Rapid City ranked top 10 for best run cities in America

Downtown Rapid City
Downtown Rapid City(Aleah Burggraff)
Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 6:59 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Scroll down Wallet Hub’s list of Best Run Cities in America and it won’t be too long before finding Rapid City ranked at number 8.

The ranking is broken up into 2 categories ‘Quality of City Services’ and ‘Total Budget per Capita’ where Rapid City comes in at 81 and 4 respectively.

Tom Johnson from Elevate Rapid City said, economically speaking, most cities face falling revenues when their revenues don’t meet their expenses.

He said Rapid City builds on the back of the tourism industry.

”During the 2008 crisis, we saw a lot of cities fall flat with their budgets. Not Rapid City. It continues to grow steady, steady, steady. During the pandemic, a lot of folks came here because the governor didn’t lock down the state. So, you saw a lot of folks come here for vacation and continue to drop money,” said Johnson.

In fact, he said we saw our budgets increase over the pandemic and believes the ‘Budget per Capita’ section is appropriate as Rapid City is in a good spot finically.

According to the website, the city is ranked number 4 in lowest unemployment rates, a double-edged sword believes Johnson.

”We’re ranked in the top 30 in the country for unemployment. We’re about 3.1%, which means if you’re looking for a job in Rapid City, you can find one. Which also, on the flip side as you said, it strains the workforce,” said Johnson.

He said we’re still in the early stages of coming out of the pandemic and believes the workforce could stabilize.

In contrast to Rapid City’s high ranking in ‘Budget per Capita,’ the city sits at number 81 for ‘Quality of City Services.’ This section includes financial stability, education, health, safety, and economy.

”You know, I think that sometimes our educational side pulls us down a bit. We haven’t invested in a lot of educational facilities in Rapid City here for a few years. But overall, I think Rapid City is a great place to live, a great place to work. Our city does provide a lot of services, our revenues are pretty high.”

Also, right outside the city is the Black Hills National Forest, which Johnson thinks is hard to beat.

”How do you capture that in a ranking, that we have the Black Hills as a park right next to the city? I think that’s kind of hard so, I think sometimes, maybe, those rankings may be a little misleading. You can’t replicate the Black Hills in a place like Sioux Falls. So, they have to invest in more things like parks because we have the Black Hills sitting, you know, 4 minutes away.”

Overall, Johnson believes a great city is made by investing in people, infrastructure, the workforce, and having fiscal accountability and responsibility.

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