Mayor Steve Allender gave his budget presentation last week, including cuts to arts and volunteer programs. The Rapid City Journal reported on how these cuts would affect three organizations. The Black Hills Area Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) stands to lose all $40,000 of city funding. This would also remove Rapid City as sponsor for the federal grants that provide the rest of RSVP's funding. In 2016, RSVP placed 682 volunteers with nonprofits, providing 155,658 hours of work. Paying workers minimum wage for the same amount of hours would have cost over $1.3 million.
Rapid City contributes $331,500 to the Journey Museum, approximately half of its funding. Museum officials point out that every dollar invested in the museum generates four dollars in revenue for the area. Although the museum had its first profitable year in recent times, the $30,000 cut is two and a half times that profit.
The Allied Arts Fund provides more than $200,000 to music and art groups in the city. Rapid City funds it with $102,000, which Allied Arts then uses to gain matching funds from area businesses. The budget is set to remove $27,000 in funding, more than a quarter of what Allied Arts has been receiving.
Budget meetings are set for Tuesday and Thursday, August 15 and 17 at 5:30 p.m. in the City/School Administration Center, with additional meetings the following Tuesday and Thursday, August 22 and 24, if needed. Past stories on the budget are linked in the Black Hills Knowledge Network's online news archive.