The construction season kicks off in earnest next Monday, April 1 with a two-month water valve replacement project in downtown Rapid City. The first stage of the project will begin Monday, April 1 and will affect 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 will be 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.
**WESTERN DAKOTA TECH TO RECEIVE CITY SUSTAINABILITY AWARD: Western Dakota Tech's Project ATTUNED is being honored with the Rapid City Sustainability Award for April at Monday night's (April 15) City Council meeting. Sherry Thurston of the Sustainability Committee will present the award to Dr. Kelsey Murray and Brian Mitchell of Western Dakota Tech.
Project ATTUNED (Advanced Technical Training Utilizing Natural Environmental Design) focuses on integrating sustainability concepts into Western Dakota Tech's program curriculum. The centerpiece of the project is developing aquaponics systems with forward-thinking electrical control and environmental monitoring systems, which are designed to produce organic, healthy food while remaining carbon neutral. Western Dakota Tech is developing additional environmental projects with a goal of building a Sustainability Center on campus. One of WDT's student clubs, the Environmental Action Team, is starting honey bee hives on campus and planting a community garden.
**URBAN FORESTRY BOARD HOSTING TREE CARE WORKSHOP: The Rapid City Urban Forestry Board will host the annual Community Tree Care Workshop Friday, May 6 from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at The Outdoor Campus-West. 4130 Adventure Trail.
This year's workshop features new topics include an Emerald Ash Borer update; selecting, planting and caring for trees in storm water basins; trees for wildlife habitat; tree species for Rapid City and the Black Hills region; tree pests and diseases; and tree planting and pruning. The workshop is free and open to the public, however class size is limited to 80 people. Please contact the Rapid City Parks Division at 394-4175 to attend. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.
**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 https://www.rcgov.org/departments/parks-recreation/parks-program-guide.html . 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 PRESENTS LUNCH & LEARN: C. M. Wendelboe’s career included assisting Federal and tribal law enforcement agencies in conflicts with American Indian Movement activists in South Dakota. Ernie LaPointe is a Sun Dancer, Native American author, orator and founder of the Sitting Bull Family Foundation. Join us Wednesday, April 17 from noon to 1 p.m. at the downtown library (610 Quincy Street, upstairs), for a presentation by authors Wendelboe and LaPointe.
Wendelboe’s appreciation of Lakota culture is reflected in the themes of his popular “Spirit Road Mystery” series. His latest book in the “Bitter Wind Mystery” series was released in October. He lives and writes in Cheyenne, Wyoming. LaPointe’s book, “Sitting Bull: His Life and Legacy” is the only book on Sitting Bull written by a lineal descendant and differs from what has become the standard and widely accepted biographies of Sitting Bull. LaPointe lives the traditional way of the Lakota, following the rules of the sacred pipe. He resides in Rapid City with his wife Sonja.
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.
**SOME CITY RESTROOM FACILITIES OPEN FOR USE: Another sign of spring and warmer weather is the opening of restroom facilities in the City's park system.
The restroom facilities in Sioux Park, Vickie Powers Park and the Parkview Tennis Courts will be open and available for use beginning Monday, April 1. They will join facilities at Founders Park, Legacy Commons, Skyline Wilderness and Canyon Lake West which are open throughout the year. The remaining restroom facilities in the City's park system will open May 1.
**4TH ANNUAL PEEPS DIORAMA CONTEST: Peeps® are back and the Rapid City Library has them! Does the thought of eating those sweet, sticky treats harsh your mallow? Create with them instead! Pick up a tray of Peeps® upstairs at the downtown library (610 Quincy Street) and use them to create a shoe or boot box-sized diorama depicting a scene from history, current events, pop culture or trends. Bring your masterpiece to the library between Monday, April 15 and Monday, April 22, fill out an entry form and submit for judging. Library staff will choose first and second place winners in the following categories: Best Adult Diorama (ages 16+), Best Tween Diorama (ages 10-15), and Best Children’s Diorama (ages 9 and under). We will also open voting to the public Tuesday, April 23 to Saturday, April 27 for the Peeple’s Choice Award.
Winners will be announced Monday, April 29. Entries must be picked up by 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 30 or we will be forced to eat them.
**ROOSEVELT PARK PLAYGROUND SLATED FOR MAKEOVER: The playground area at Roosevelt Park will be closed for the next few months for renovation. Crews are in the process of removing the existing play equipment with the exception of the swings. The play surface area will also be removed and replaced.
New playground equipment and surfacing will be installed in 2019 with completion dependent upon weather conditions but expected by May 1.
**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 rcgov.org .
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 RapidCityPolice.org.
The service is located under ‘Online Crime Reporting’ on the website, and will allow citizens to report the following types of crime:
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.