High students in Belle Fourche have made significant progress on building a house, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The eight students enrolled in the residential construction course are currently installing drywall and ceiling insulation. The projected finish date for the project will coincide with the end of the school year in mid-May.
The residential construction course began out of a collaboration between the Belle Fourche School District, Belle Fourche Economic Development Corporation, and the West River Foundation. The sale of the finished home will be managed by the Belle Fourche Economic Development Corporation. The home must be sold to a Belle Fourche resident who works within the city.
Rapid City's Public Works Committee has proposed creating new regulations for the city's food trucks, which could include issuing permits. The Rapid City Journal reported that currently there are no regulations governing food trucks. City officials stated that the regulations would help create continuity for the industry as it continues to grow. While some food truck vendors are willing to see where the regulations go, the permit process may impact their businesses.
To read previous news stories concerning the economy of Rapid City, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network's online news archive.
For more information on the economy of Rapid City, check out the work and economy section of the Black Hills Knowledge Network's Rapid City Community Profile.
Gaming revenue in Deadwood was down nearly 10 percent from January 2016, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. A total of $76.7 million was spent across tables and slot machines last month, accounting for a $6.7 million in taxable adjusted gross revenues. $605,190 was collected in state tax.
Occupancy at hotels in Deadwood was also down year-over-year. Last month, there was a 30.7 percent occupancy rate at Deadwood’s hotels, down 4.2 percent from January 2016. The city also fell behind the national hotel occupancy rate of 54.1 percent—a 0.5 percent increase over January 2016.
Local investors are looking to reopen the movie theater in Hot Springs, reports KOTA News. The theater closed in 2015 when studios stopped releasing film copies of movies in favor of digital releases. At the time, the theater could not take on the expense of upgrading to digital projectors.
The investors purchased a new sound system and digital projectors and anticipate a spring opening for the theater. An art deco façade is also in the works.
To read more news from Hot Springs, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.
Visit Spearfish Inc. recently added a third staff member to man the organization’s office, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. Kory Otterberg, a Spearfish native, graduated from South Dakota State University with a degree in advertising.
Visit Spearfish Executive Director Mistie Caldwell stated that adding a third full-time staff member will enable the non-profit organization to further develop its work in growing the tourism industry in Spearfish. The 2017 city budget has allocated $175,000 to the organization as well as $200,000 from fees collected from the Hotel Business Improvement District.
Lawmakers on a state budget subcommittee believes that revenue streams for the state will be $27.8 million lower than projected in December of last year, reports KOTA News. Lawmakers are also projecting approximately $25.3 million less in ongoing receipts for the current budget cycle.
Jim Terwilliger, the state’s economist, cites low inflation and a decrease in spending in the farm economy as possible contributors to the lower revenue. The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Appropriations will formally announce budget levels.
This week, the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T) hosted over 90 employers at its annual career fair, reports KOTA News. Students seeking full-time positions, internships and more attended the career fair to learn about the various opportunities.
SDSM&T is well-known for its high job placement rate of 98 percent and average starting salary of $63,000. Students attending the career fair noted the importance of networking at the event, which often leads to an interview or eventual job placement.
To learn more about the School of Mines and Technology, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.
The Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) presented its three-year strategic plan to the Spearfish City Council, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The vision and mission of the SEDC were clarified and four goals were outlined in the strategic plan.
Under the strategic plan, the first goal of the SEDC is to create an internship program through Black Hills State University in order to retain and expand area businesses. The second goal involves drawing 30 new, full-time jobs to Spearfish by recruiting businesses and marketing the city to target markets and industries. The SEDC’s third goal aims to lease the entirety of the Atlas Building as well as securing space for a new business park for the City of Spearfish. The four and final goal involves increasing the SEDC’s marketing and communication strategies with new businesses and current SEDC members.
Following a record-breaking year for building permits, Rapid City posted its second-largest building permit valuation last month at $35 million, reports KOTA News. The addition of a Culvers Restaurant on Mount Rushmore Road, renovations at 321 Kansas City Street by Pennington County, and new apartments on Tablerock Road were cited as large contributors to January’s valuation.
Last year, Rapid City posted its highest building permit valuation at $320 million. 2011 was the previous record-holder, with $258 million in building permits.
Are you looking for a helping hand in your community? Need help learning a new skill? The community resource pages below will assist you with everything from registering to vote to starting your own business. Are you looking for help with something you don’t see listed? We’re always looking for new ideas, so feel free to email us.
Economic Assistance (clothing, food, utilities, rent)
Pennington County Health & Human Services
725 N. Lacrosse St. Suite 200, Rapid City, SD 57701
Hours: Monday – Friday 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Services: Economic, Funeral and medical assistance. Veterans Service Office. Appointments: Required; an emergency walk in time may be available in some circumstances. Call for eligibility requirements.
405 N. Cherry Avenue, Rapid City, SD 57701
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Services: rental assistance, rental deposit, utilities, economic assistance (grocery, clothing, household items).
Appointments: required for rental/utility assistance. First-come, first-serve basis for other economic assistance.
30 Main Street, Rapid City, SD 57701
605-342-5360 Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (food assistance).
Services: Utilities , food, official papers. Appointments: Required for utilities.
Community Action Program (CAP)
1844 Lombardy Drive, Rapid City, SD 57701 605-348-1460
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Services: Clothing, food, garden kits, school supplies, home weatherizing. Cost: Free.
Lifeline/Link-Up and Tribal Lifeline/Link-Up (for residents living on tribal lands)
Services: Phone deposits and lowered phone rates for low-income families.
Eligibility: Each program has income requirements. See websites for more information.
140 North St, Rapid City, SD 57701
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Services: Adult education classes, furniture and household items, moving and transportation assistance, home repair, clothing.
909 E. St. Patrick Street Ste 7
Services: Health screenings for children 0-5 years, WIC vouchers for purchasing nutritional foods.
Subsidized and Section 8 Housing Pennington County Housing
1805 West Fulton Street Suite 101, Rapid City, SD 57702
Services: Includes information about Section 8, shelter plus care, and more. List of subsidized and section 8 housing in Rapid City
Health and Medical Resources
S.D. Department of Health
909 E. St. Patrick Street St. 7
Services: community education, school screening, WIC, immunization, nutrition services. Sliding scale fees.
Children's Special Health Services - Health KiCC
Services: financial assistance for children with chronic conditions.
Sioux San Indian Health Services
3200 Canyon Lake Drive
Services: General medical, inpatient and outpatient adult, pediatric and prenatal care.
Good Shepherd Clinic, Inc.
Our Savior's Lutheran Church
1020 State Street Spearfish, SD 57701
Services: Free walk-in medical clinic. Must be uninsured and live in Northern Hills.
Appointments: No appointments available.
Rapid Transit System
333 6th Street, Rapid City, SD 57701
Services: Transporation anywhere within corporate limits of Rapid City.
Prairie Hills Transit
2015 Tumble Weed Trail, Spearfish, SD 57783
Services: Provides transportation in and around Butte, Custer, Meade, Pennington, Fall River, and Lawrence Counties. See website for fares and schedules.
Oglala Sioux Transit
P.O. Box 335 Pine Ridge, SD 57770
Services: Provides transit within the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Shelter and Housing
Working Against Violence 527 Quincy Street Rapid City, SD 57701
605-341-3292 | Crisis Line: 888 716
Services: Temporary shelter for women and children escaping violent environments, sexual assault and domestic voilence support groups.
615 Kansas City Street, Rapid City, SD 57701-3640 (605) 716-4673
Services: Drop-in day center, mail, phon, short and long-term storage, document storage, free laundry program, haircuts, clothing vouchers, hygiene kits, and adult education.
Vocational Rehab Services
111A New York Street
Services: assists people with disabilities in finding employment.
SD Advocacy Services for Disabilities
1575 LaCrosse Street Ste K 605-342-3808
SD School for the Blind and Visually Impaired - Outreach Vision Consultant
3618 Canyon Lake Drive Ste 112 605-394-6638
Catholic Social Services
918 5th St., Rapid City, SD 57701
Services: counseling, adoption, youth prevention services.
Front Porch Coalition
401 3rd Street, Ste #4 Rapid City, SD 57701
Services: suicide prevention, survivors of suicide support.
Lutheran Social Services
2920 Sheridan Lake Rd., Rapid City, SD 57702
Services: Counseling for individuals and families.
Rapid City Veterans Center
610 Kansas City Street, Rapid City, SD 57701
Services: Counseling for any war theatre vets.
Training and Education
A Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) call center recently opened in Hot Springs, reports KOTA News. Approximately 20-30 individuals are currently being trained in how to assist veterans with questions concerning benefits, enrollment and more.
The call center is part of the reorganization of the Black Hills VA Health Care System. While most of the VA medical services will be relocated from Hot Springs to Rapid City, the call center was located in Hot Springs as part of an effort to keep jobs in the city. The call center hopes to hire on 120-130 individuals by this spring.
To read more on the Black Hills VA Health Care System, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.
Currently, South Dakota has around 45 percent of its residents with post-secondary degrees. The reasoning behind this goal is the projection that by 2020 at least 65 percent of the jobs in South Dakota will require a post-secondary degree. In the past few years, South Dakota has tried to made it cheaper to obtain a degree by reducing the number of credit hours necessary. The number of degrees and minors offered also changes according to relevance, older degrees eliminated and newer degrees added.
For more information on education in the Black Hills, please visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network news archive.
A sharp decline in Deadwood’s gaming revenue closed out 2016, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. Revenue from December 2016 was down 25 percent when compared to December 2015.
The total 2016 Deadwood gaming revenue of $1.1 billion was down five percent from 2015. Adjusted gross gaming revenue was $99,110,350 in 2016—the lowest reported since 2007. Nine percent, or $478,007, of taxable adjusted gross revenues was collected as state tax in December.
The general manager of the Celebrity Hotel and Casino, Ken Gienger noted that warmer than expected temperatures may have contributed to the drop in gaming revenue in in December. He noted that December 2016 occupancy rates were higher than December 2015 at his hotel, but guests were not gambling as much as they had in previous years.
To read more news from Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.
President Donald Trump has signed orders to advance the construction of the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines as reported by the Rapid City Journal. Both projects were placed on indefinite holds after the Obama administration delayed final decisions on both projects until further studies could be done. A decision on the Keystone XL pipeline has been up in the air since 2015 while the Dakota Access pipeline was nearly completed before a combination of protests and a decision from the Army Corps of Engineers to not approve the construction of a section of pipeline beneath Lake Oahe in North Dakota delayed its completion. Both pipelines cross through South Dakota at different points.
To read up on past and current news articles related to the Keystone XL pipeline, click on this archives link.
For more information on the Keystone project, be sure to check out this Black Hills Knowledge Network resource page.
At the close of 2016, the City of Spearfish realized $43.7 million in building project valuations, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. In 2016, 453 permits were issued which fell just shy of the 458 permits issued in 2015.
The total valuation was also slight down from the $46.4 million reported in 2015, and well below the record $49.1 million reported in 2014. However, a record 632 contractor licenses were issued in 2016, up from 560 in 2015. Nearby Rapid City issued 649 contractor licenses in 2016.
To learn more about Spearfish, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive. To learn more about the economy in South Dakota, visit the South Dakota Dashboard, a sister site of the Black Hills Knowledge Network.
The Spearfish Chamber of Commerce has begun hosting a networking event every Thursday from 8-9 a.m., reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The idea for the event arose after Chamber Director Melissa Barth was visiting with a chamber member at the rec center while the two waited for their children’s activities to conclude.
The member conveyed that it was difficult to attend most networking events as they occur directly after work, when school and other events often take place. The new time allows for chamber members to network with each other at a more convenient time of day. While the event is currently an opportunity for conversation, Barth added that programs may be added in the future.
To read more about Spearfish, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.
This February, Amazon will begin collection South Dakota sales tax, reports Keloland News. South Dakota will be the 35th state which receives sales tax revenue through Amazon sales.
The new agreement was announced by Governor Daugaard during his 2017 State of the State Address. He also noted that the agreement with Amazon was voluntary. Remittance of the sales tax is slated to begin in late March.
In December 2016, the Black Hills Knowledge Network conducted an analysis of sales tax revenue lost through online sales in the Black Hills region. The analysis found that in the Black Hills alone, internet sales may be costing South Dakota $13.8 million annually.
To learn more, read the full analysis of the impact internet sales have on South Dakota Sales Revenue. Visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s sister site, the South Dakota Dashboard, to learn more about the economy in South Dakota.
Mayor Steve Allender requested over $62,500 to hire consultants to analyze the Rapid City Fire Department, reports the Rapid City Journal. This amount does not include travel costs for the consultants. Acting Fire Chief Rod Seals indicated the funds may come from the Wildland Fire Budget.
The objective would be to study the workloads, response times, communication, among other factors. Mayor Allender says the process should take 105-135 days and will help determine best practices.
In January 1998, the Homestake Gold Mine announced a major restructuring of mining operations to help maintain operations during a time of low gold prices, according to an annual report by the United State Geological Service. The mine suspended operations until April 1998.
When operations resumed that spring, only 280 workers were brought back, down from the 850 prior to the restructure. Gold production also decreased to 4,300 kilograms in 1998 from 12,400 in 1997.
Less than three years later, the Homestake Mining Company announced that the Lead gold mine would permanently close. The mine operated for 124 years, before officially closing at the end of 2001. The mine currently serves as a neutrino research center.
Learn more about the Homestake Gold Mine by reading previous stories on the Black Hills Knowledge Network.
People were far more likely to move to South Dakota than move away, according to a new report from United Van Lines. This report is good news for the Rushmore State, but not for the reasons currently reported.
South Dakota is not the most popular destination for people to move to—in actuality, California had the most number of inbound moves at 12,259 compared to South Dakota’s 341 total inbound moves. However, California had 12,488 outbound moves, resulting in California’s balanced migration. Conversely, South Dakota reported only 163 outbound moves.
A couple of factors likely play into South Dakota’s top ranking, including retirees who want to live in the inter-mountain west. The United Van Lines report notes that one in four inbound moves nationally was for retirement reasons. With no income tax and a high quality of life, especially in the Black Hills, this may be a key factor.
Second, people across the nation are less likely to move based on economic opportunity and more based on personal reasons, such as a desire to be closer to family or for retirement purposes. Additionally, the age of the internet has made working remotely a possibility—a substantial aid to those wishing to relocate to South Dakota.
Within the Great Plains region, South Dakota had more inbound moves than North Dakota and Wyoming, states with struggling economies in 2016, but fewer inbound moves than Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota.
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