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Rapid City Hopes Citizen Survey Gives Clear Picture On Budget Priorities

Lee Strubinger

The Rapid City mayor is mailing out a survey to residents to understand what they want city dollars to go toward.

It’s another part of the mayor’s priority-based setting budget process.

Three thousand survey’s will drop into the mailboxes of Rapid City residents. City officials randomly selected an equal number of residents from each of the city’s five wards.

Rapid City mayor Steve Allender says the surveys will help the city understand better what citizens want funded, but with a finite amount of dollars.

During the last budgeting setting process, Allender says requests were millions of dollars over what they had to dole out. He says council then spends a lot of time figuring out who gets what..

“We would like to provide them with as much information as possible. Because when we project the revenue for the upcoming budget year, for 2019—we will be starting that budget year pretty soon—there will be more in requests," Allender says. "So we need to know how to stack up our priorities to know who should be unfunded.”

Earlier this year, city council overrode a mayoral veto that cut $40,000 to an organization that organizes volunteer opportunities for retired seniors.

Allender says emotional testimony gets in the way of the priority budgeting process.

Residents can also fill out a survey online at the city’s website. Deadline for the survey is December 22nd.