Rapid City Area Schools bond vote draws debate from Pennington County Republican Women’s group

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Both sides of the Rapid City Area Schools bond debate were able to present their case during a luncheon, Thursday, hosted by Pennington County Republican Women at Arrowhead Country Club.

Val Simpson with Amy Policky presented on behalf of the “vote yes” side, while Tonchi Weaver with Chris Green spoke for the “vote no’s.”

Those proponents of the bond said that the money will be useful in preparing for a projected economic growth in Rapid City, and with that an increase in the K-12 student population. Bond money will also be used towards replacing and repairing school buildings. RCAS Facilities Task Force also claims to have found issues with safety among the list of reasons for the bond.

The cost to taxpayers is $190 million.

“We will take advantage of the growth of the community,” says Amy Policky. “And as the community continues to grow the payment grows along with that growth. So that mitigates the impact to the current tax payer and the tax payers as we continue to grow.”

MGT of America, Inc. shared statistics with RCAS projecting nearly 1,000 additional K-12 students in the district by the 2024-2025 school year.

Those in opposition have expressed concern with the language of the proposal, and says the dollar amount is “non-descript.”

“We believe that it’s reasonable to question it, and not question it just to be adversarial, or a nay-sayer,” says Tonchi Weaver, Co-chair of RCAS Forward. “But we began to investigate the need for the bond and the way it was brought- way back in April- when the first iteration came up.”

The public vote will be held Tuesday, Feb. 25th. Anyone in the RCAS school district will be able to vote.

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