Mayor Steve Allender

Rapid City Mayor Says City Is Too Reliant On Sales Tax

Aug 16, 2017
Lee Strubinger / SDPB

The Rapid City Common Council held the first of at least two fiscal year 2018 budget hearings last night, which calls for a three percent increase in city spending.

That increase is coupled with Mayor Steve Allender’s push for the city to diversify how it is funded. According to city documents, forty three percent of the city’s revenue comes from sales tax collections.

Allender says the city is too reliant on that funding stream, which he says is volatile.

Lee Strubinger / SDPB

Rapid City is not hiring city employees starting May first. The City is implementing a temporary freeze to save money after sales tax collections came in lower than expected.
In a letter to city aldermen, Mayor Steve Allender says people simply aren’t traveling or spending as much money this year. That’s prompting a revenue shortfall in city coffers.
City departments will have to wait at least thirty days to replace people who resign, retire, or get promoted… depending on the department, some positions may remain open for three months.

Victoria Wicks file photo

A package of legislation designed to address mental health issues in criminal justice has been presented to the legislature in Pierre. House Bill 1183 is assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.

Chief Justice David Gilbertson has led the effort to reduce recidivism and increase services to mentally ill people who often end up in jail.

Rapid City Council Approves $160 Million Budget

Sep 8, 2016
Lee Strubinger / SDPB

The Rapid City Council passed a $160 million operating budget for 2017. Residents can expect property taxes to remain the same.
Mayor Steve Allender says he took a different approach to crafting next year’s city budget.

File photo by Victoria Wicks

Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender has worked for the city for 35 years, first as a beat cop and then moving up the ladder to become Chief of Police. After he retired in May 2014, he ran for mayor and won the election held in June this year.

As a police officer, Allender saw a range of sociological issues, one of them homelessness, a condition that in itself encompasses a range of sociological issues.

Victoria Wicks

Ground was broken Thursday for the First Nations Sculpture Garden planned for Halley Park in Rapid City. In the works for almost two years, the garden will hold busts of four 20th Century Plains Indian leaders and have space for four more. SDPB’s Victoria Wicks has followed the sculpture garden’s progress.