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Mayor Steve Allender responds to latest protests and worries about city unemployment rate

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 7:24 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - On Wednesday, Mayor Steve Allender addresses the costs incurred by the city during the July 3rd protests in Rapid City and Keystone.

The Mayor also addressed some concerns about the unemployment rate for the city.

Allender said the city spent $20,000 to hire extra law enforcement to handle the protests in both Rapid City and in Keystone.

For extra help from firefighters, the bill was $22,000.

However, Allender said $18,000 of that expenditure could potentially be reimbursed by the state, especially ambulance costs.

“We have a responsibility on behalf of the greater community to provide safety and security. And what these protests are doing in my own view, is they are bolstering the support for law enforcement,” Allender said.

Additionally, Allender is concerned about the staffing shortage at Rapid Transit as the current unemployment rate for the city is 10 percent.

He says that rate-- is three times higher--than normal for the city.

Rapid Transit’s staffing shortage is a combination of some bus drivers contracting COVID-19 and therefore are in quarantine, and fewer people filling out applications for the available openings.

Allender said other city positions are not filled either and is concerned this will affect operations.

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