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Sturgis City Council to discuss Rally at special meeting Monday

Sturgis City Council to discuss Rally at special meeting Monday

Sturgis Day One (copy)

The Sturgis City Council will discuss the fate of the 80th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally during a special meeting Monday.

The council will hear a presentation from the Rally and Events department with information gathered throughout May and June from businesses, hotels, motels, campgrounds, police and and hospitals.

Sturgis Rally and Events Director Jerry Cole said his staff and the City Council have had about three to five meetings a day over the past five weeks with businesses, state and federal representatives, and others. 

Cole said all of the campgrounds will be open during the rally, which is scheduled for Aug. 7-16.

“We’re taking all of it into consideration,” he said. “We’re just pulling everything in to present to the City Council, and when we present, they will discuss and decide.”

Buffalo Chip president and founder Rod Woodruff told the Journal on May 27 that the campgrounds will be open and his staff will be there to welcome motorcycle riders regardless of the City Council’s decision.

Cole said a recent survey sent by the city asking Sturgis residents about the Rally will be taken into consideration as well.

According to a U.S. Census July 1, 2019 estimate, there are a little over 6,900 people in Sturgis.

The city mailed 3,290 surveys to resident addresses used by the 2020 Census, according to the city’s website. Of those, about half — 1,816 surveys — were returned, with 62.9% indicating they’d like the rally to be postponed, while 37% said they would like the event to proceed and .4% included notes to say they didn’t care either way.

During the June 1 Sturgis City Council meeting, a resident told the City Council that she and many others did not receive the survey and would have liked to have given their input. She said she uses a PO Box address.

During the meeting, City Manager Daniel Ainslie said the contractor who mailed the surveys said they sent it to every resident. Ainslie said the city did the best it could and as cost efficiently as possible.

Cole told the Journal on Friday that he and the council aren’t necessarily leaning in one direction or another on the rally and that safety has been on his mind the most.

“We’re trying to follow all the protocols laid down by the CDC, and we have other things going on besides the rally,” Cole said. “Taking care of our staff is probably the biggest concern I have.”

He said he hasn’t received any guidelines or plans from state or health officials if the City Council does approve the rally, which is expected at the June 15 meeting.

Monday's special meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Center Theater at 1401 Lazelle St.

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