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Mining companies a threat to water supply

The water permit application by Azarga-Powertech for their proposed ISL uranium mine requests a maximum water draw of 9,000 gallons per minute. In 2012, the State Water Control Board received an Hydrology Study of the aquifers in the Black Hills. This study determined the average annual draw on the Madison Aquifer as expressed in acre-feet of water.

 Converting the hydrology report’s number to gallons and comparing it to the request by Azarga-Powertech, the mining company could be allowed to draw the equivalent of two-tenths of one percent (0.2%) of the current demand on the aquifer. This may seem minimal but bear in mind that several other mining companies are waiting to apply for ISL permits if Azarga-Powertech’s permit is approved. If these additional permits are approved, the total draw down of the aquifer could become significant leading to reduced water tables, dry wells and potential rationing of water.

With our periodic drought cycles in the Black Hills dare we risk this type of usage on our precious water supplies?

— Francis DiCesare, Rapid City

Be careful with next plan for civic center

With respect to the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center vote, we need to slow down and take a deep breath. The ADA issues for our existing facility need to be addressed with the least interference on events as possible.

Future plans for expansion have to be reconsidered in view of the vote. They must be based on clearly identified and justified needs. The business plan should be much more convincing. Options should also include building a regional event center in a less congested area of the city with plenty of room for future parking and development - perhaps a 50-year development plan.

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The entire issue should be an item for consideration in future city council election cycles.

— John D. Wagner, Rapid City

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 Puppy posse restores faith in humanity

On March 4 I was driving on I-90 near the North Street exit when I happened upon a number of vehicles parked at the roadside with flashers blinking. About 15 to 20 people were on the road.

I found the source of their concern to be two very frightened and disoriented dogs running in the westbound lane. Having joined the puppy posse trying to corral the dogs, it became clear the authorities would be best suited to get these critters off the road and out of danger. While I was involved in this situation I saw dozens of additional motorists including several semi-truck drivers slowed or completely stopped in order to assist in the effort.

What a blessing it was to be reminded there are still kind-hearted people in his world who are not too busy to help animals in distress. My confidence in human nature has been restored.

— Jim Walter, Rapid City

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