August 03, 2021

City Council Approves Extension of Vision Fund Application Deadline



5-3 vote allows for additional submissions;

Deadline extended to August 20

RAPID CITY, SD--At Monday night’s meeting, the City Council voted 5-3 to extend the application deadline for submission of Vision Fund public proposals to August 20. 

The decision to extend the deadline is based on recent requests from Council members.  On May 17, the Council confirmed appointments to the Citizen Vision Fund Committee, approved the review process for applications and opened a two-month period for application submissions from the public.

City officials indicate Monday’s action to extend the application deadline moves the timeline for the 2021 Vision Fund process ahead by a month.  The amended timeline is as follows:

*May 17: Citizen Vision Committee appointments confirmed by City Council and determination of project plan duration.

*May 24-August 20: Solicit Public Proposals

*August 23-October 15: Citizen Vision Fund Committee working sessions

*October: Vision Project hearings

*October/November: Committee working sessions

*December: Recommendations due and presented to the City Council at a regularly-scheduled City Council meeting

            Applicants must show financial ability to fund their project up front or through a financial institution. Vision Fund awards will be made as reimbursements for completed projects.  No operational funding is allowed. 

The purpose of the Citizen Vision Fund Committee is to accept and take comments on potential Vision Account projects.  The Committee will evaluate potential projects and provide recommendations to the City Council.  The Council previously authorized utilizing half of the expected annual Vision Funds for community projects with the other half utilized to pay on bonds for construction of the new Summit Arena. 

The origin of the Vision Fund dates back to 1972 when voters approved a half-penny sales tax increase with the revenue to be spent on the building of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.  In the mid-1990s, voters approved continuation of the half-cent tax to build a fund to support community projects.

            The estimated Vision Fund revenue available for projects is approximately $26 million over the next three-year project plan.

            Examples of Vision Fund projects approved by the City Council in the past include Rural America Initiatives' Community Center, Harney Little League renovations, South Middle School and West Middle School Community Gym facilities, Wellfully Premier Adolescent Care Center, Skyline Wilderness Park, Main Street Square, Rapid City BMX Park upgrades, Youth and Family Services Kitchen Remodel, Rushmore Little League field lighting, Horace Mann Pool, Airport Terminal Expansion, Swim Center's 50 meter pool, Community Health Center of the Black Hills' Mental Health Pod and Canyon Lake Dam Reconstruction.

Members of the Committee are voting members Jim Keck, William Spindle, Beth Keeney, Marta Olson-Rangitsch, Kevin Crosby, James Haar, Kim Morsching, Christine Stephenson and W. Kevin Maher.  Serving as alternate non-voting members are Jennifer Rice and Al Rodriguez.  There will also be two liaisons from the Youth City Council.  Maher will serve as the Committee’s chairman.

            Project applications will be available on the City's website and available for pick up in the Mayor's Office.  For more information, contact the Mayor’s Office at 394-4110.

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