Elevate Rapid City taking the reins on future economic plans for the city

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Rapid City officials aren't seeing a return on investment for the Rapid City Economic Development Partnership.

Recently, the executive director of the organization stepped down.

The main driver in economic development in this part of the state, since Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender took office, is now merging with a fairly new group.

Elevate Rapid City is now taking the reins on all future economic plans for the city.

The Rapid City Economic Development PartnershipT was receiving $400,000 a year since Allender became Rapid City Mayor, dropping to $350,000 in the 2018 budget.

"There was a list of expectations of what that money would achieve and the overall assessment was we may have not be going about it correctly,” explains Allender. “There was a lack of measurements in that economic development partnership to know how much we had achieved, what percentage of the goals had been met."

Rapid City Economic Development Partnership will join Elevate Rapid City with financial backing from private entities and the city.

"For every dollar the city plans to invest in Elevate, 3 more dollars will be invested by private individuals," states Allender.

Elevate Rapid City has requested a few million dollars from the vision fund over a five year period.

"The five year investment is about eight million dollars and of that about two million is from the city,” says Allender. “It's a greater investment overall and then therefore the expenditures will be greater as well."

The organization just released their five year plan which could have a big payoff for the area.

"2,200 primary jobs, more than two thousand other support jobs or secondary jobs. 120-125 million dollars over five years back into the economy. In the structure of Elevate is a more specific list of goals and objectives, things that can be measured in dollars and cents, and something that will provide better accountability for the investment,” elaborates Allender.

Elevate Rapid City is hoping to have a CEO and a location in place by March of 2019.