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Rapid City was declared a 'Purple Heart City' by city council Monday night. 

The Rapid City Council on Monday signed off on a resolution designating Rapid City as a "Purple Heart City."

The measure, which was proposed by Mayor Steve Allender, makes official the city's support for armed forces veterans who were wounded or killed in combat, and for the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

"It's who we are as Rapid City to give a little extra shout-out to those veterans who have sacrificed to that extent," Allender said following the city council meeting.

The measure was approved by a unanimous vote with all council members present.

As part of the resolution, the city will receive four signs that will be used to reserve parking spaces for veterans. Two will be specifically reserved for wounded combat veterans.

No determination has been made as to where the signs will be placed.

Only recipients of the Purple Heart medal are eligible to become members of the order. The group, according to its website, assists veterans in filing claims for benefits available through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Scholarships and volunteer opportunities are also available through the group.

With the adoption of the resolution last night, Rapid City becomes South Dakota's sixth Purple Heart city. Sioux Falls, Corsica, Garretson, Parker and Pierre previously declared themselves as such.

Grant, Minnehaha and Turner counties are also designated as Purple Heart entities.

Dumping ordinance heads back to committee

During Monday's meeting, the council also approved the first reading of an amendment to municipal code that seeks to curb illegal dumping at city recycling drop-offs.

Members of the council unanimously voted in favor of the amendment.

The measure heads back to the Legal and Finance committee, which will take it up for further discussion on April 10. It is scheduled for a final vote during the council's next meeting on April 15.

The amendment broadens the language of the city's ordinance on dumping, which does not directly address the misuse of city recycling and yard-waste drop-offs. Council members have said that the sites are increasingly being abused by residents wishing to rid themselves of old furniture and household appliances.

If approved, the amendment would outlaw disposal of anything other than those two kinds of refuse at the drop-offs.

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Failure to comply could result in a fine of $500. 

Council members have said they hope to further curtail dumping through the installation of security cameras and informational signage at the drop-offs.

Summerset sewer study authorized

A $60,000 study evaluating the "technical and economic impacts" of the proposed expansion of Rapid City sanitary sewer services to Summerset was approved Monday. 

The study will determine, among other things, projections for revenue that the city stands to gain should it take on Summerset as a customer. It was commissioned by a unanimous vote.

HDR Engineering will conduct the study, the cost for which both cities are splitting evenly, beginning this month. It is expected to conclude in October.

The two cities agreed to commit to a study last December following the identification of major capital improvement needs at the Summerset wastewater treatment plant.

Bids sought for Park Drive overlay project

The city council unanimously moved on Monday to bid out a project aiming to rehabilitate the section of pavement on Park Drive between Glennwood Drive and Westridge Road.

The project is expected to cost $140,000 and will be bid this spring. A city press release indicates that construction will be completed by the end of the year.

The improvements will include upgrades to Americans with Disabilities Act amenities, curb and gutter replacement, milling and overlaying, crack repairs and pavement markings.

Disk Drive and Haines Avenue rehab project bid awarded

Tru-Form Construction has been awarded a $1.12 million contract for the repair and replacement of sewer lines along Disk Drive and Haines Avenue.

The city council approved the company's bid for the project by a unanimous vote.

City spokesperson Darrell Shoemaker said that water and sewer mains along the streets are nearing the end of their lifespan. In addition to upgrading them, the project will also include the reconstruction of the intersection to be more compliant with the ADA.

New signal posts will also be installed. The project is slated to begin in this month and wrap up in November.

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