The $20 million question: What’s next for the Rapid City surplus?

Published: May. 11, 2021 at 5:37 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - $20 million up for grabs, after Rapid City tightened its belt last year in anticipation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The council met with the department directors, had about three hours of good discussion last night about various proposals that the department directors brought forward,” says city communications coordinator Darrell Shoemaker. “So at this point in time, the council is going to take a look at those proposals.”

Monday night, city department heads brought forward separate spending plans adding up to more than $26.5 million in proposals.

With the Fire Chief Jason Culberson asking for close to $13 million.

“Fire Station One is in need of an expansion and a remodel on the interior,” says Culberson. “Building was built in 1975 and it’s stayed in the same footprint even though our cities grown, our call volumes grown, and our staff has grown within this station.”

Culberson also proposed a fire training facility and new public safety radios for the department.

“If they do make a determination on particular proposals that they would want to move forward, that would require two readings before the council, and obviously it would be in a public session and a council meeting,” says Shoemaker.

The council is under no time frame, deadline, or requirements to spend the money. Shoemaker says they can spend any, all, or none of it.

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