Monday, December 25, 2017

city council to vote in February

"A special city council meeting will be held in February to determine the future of Barnett Arena and Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
The council will be presented with two options — remodel Barnett Arena or build a new facility — and then asked to approve a funding plan. 
Mayor Steve Allender said in an interview that he will hold more public presentations on the two options in January and February, ahead of the special meeting. An exact date for the special meeting has not been set. "

Drive around any non-artery in our city streets and see for yourself that most need resurfacing at least.  The streets around south Walmart like Enchantment Road and Parkview Drive are so wavy you'll probably get seasick driving them.

The problem with building a new arena is that we will be throwing all our money into one huge project instead of spreading it around where many things could be fixed.  We've apparently already decided we're willing to spend quite a good amount of money. Let's now sit back and think about what best we could be spending that money on.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The latest plans for civic center

"Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender discusses the findings of the Civic Center Resolution Task Force, and outlines the challenges, obstacles and options for the future of the Barnett Arena. Enjoy the following presentation by either watching the entire video, or using the below links to view the section that most interests you."

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Proposal to use city property at Omaha and Mt. Rushmore Road for solar panels

   I'd like to propose a use for the city property on the northwest corner of Omaha Street and Mt. Rushmore Road.  I would propose that the city build a solar panel farm there that would provide power to the Central High School, and perhaps even to the Civic Center.
   This proposal would:
* make an economical use of the property, since it would be providing "free" electricity to the high school once its' paid for.
* provide vocational training for high school students who will learn how their school is powered.
* be relatively cheap because the land is already city-owned, and the power line to the high school would be quite short.
* indicate that Rapid City is a city that is keeping up with technology and is environmentally aware.
   I do not know the actual technical nor economic details other than the above.
   Attached is an overlay of the property with solar panels from a solar farm in Arizona.
   If you would like more information about this idea please feel free to contact me and I can make a more detailed report.
Jeff  Jacobsen

Sunday, August 16, 2015

SD pays less for education than most states

"NORTHERN HILLS — When it comes to education spending, South Dakota is definitely in a slump and has been for quite some time. As a result, local school districts struggle to keep programming alive and teacher salaries competitive.                    
According to U.S. Census Bureau data assessed recently by the Black Hills Knowledge Network, South Dakota spends about a third less than neighboring states on education as a proportion of personal income.

Already last in the nation for teacher pay, South Dakota also ranked last regionally and 47th nationally in 2012 for its spending on K-12 education as a proportion of personal income, according to the most recent U.S. Census data available.  "

This is ridiculous.  Education is hugely important for every aspect of a person's life and for a community.  We are hurting ourselves by pretending that taxes are evil or whatever.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Rapid city finds more money for teachers

"According to a news release from the district, the linchpin of the deal is an agreement to divert $4 million in capital outlay funds toward general fund expenses, and then use the freed-up $4 million in the general fund to raise teacher pay.
The budget maneuver is allowed by a state law that was adopted in 2009 and was supposed to sunset in 2012 but has since been renewed through 2018."

This is where our money should go first. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

divert construction funds to schools?

"Board Vice President Matt Stephens, who said he sees both sides of the argument, said that when voters in June rejected raising their property taxes to give the district more operating money, they sent a message that they think the district has enough money to raise teachers' pay.
'It sends a mixed signal when we start building projects, but not giving increases to the staff,' he said.
The discussion on how to spend the capital-outlay money probably will continue at the board's first meeting in August. "

I like this idea.