Rapid City Annual Progress Report shows adaptability, cautious optimism

CJ Keene, KOTA NewsJanuary 29, 2021Local
City of Rapid CtyMayor Steve Allendar discusses the 2020 Progress Report.

RAPID CITY, SD – The year 2020 was a rollercoaster – even at the best of times, reflected in the Rapid City Progress Report, shared by Mayor Steve Allender Thursday.

The Rapid City Regional Airport highlights this trend, with one of its largest dips in enplanements in history, but is also seeing a faster than average recovery compared to airports nationwide.

Rapid City also managed to increase sales tax revenues by 3.08% despite the pandemic, and saw growth in sales tax reports for 8 out of the 11 recorded months. November is the most recently recorded month at the time of release.

One success noted in the progress report was the adaptability the local library displayed through the pandemic year. The library drive thru served 22,000 library patrons, which worked out to a 415 percent increase over its 2019 usage.

With education impacted by the pandemic, early literacy was even more of a priority for the
library as well, a need filled with virtual education events, social media story times, and even a
dial-a-story service.

Educational services also filled a cultural need as well, offering a books before kindergarten
program which offered both English and Lakota language books for pre-k children.

Allender said he feels cautiously optimistic going into 2021.