Bridge replacement study, taxes highlight latest “Coffee with Planners”

Members of the public were able to talk with developers and city staff for various concerns in the community.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Coffee, bagels and discussing issues in Rapid City were all part of Coffee with Planners at City Hall Thursday morning.

Members of the public were able to talk with developers and city staff for various concerns in the community.

The top three topics were tax increase financing or “TIFs”, downtown parking and a construction replacement study for the bridge off Campbell Street near Saint Patrick Street.

City planners say that project is difficult to plan because they have to account for cars, pedestrians and trains all in one specific area.

 “With something like this where this area is so complicated, if it was a simple solution, we’d just built it, but this is very tricky through this area, so we have to look at all these different options and try to figure out what’s the best compromise that works best for safety for efficiency and also for cost,” said Kip Harrington, the Long Range City Planner with the City of Rapid City.

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Community development personnel also touched on “TIFs” that they say can be an important part of financing a plot of land to be developed.

They say that once that infrastructure is put in place, you could see the price of that property rise.

“When property is vacant of any development or is blighted or underdeveloped, and then you add infrastructure to it, that certainly increases its value substantially, and so you’re able to start with that relatively low value and then see the gains from the increase in revenue, and then we can use that to help pay for the project through the TIF,” said Sarah Hanzel, with the Rapid City Community Development Department.

The next Coffee with Planners is schedule for sometime this summer.

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