities.

The green roof project is not the only effort the Rapid City Regional Airport is doing to be more environmentally responsible. RAP has upgraded 122 outside light fixtures and 55 inside baggage tunnel lights to Light Emitting Diodes (LED) within the past three to five years.  RAP also purchased a Glycol Recovery Vehicle (GRV) in 2017. Last snow season, RAP’s GRV recovered 9,250 gallons of glycol runoff from the aircraft being deiced on the aircraft parking apron, thereby limiting glycol runoff.

**2019 MOBILE FOOD VENDING PERMITS AVAILABLE: The City's Parks and Recreation Department has published guidelines and the permit application for vendors for the 2019 calendar year. The permit application and requirements can be found on the Department's webpage at .

            Mobile food vending is allowed in several City areas including Sioux Park (east parking lot); Vickie Powers Park parking lot; West Memorial Park parking lot; Roosevelt Park parking lot adjacent to Waterloo Street; the south half of Founders Park parking lot toward Omaha Street; Canyon Lake Park at the Beach Drive parking lot; and the Cambell Street Soccer Field parking lot adjacent to Cambell Street.  In addition, push carts are allowed at the Memorial Park Promenade.

            The application/permit fee is $100 and applicants must have a sales tax license, state food license, a complete menu including pricing information and carry general liability insurance.  Permits are good for a calendar year and can be renewed annually.  Mobile food vendors can operate between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., shall not obstruct the visibility of motorists or block access to a public street, bike path or sidewalk, and operators are responsible for storage and daily removal of trash, refuse and litter, among other guidelines.

            Contact the Rapid City Parks and Recreation Department at 394-4175 for more information or with questions.

**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.

            In August, the City partnered with Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) to offer the optional coverage.  Residents received an introductory postcard in early September about the protection plan and the agreement between the City and SLWA and now a more detailed letter has been sent.  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.

**NORMAN SHORTBULL ARTWORK DISPLAYED IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS: Two artwork pieces from the late artist Norman Shortbull have been donated to the City and are now on display next to the lectern in the Council Chambers.  The artwork pieces were donated by Norman Shortbull's son, Dr. Thomas Shortbull in coordination with the South Dakota Hall of Fame and former Rapid CIty Mayor Don Barnett.  The artowrk was presented to Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender in a September 10 ceremony in Chambers.  One artwork piece shows a buffalo and the other shows a Lakota woman and child.

**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 new 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.

 "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.

**NEW RAPID CITY POLICE ONLINE SERVICE: In an effort to provide added convenience to the public, the Rapid City Police Department is offering an online service in which victims of crime may report non-emergency incidents to police. The ability to do so is currently live on the RCPD homepage at

The service is located under ‘Online Crime Reporting’ on the website, and will allow citizens to report the following types of crime:

  • Vehicle Burglary
  • Gas theft
  • Hit and Run
  • Lost Property
  • Theft
  • Unauthorized Tampering with a Motor Vehicle
  • Vandalism

From there, a simple and easy-to-use interface will guide citizens through the reporting process. Police personnel will review the report and, once approved, the reporting party will receive an email with a copy of the report attached without cost. The report will transfer into the RCPD’s records management system and receive the same investigation and statistical analysis review as if a police officer had filed the report.

It's important to note that this service is not for use in emergency situations. Members of the public should always call 911 in an emergency.



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