Rapid City 2024 proposed mayoral budget focuses on safety and development

Rapid City's mayor highlighted the economic growth and community investments for the proposed 2024 mayoral budget.
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 12:32 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The 2024 Rapid City proposed mayoral budget was presented on Monday during a special city council session. The focus is community safety and economic development.

The proposed budget is $261,314,085 and includes the general fund budget of $99,861,651.

On Monday, Rapid City Mayor Jason Salumun pointed out various critical points on the budget, one of which is the economic development of the city. One of the factors he hopes will be fleshed out with the budget is retail development by pursuing high-value retail that will continue to bring jobs and housing and will push people to spend more in the city.

“I’m encouraging us to ensure that Rapid City remains the regional hub for retail. That is significant, meaning that when people do their shopping, they not only live in Rapid City but that they come to Rapid City,” said Salamun.

Along with economic development around Rapid City, public safety was another talking point for the 2024 proposed budget, with Mayor Salamun saying that through community investments into services dealing with public safety, crisis, and community enrichment, the city could see a better future for everyone.

The amount that will possibly be allocated to community investments is $5,782,917, this amount is split into three categories:

Public Safety Partnerships - $2,658,756Crisis Services - $2,157,846Community Enrichment - $966,315
Dispatch - $1,925,852Care Campus - $1,317,846Dahl Building Maintenance - $365,591
Humane Society - $402,988Journey On - $360,000Journey Museum Building Maintenance - $354,124
Emergency Planning - $161,141Cornerstone Rescue - $200,000Allied Art Fund - $100,000
Ignite-PennCo - $150,000Working Against Violence - $ 145,000Performing Arts Center - $40,000
Search and Rescue - $15,775Volunteers of America - $75,000BH Council Local Government - $38,850
Lifeways - $60,000Minneluzahan Senior Center - $20,000
Canyon Lake Senior Center - $17,750
Rapid City Municipal Band - $11,000
Symphony Society - $7,000
Choral Society - $5,000
Minnilusa Historical Association - $4,000
Ranger Band - $3,000

“So, in the 2024 budget, a significant portion of our undesignated funds, which is just over about $5.6 million in undesignated funds, is what we’re using. A significant portion of that is used towards the community investments here, and it will go towards crisis services, particularly those who are serving the homeless,” explained Salamun. “This is going to be taken in two different ways, and I think I mean it in both ways. I want it to be harder to be homeless in Rapid City, meaning that if you don’t want to be homeless, there are organizations here that are doing great work to help you. If you do want to be homeless, though, and you reject all help, you cannot sleep in public spaces. We will not make it more attractive or more comfortable; we want it to be safe for all.”

Additionally, in the 2024 proposed mayoral budget, Mayor Salamun mentioned the addition of a Park Ranger pilot program, with the proposed fund for the program all coming from the city’s general fund, the total being $356,794.

“This pilot program is designed to bring a more official presence to our parks to ensure they are a safe place for all. The uniformed rangers will be empowered with code enforcement authority, equipped to look after our 1,700 acres of park space, and serve as eyes and ears to the direct line to law enforcement,” explained Salamun.

The proposed mayoral budget reflects the financial realities of the city while also addressing the significant growth over the last year. The proposal will be revisited on August 28 for a special session where the city council will talk about the budget in detail.