Facebook post sparks debate over Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

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STURGIS, S.D. (KOTA TV) - To rally or not to rally? That's the big question this summer in Sturgis.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, S.D.

The city's recent Facebook post outlining the financial dangers of cancelling the rally is making plenty of noise.

"What seemed like a gentle financial breakdown, seemed more like a gentle threat," says concerned citizen Collin Duprel.

More than a thousand comments lit up social media after the city implied an increase in taxes to pay for services should the rally be cancelled.

"I realize that the rally is a significant revenue generator for the City of Sturgis," says Executive Director of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum, Emma Garvin. "Whether you like that or not, that's the way that it is. Without a rally there could be some significant ramifications to the residents of Sturgis."

Ramifications that many residents aren't happy about, as they wonder why the community is overly dependent on rally revenue.

"The city needs to be able to save enough money to operate normally if their cash cow isn't being sold that year," says Duprel. "They've got to have some penny pigs on the side."

City Manager Daniel Ainslie says the city does have a rainy day fund of about 2.3 million dollars. The proposed plan would withdraw $740,000 out of that fund to help.

"Ultimately, people are going to come regardless of whether or not the city says we're going to have a rally this year," says Garvin. "I hear that every day from people across the country that are in the motorcycle world."