Destination Rapid City put its money on the table at Monday night’s Rapid City Council meeting.
The privately funded group that developed the popular Main Street Square said it will spend as much as $2 million for additional downtown parking if the city will contribute $2.8 million already earmarked for parking improvements.
"If there's anything that we're looking at in Rapid City right now, it's growth, it's opportunity,” Destination Rapid City President Dan Senftner said to the city council. "It just continues to grow. We at Destination Rapid City are proposing a matching fund for the city of Rapid City of up to $2 million for new parking spaces or a designated parking ramp."
The organization has been the driving force for a number of projects in Rapid City since it was created in 2008. In addition to the Main Street Square project, it recently commissioned a $2 million sculpture project at the square and began work on the Memorial Park Promenade Project that will link the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center to the downtown.
Seftner proposed that the city have definitive plans to build new spaces or a parking garage by June 1, 2014, and start construction on the by Dec. 1.
"Is this aggressive?" Senftner asked. "Yup, yes it is. It's aggressive. Is it something we need? Yes, it is. I think all of us know that we are at the point now where we have opportunity and it's knocking."
He proposed that the new parking be located between Quincy and Omaha streets and Ninth and Fourth streets.
The city council did not comment on Senftner’s proposal or pose any questions. They did vote unanimously to consider the proposal at next week’s Public Works Committee meeting, which will be held at 12:30 p.m. next Tuesday at city council chambers at 300 Sixth St.
The city council voted to continue discussion on an ordinance to give enforcement powers to the city Human Relations Commission.
Despite pleas by residents and four commission members to approve the ordinance, Council members Charity Doyle and Jerry Wright moved to deny the proposal.
Mayor Sam Kooiker then asked the council to continue the ordinance and consider a sunset clause for the added powers.
The council voted unanimously to have the Legal and Finance Committee review the ordinance on Feb. 12.
The council gave initial approval to an ordinance that calls for defined agreements between the city and developers regarding public improvements.
The proposed ordinance is aimed at preventing legal battles like the one that ensued involving the Big Sky subdivision's roadways case, which went to the South Dakota Supreme Court for a ruling.
[Editor's note: This story has been changed to reflect a correction. The city has $2.8 million earmarked for parking improvements.]