Rapid City original mask ordinance being replaced with new option

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) – Four hours of debate led to little of substance at last night’s Rapid City Council special meeting, with the original masking ordinance being replaced with a new option due for a second reading.

City Council ultimately moved to table Ordinance 6453, the initial proposal from the Nov. 19 meeting, replacing it with Ordinance 6454, referenced here by Mayor Steve Allender as “item one”.

Ordinance 6454 puts more burden on businesses to enforce masks rather than Rapid City law enforcement. Along with that, businesses with a capacity over 50 will be able to opt out.

City Ordinance 6454 penalizes citizens through an administrative process, not a criminal process. The City would notify a business they’ve violated the rule, investigate and penalize accordingly.

Ward three Council member Jason (Solo-mon) Salamun said he was moved by the struggle of healthcare workers, but also wanted an ordinance that emphasized individual liberties.

The final vote to advance 6454 to a second reading passed 9-1, with John Roberts as the lone no vote. If it passes at the next City Council meeting, it will go into immediate effect through February of next year.