Allender presents the Rapid City 2018 progress report
Reflects on the successes of the past year, challenges that lay ahead in 2019.
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Mayor Steve Allender presented his 2018 progress report at a press conference in Rapid City Thursday.
Allender was pleased with the progress made on many city projects. He noted progress on the new arena at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center as an important step forward in the city’s economic development. He said he expects ground to be broken on the project later this year.
The mayor also praised the city’s “slow and steady” growth. He noted that 2018 was the third consecutive year of building permit valuations exceeding $300 million. There was also 5 percent growth in enplanements at Rapid City Regional Airport, and continued growth in Rapid Ride’s Youth Ride Free program.
However, Allender also said that last year’s success is only a springboard for greater achievements in 2019.
“I think we have been doing a lot of work, which is evident here, of setting ourselves up for success. 2019,” Allender said. “We’re going to get to measure some of those things, get a good start on some of these programs, and make sure the results are to be what we expect them to be.”
Among the challenges that Allender says the city still faces in 2019 is the struggle to reduce homelessness and its cost to taxpayers.
He also said that housing supply and costs will be an important issue, especially with the impending arrival of the B-21 program at Ellsworth Air Force Base. Allender estimats that the program will necessitate the construction of at least 750 new homes in the city.