Rapid City council members react to mayor's budget proposal - KOTA Territory News

Rapid City council members react to mayor's budget proposal

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Rapid City Mayor Sam Kooiker presented his 2014 budget Monday night. It's $152 million, which is a 10.7 percent jump from last year. What do city council members think of the budget?        

The streets are busy in Rapid City. But some city council members say streets and drainage ways are in serious need of repair, and the new proposed budget may not be enough.  

"We need to spend more money on infrastructure and it's going to take some new money but that's maybe a year out. We need to grow in that area that's where we are seriously behind," said City Council Member Jerry Wright, of Ward 3.

Wright says streets like Main and Saint Joe are about 30 years old and need a lot of work, and there's not enough money to take care of them. Other council members are overall pleased with the budget.  

"I think we have a very good budget the way the mayor proposed it. He came out with a huge increase as far as capital improvement," said City Council Member John Roberts, or Ward 4.

Roberts says it's a balanced budget but it can't fix everything.  

"Unless we can find a way to add another $600 million into next year, which is impossible, it isn't enough. But the thing is we need a good long term plan to take care of our infrastructure needs that we put off for years," said Roberts.

Another issue is Rapid City has an ever increasing population.  

"We are a community that appears to be growing and I think we need to be ready for that. That's going to take proactive decisions on our part. I'm not sure a growth budget is going to cover that," said Wright.

"As long as we keep strong growth numbers we can over the years catch up on our infrastructure needs," said Roberts.

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Rapid City, SD 57701

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