Rapid City Council extends expiration date of emergency ordinance

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Rapid City Council passes an extension Monday night for the emergency ordinance created for the COVID-19 pandemic response.

In late March, the city council passed an emergency ordinance to make changes based on how the pandemic affects the community.

However, the original expiration date on the ordinance was for early June.

On Monday night, by a 6 to 3 vote, the council extended the expiration to July 31.

Some local business owners pointed out a concern regarding the limitation of making decisions in their own facilities.

Though the intent of this ordinance is to continue giving the city the right to make emergency changes as the pandemic continues when needed, some owners do not like how the city will be able to set rules or regulations on how to operate their businesses.

"I am not here to wanna open today. I don't think it would be a good idea to take the restrictions off of my place today. But that should also be my decision," Bob Fuchs, owner of Firehouse Brewing Company, said.

Mayor Steve Allender also proposed a budget reduction Monday night for 2020 to help save money as the pandemic continues to hit pockets.

After working with various agencies like the police department, parks and recreation and public works, he said he wants to reduce costs to save more than $6.6 million in revenue.

Based on the itemized list of reductions, Allender's proposal adds up to more than $6.3 million in reductions.

Allender is proposing to pay off the difference of $276,848 from the reserve funds.

The council will decide on it at the next council meeting.

Allender added another item to the agenda Monday night to take $75,000 of city money to help pay for the emergency shelter at the civic center for the homeless.

City Council agreed it will come out of the reserve funds and hope on Tuesday when the Pennington County commissioners meet that they will match that same amount to help the homeless.