Mayor Allender lays out 2021 budget

RAPID CITY, S.D. — On Monday night, Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender laid out a plan for the city’s 2021 budget, while sharing his hope for life post-pandemic.

Activity in Rapid City was on an upswing right before the pandemic hit, but things quickly went downhill after COVID-19 introduced itself.

Decreasing tourism in the area, which affected hotel stays and airport traction, while also sinking a few local businesses along the way.

Mayor Allender stated that the financial goal for 2021 is to return to pre-COVID-19 levels.

“We don’t know fully what’s going to happen this fall and winter and how businesses will be affected by it, so that is a lingering threat,” Allender said.

He laid out a general fund of nearly $69 million with Enterprise Funds at about $176,800,000. Many city programs such as recreational activities and civil services had to be altered and even canceled due to the virus.

And according to Mayor Allender, the impact shows.

“Growing homelessness. I’ve lived in this town for 35 years, many of the homeless individuals that hang around the downtown area know me by name and I’m telling you, just like you may be making your own observations, there are new people in town,” Allender said.

In 2021 the mayor wants to pour most of the budget into public safety and public works. This includes increasing funding for the arts, Working Against Violence Inc. (WAVI), and the youth and elderly community, along with necessary city maintenance.

The budget is heavily reliant on sales tax revenue and would be subject to changes. The city council made a motion to acknowledge the budget.

The complete budget can be found here.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News

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