Rapid City requiring public to wear masks at city meetings, facilities
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Due to the continued dramatic spikes in new COVID positive cases and increased hospitalizations in Pennington County, Mayor Steve Allender announced Monday the implementation of several additional measures designed to protect the public and City staff.
“For eight months now we have been monitoring and responding to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our community as well as on city operations,” said Mayor Allender. “The pandemic is progressing and present circumstances demand we take a more aggressive approach to protecting our customers and employees at this time.”
City Hall and other City offices remain open, however the public and City staff will face new COVID guidelines. Visitors to city buildings will be required to wear a facial covering as will City employees providing face-to-face customer services. The public is being encouraged to utilize various options to eliminate or reduce visits to City facilities, including online payments, calling and e-mailing questions or information.
Among the measures being implemented:
City Council Meetings: Citizens attending Council and Committee meetings will be required to wear masks. Due to COVID-19 social distancing protocols, seating remains extremely limited in Council Chambers. The moving or adding of chairs in Council Chambers will not be allowed.
The Council dais will now include plexiglass dividers and Council members are encouraged to wear masks walking to and from their seat on the dais and are encouraged to wear masks during Council and Committee meetings.
City Staff/Masks: City staff providing face-to-face services to the public will be required to wear masks.
Visitors/Masks: All visitors to city buildings will be required to wear a facial covering. Masks will be provided if necessary. In-person services will be refused to anyone refusing to wear a mask. Scheduled in-person meetings with staff are temporarily but indefinitely suspended.
Phone/E-Mail/Online Options: As recommended last spring, citizens are encouraged to use online and phone options to conduct business with City Hall and City departments to minimize personal visits to City facilities.
The City advises residents to consider automatic payment of their utility bills and to pay parking tickets online as ways to minimize visits to City Hall. In addition, residents with questions regarding building permits and other City policies should consider calling or e-mailing the individual City department.
Utility Bills: Residents are encouraged to use online automatic payment of utility bills by visiting https://selfservice.rcgov.org and clicking on Citizen Self Service on the left hand side for utility bills or by using the City’s Utility Billing “Sure-Pay” system. Call 394-4125 or visit the Water Division’s page on the City’s website at rcgov.org . If you visit the self-service portal, you will need to know your account number and customer number to register, both of which can be found on your most recent utility bill.
In addition, residents are encouraged to mail in their payment or use the night drop box on the west side of the building, which is available any time of the day.
Parking Tickets: Residents are encouraged to pay parking tickets online by visiting the ‘How To’ section at rcgov.org or https://rapidcity.citationportal.com/
Permits: If you have questions regarding building permits or air quality permits, contact the City’s Community Development Department at 394-4120. Customers can also e-mail questions and plan information to firstname.lastname@example.org . Staff can also work with customers for online submittals of plans.
Development Applications: If you have questions regarding development applications, contact the City’s Community Development Department at 394-4120. Customers can also e-mail questions to email@example.com . Staff can also work with customers for online submittals of preliminary applications.
Online public comments: City officials remind the public they can submit online comments for City meetings. In April, the City developed an online public comment form to be accessed at https://www.rcgov.org/68-public-comments-for-meetings/24-public-comment-form.html . The link is also added to the respective Council and Committee agenda pages and the COVID-19 updates at rcgov.org . Online comments will be included as part of the official meeting record. Members of the public attending the sessions in person can still submit a paper comment form prior to the start of the session.
The public is advised to submit comments by the following deadlines:
- City Council: Noon the day of the meeting
- Legal and Finance Committee: 8 a.m. the day of the meeting
- Public Works Committee: 8 a.m. the day of the meeting
- Planning Commission/Zoning Board of Adjustment: 3:30 p.m. the day before the meeting
Residents are advised and encouraged to visit the City’s website at rcgov.org for department and contact information.