2021, a look ahead for Rapid City
RAPID CITY, S.D. — The challenges of the past year have only encouraged Rapid City’s mayor to keep moving things forward. Mayor Steve Allender met with NewsCenter1 for a look ahead into 2021.
Most of the plans for 2021 have rolled over from 2020. A major highlight is 2021 being the first full year of the new Human Relations Committee. This past August, the Council began the work of restructuring the Human Relations Committee, and in December, hired Malcolm Chapman as the full time coordinator to improve relations between the native and non-native community.
Allender also has plans to move forward with the Indian trust land issue, with a deadline of June 1st to have a plan drafted for the Council. Currently, the city is also further developing the area for Airmen making their way to the Black Hills along with the arrival of the B-21.
“There will be a few thousand to several thousand people traveling to this area permanently over the next few years,” said Allender. “And that means that we have to really take inventory of our housing stock and our lots that can be developed in and around the city, and we have to be a good partner in getting all that done as well.”
Allender also addressed homelessness, and while he says it will be an ongoing concern, the city has worked hard to solve the issue. Between the Care Campus, the Hope Center, and various shelters, the city has devoted a large amount of resources to aid those in need.
Allender said, “Rapid City is in the position where we have more resources trying to help solve homelessness than we have ever had in the history of our city. And sometimes people think that we’re doing nothing, but really there’s a great number of community members who are working together trying to get this solved.”
The city will also identify and make a plan for more seamless and productive infrastructure development.
“We will unveil, at some point, our infrastructure development plan. And that is a plan which will have the input of the local developers, property owners, contractors, and will be approved by the City Council in some form or the other.”
The plan would address whether infrastructure would be paid for by tax payers or developers, and other infrastructure concerns. Also on the docket for 2021 is home rule. The mayor’s task force is in the final stages of developing a draft plan, which will be used to draft a resolution this year.