First “Coffee with Planners” session held since February

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Rapid City residents will be getting a chance to put in their two-cents with the decision makers in the first Coffee with Planners session since February.

These sessions are usually held at City Hall while Tuesday’s session was moved to Lacroix Hall at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center to allow social distancing. With masks encouraged and hand sanitizer available and of course, cookies and coffee, residents were encouraged to give their input on a range of community issues.

“We really rely on this event to help us get a pulse on the community,” said Ken Young the Community Development Director for Rapid City. “In regards to current, things that are either being planned or suggested or that we’re just doing some brainstorming on a little bit.”

Before bringing back the quarterly coffee sessions, city planners used a less personal approach; using virtual surveys to get the public’s input.

“Some people will get online and participate in a virtual survey and others won’t,” Young said. “Some people don’t even know about it and know that’s an opportunity. And vise versa, the other way around, those people that do that may not be aware or perhaps they are but would prefer to do it one way or the other. Some people like to be in person too, so they can look someone in the eye and tell them how they actually feel about something.”

This session of “Coffee with Planners” was made up of three rotating groups to discuss the possibility of so-called “backyard” or “urban chickens”, the city’s transportation plan and to give updates on the construction of the new monument arena.

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