Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

The Spearfish Planning Commission has recommended establishing a tax-increment financing district for the Jackson Boulevard redesign project, according to the Black Hills Pioneer. Funds from the TIF district would go toward design updates including landscaping, enhanced sidewalks and crosswalks.

The request to create a new TIF district will now head to the Spearfish City Council on October 2 for approval.

To read more news from Spearfish, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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The Deadwood City COmmission recently approved an increase of $600,000 in tax incremental financing to the Cadillac Jack’s expansion project, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The increase in financial support brings total TIF funds to $2.6 million and will help support additional construction costs due to changing soil conditions on the property.

Of the total $600,000 increase, $100,000 will go toward improvements on nearby Crescent Street, which was recently moved into the same TIF district as the Cadillac Jack’s expansion. The improvements will include a new sidewalk that connects to the new pedestrian bridge that will lead to the rodeo grounds across from the hotel complex.

To learn more about Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive or community profile.

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Although an original form of the proposal called for bicycle lanes on Jackson Boulevard from University to 11th Streets, the updated plan calls for bicycle lanes on a shorter segment of road. According to the Black Hills Pioneer, the new plan calls for the bicycle lanes to be removed from 3rd to 11th Streets due to safety concerns.

Some of the concerns at the intersection of University and 11th Streets were combining pedestrian and bicycle lanes. Although the new plan may result in reduced construction costs, City Engineer Kyle Mathis warned that the design cost and timeline may increase and be extended as a result of the change in plans.

The Jackson Boulevard redesign calls for three driving lanes alongside right and left turn lanes at intersections, a roundabout at the Ames Street intersection, medians, and reduced parking. The estimated cost of the redesign is between $7 and $8 million.

To read more news from Spearfish, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive or community profile.

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The South Dakota Legislature has a committee working on the problems of finding affordable housing, and will make a final report later in the fall, reports the Rapid City Journal.

The committee is looking specifically for ways to expand affordable housing for the workforce in South Dakota.  Water, sewer and utilities are normally the highest costs, and suggestions have included finding incentives for community developers and defining "affordable workplace housing" more clearly. The committee will not be hearing public testimony, instead they will circulate a list of meetings so far for additional comments to be made.

For more information on affordable housing in South Dakota, please visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network's online news archive, or the South Dakota Dashboard. Don't miss our recent analysis about housing across South Dakota and in the Black Hills. 

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Wednesday, 26 July 2017 17:39

Hill City Implements Comprehensive Plan

Hill City has officially implemented its comprehensive plan, reports KOTA News. The last comprehensive plan for the city was conducted in 1984.  Final revisions to the plan were made in June 2017.

The comprehensive plan looks 10-20 years into the future of Hill City. It also notes previous challenges that were resolved by the city, including a revitalization of downtown, completion of the Mickelson Trail, expansion of water and sewer services, and updates to downtown sidewalks--which will be completed in 2017.

New topics to be addressed by the comprehensive plan include public restrooms along Main Street, affordable housing, a community center, recycling services, and dealing with additional highway traffic concerns.

View the full Hill City Comprehensive Plan on the Hill City website.

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The Black Hills Community Bank recently donated $1,000 to Rapid City Collective Impact in order to help the initiative address food insecurity in the region, reports KOTA News. The funds were used to create promotional flyers that include information about summer food distribution sites and their respective meal times.

The flyers mark the first time that the summer food programs have conducted extensive marketing to increase participation, according to Feeding South Dakota Food Security Manager Mary Corbine.

To read more news from Rapid City, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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A recent study conducted by a consultant has updated where the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designated flood-plain is around Rapid City and, as a result, over 200 homes no longer will need to pay for the mandated flood insurance. According to the Rapid City Journal, those remaining in the flood-plain area will need to continue paying the insurance. Though other houses that are still in the flood-plain don't mind making the payments for the protection, their location and added insurance cost does make them a less desirable place to purchase for any future buyer. To view the updated flood-plain map of the affected area, view the FEMA letter of map revision determination document.

To read up on past news articles related to the flood-plain of Rapid City, click on this Black Hills Knowledge Network online archives link.

For more information on the Rapid City flood-plain and why it exists, be sure to check out this Black Hills Knowledge Network Issue Hub page on the 1972 Rapid City Flood.

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The Spearfish City Council recently approved artistic crosswalk painting at three locations in the city, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The project was requested by Elizabeth Free, ArtCentral Manager at the Matthews Opera House and Art Center, is part of the 2016 Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant. The three locations approved for painting will be used to informally gauge community interest and participation in public art.

The painted crosswalks will be located on Canyon Street near Spearfish City Park, the intersection of Grant and Canyon streets, and on the Black Hills State University campus. The timeline for completion of the crosswalk painting is dependent on the weather, but tentative plans indicate the project will be completed in June.

To read more news about Spearfish, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive. To learn more about Spearfish, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile.

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The South Dakota Department of Transportation is accepting applications for a grant that offers funding for repair and replacement to roads in communities with populations less than 5,000, according to a state news release. The Community Access Program helps to ensure that heavily traveled roads in small communities remain accessible to the public.

To be considered for funds, projects must not have already been constructed. Applications are due on July 17, 2017 to ensure applicants enough time to design projects ahead of the 2018 construction season. Applications and more information are available on the state’s Department of Transportation website.

To learn more about transportation in the Black Hills region, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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The Rapid City Council approved a $75,000 grant to help fund a project to build more than 500 affording housing units near Rushmore Mall at its May 15, 2017 meeting. According to the Rapid City Journal, the director of the project from Freeland Ranch Community Inc. says that the money is needed for infrastructure and road design if the project is to move forward. The measure was approved by a 6-4 vote. The housing project will be built between Haines and 143rd Ave. north of Seger Drive. 

To read up on past news articles related to the Rapid City Council, view the Black Hills Knowledge Network's online news archive.

For more information on the council and government of Rapid City itself, check out this Black Hills Knowledge Network Community Profile page.

 

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A possible special election to reverse a recent decision made by the Pennington County Commission to allow an asphalt plant to be built near a mobile home community and youth soccer complex may soon be held, reports the Rapid City Journal. Opponents of the plant are currently organizing and looking to gather the needed 3,573 signatures needed on the petition to bring the decision to a public vote. Western Construction, the company behind the asphalt plant, says that the special election is not neccessary due to current regulations on asphalt plants as well as how emissions dissipate once in the air.

To read up on past and current news articles related to the Pennington County goverenment,visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network's online news archive.

For more information on Pennington County itself, check out the county's homepage.

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The Rapid City Legal and Finance Committee voted unanimously this week to amend the city zoning application and notification process, reports the Rapid City Journal.

Currently, the city must mail out two disclosures, 30 days apart, to every property owner in the rezoned area. The new ordinance will only require that one notification be sent out, 14 or more days in advance of the Planning Commission's hearing on rezoning. This change will apply only when the city is initiating rezoning process.  The amendment was introduced to help simplify the rezoning process, and encourage growth and development in Rapid City.

For more information on community planning, please visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network's online news archive. For more information on Rapid City, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network's community profile page

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The Hill City Planning and Zoning Commission is close to completing a new comprehensive plan for the city, reports KOTA News. The theme for the plan is “slow and steady growth.” While it is not the city’s first comprehensive plan, the last time one was instated was 1984.

The Black Hills Council of Local Governments was hired to work on the plan, which includes seven categories.  Under the plan, the city will aim to expand city limits, upgrade transportation, and increase affordable housing.

The plan will now go before the city’s planning and zoning committee for approval. If approved, the plan will go to the full city council for a vote.

To read more about government and citizenship in the Black Hills region, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s content by tag page.

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Renderings of proposed changes to Jackson Boulevard in Spearfish were recently presented at the a public meeting in the Spearfish City Hall Council Chambers, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. Proposed changes included turning lanes, bicycle lanes, landscaped medians and more.

This year is designated as a design year for the Jackson Boulevard Street and Utility Improvement Project. The project includes just over one mile of Jackson Boulevard from Exit 12 on Interstate 90 to University Street. In April, the Spearfish City Council approved the project on a vote of 5-1 at an estimated cost of $9 million. Construction is projected to begin in 2018, with a completion date slated for June 2019.

To read more about Spearfish, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive or community profile.

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With an estimated $280,000 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development coming down the pipeline, city officials believe that more housing can be built for low-income families and homeless individuals. According to the Rapid City Journal, the Legal and Finance Committee wants to move a majority of the grant to the Community Development Division with the express purpose of building affordable homes. The remainder of the grant would go towards the Freeland Ranch and Youth and Family Services projects. The proposal will move to the full City Council now. Here is the agenda from the meeting.

To read up on past and current news regarding the Rapid City Council, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network's online news archive.

For more information on the government of Rapid City, check out the city's Black Hills Knowledge Network Community Profile.

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The Rapid City School Board has approved a new training program to prepare Rapid City Area School students and staff for how to react to 'active killer' situations. According to the Rapid City Journal, the program is referred to as ALICE, or Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. It is designed to help inform staff and students of any imminent threat as it's occuring and give them options to avoid the threat however possible. The current system calls for a lockdown, the turning off of lights in the classrooms, and locking the doors until the threat is gone. Read the meeting agenda here.

To read up on past news articles related to the Rapid City Area Schools, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network's online online news archive.

For more information on the education system in the city, check out this Black Hills Knowledge Network Community Profiles page.

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Thursday, 20 April 2017 16:12

Deadwood Seeks Community Marketing Feedback

The Deadwood-Lead Economic Development Corporation hosted a public forum last week to solicit feedback from community members on what can be done to attract individuals to the area, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. As part of their marketing efforts, the corporation is gearing up to develop a relocation package with promotional materials about the Lead-Deadwood area.

Several suggestions developed out of the forum, including creating a community calendar with activities from Deadwood, Lead and Central City. The calendar would provide information on events for the area’s businesses, social organizations, and educational institutions. Ideas developed during the forum will be presented to area governments, chambers of commerce and other entities for further development.

Visit the Lead and Deadwood community profiles on the Black Hills Knowledge Network to learn more about the two Northern Hills communities. Read previous news stories on economic development at the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive

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The Deadwood Historic Preservation Committee approved a $2 million commitment toward the development a Main Street square in Deadwood, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The decision followed an hour-long discussion which included feedback from the public and the commission.

The funding commitment from the Historic Preservation Commission will allow the Deadwood Revitalization Commission to move forward with solicitation of matching funds. Any plans for the Main Street plazas must also be vetted through the Historic Preservation Commission, state historic preservation and national parks to ensure proper review.

Historic Preservation Commissioner Lyman Toews was the only dissenting vote, and raised concerns regarding the use of historic preservation funds ahead in light of the project still being in a planning phase.

To read more news about Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive or community profile

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Following a lengthy public comment process, Superintendent of Lead-Deadwood Schools Dr. Dan Leikvold recommended closing the district’s middle school if warranted by the next five years of enrollment, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The plan was one of several plans that had been presented to the public during the consultation period.

Updates to the elementary and high schools would also occur under the plan at a cost of $11.7 million. At the elementary school, $9.3 million would be spent to demolish non-historic portions of the building and improving student drop-off and pick-up zones. Renovations at the high school would include updating the building to accommodate grades 6-12, at a cost of $2.3 million. Approximately $72,000 would be spent in improvements at the middle school to prepare the building for sale.

Read more about Lead and Deadwood at the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profiles. Visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive for more news on education in the region.   

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On Tuesday, Mayor Allender outlined his next steps concerning the civic center, reports the Rapid City Journal.

Allender believes the best idea is to present options to the public and go forward from there, he hopes to avoid another ballot measure situation.  The Department of Justice will present its deadline for making the civic center ADA compliant in August, and then the decision will need to be made between upgrading what we currently have, or building a new civic center.  Allender also stated that taxes will not be raised for either outcome. 

For more information on the civic center, please visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network's online news archive.

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