The power of open communication in the social media has certainly become clear to me. Over the couple of last weeks a small group of people with a small budget of only $7,000 and, separately, this blog utilizing Facebook used to facts to soundly defeated a $75,000 campaign.
Tuesday, Rapid City voted down a plan that wasn’t right for our community. Now, it is time to look forward and work together to begin the process towards a Civic Center plan that does fit us.
Where do we go from here?
- Rapid City should immediately notify the Department of Justice of the city’s intent to seek modifications to the agreement that was negotiated with the DOJ. The first order of business is to eliminate the thirty month time frame, which is allowed under item #21 of the agreement.
- Rapid City should immediately, before the end of the month, employ TSP, the A & E firm which previously evaluated and reported the needs of the Civic Center, to develop plans and specifications to address the handicapped access concerns and other critical needs. The plans should be completed by May 15, 2015 and include a timeline to address the accessibility concerns in a timely manner while developing a phased construction plan that would allow for maximum utilization of the arena during the construction period. The easy fixes like addressing the need for additional handicap parking should be addressed immediately.
- The plans for the project should include what is known as “add alternates” to allow for maximum flexibility and economy. Add alternates are items which could be to be priced during the bidding phase for improvements and upgrades to the existing facility which are suggested by TSP, but above what is absolutely necessary for handicapped access.
- These plans should then be submitted for competitive bid by June 15, 2015.
- Once the bids are received, the ad alternates should be accepted in such a manner to restrict the total expenditure to less than $45 million.
- Public meetings should also be held immediately, as TSP commences their work, by the city in conjunction with the Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities. These meetings will provide an opportunity for citizens with disabilities to discuss problems they have experienced while accessing the arena and/or Civic Center as a whole. The election caught the attention of the people of Rapid City and we now have the opportunity to engage people who were not previously reached.
- At the same time, individuals are welcome to contact this blog and share their experiences and difficulties while attending events at the Civic Center, or difficulties which may have kept them from attending any events.