$18 million Native American Community Center tops list of recommendations for Vision Fund

At a special session, the He Sapa Otipi Native American Community Center, an $18 million project, presented to the Rapid City Council.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — On Monday Night, the Rapid City Council heard from the Vision Fund Committee’s list of 16 recommendations to allocate about $26 million over the next three years.

“In some years past there hasn’t been any deviation between what the committee has recommended and what was funded and I think that’s this committee’s recommendation needs to be taken seriously,” said Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender.

Vision Fund Recommendations 7The committee started by recommending the council extend the Vision Fund cycle from three to five years, and take money from years four and five to spend a total of $36 million. This includes $15 million to fund its number one project, a Native American Community Center, which is an $18 million facility.

“This Native American Community Center meets a long standing community need it celebrates culture of Native American community, and has strong backing within the community,” said Kevin Maher, the Chair of the Vision Fund Committee.

Next the committee recommended allocating $5 million of a $7 million proposal to tackle what many perceive to be the area’s biggest need, workforce housing.

Last week, Governor Noem asked legislators to grant $200 million for the issue in the state. Maher says that plays perfectly into helping the area raise $44 million through the Rapid City Strategic Housing Trust Fund to build 1,500 housing units in the city.

“It just so happens that 15 percent of the population of South Dakota lives here in Rapid city, so 15 percent of 200,000,000 will give us that extra $30 million and we will really make a dent in affordable housing need here in Rapid City,” Maher said.

Other proposals included distributing $2.5 million to Elevate Rapid City, a $4.5 million dollar allocation to South Dakota Mines for a renovation of O’Harra Stadium and $3 million to rebuild the Sioux Park Tennis Courts. You can view the full list of recommendations by viewing the picture below.

Vision Funds 1

The Rapid City Council will look at the recommendations at a working session on January 10.

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