New economic development push to focus on accountability

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) -- KOTA Territory's latest economic development initiative -- called Elevate Rapid City -- has gained traction in the private sector and has now turned its attention to the public sector with a request for $2 million over five years from the city of Rapid City.

The group says it has raised over $4 million from area businesses for its plan to create almost 5,000 new jobs here. now it wants the city to join the effort and one word keeps showing up in the presentations is"accountability."

Co-chair of the fundraising effort David Lust used it when describing his organization's goals. Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender used it when listing his criteria for support.

"Elevate Rapid City will be different because we're starting from a place of accountability and measurables," said Lust. "So that we can look back in five years and say here's what happened with these dollars, here's the results that were achieved."

Allender said accountability is paramount for him.

"It's going to be important to me before I formally ask this city council for any money for Elevate Rapid City that we have a well developed plan, that the organization is well developed and that we have performance measures and a system that will ensure accountability," he said.

The group plans its first board of directors' meeting next month as it refines and adds details to its strategies. Allender says he supports Elevate Rapid City but says he needs more details before advocating a public investment.