The proposed $27,000 cut to the Allied Arts Fund — which administers more than $200,000 annually to Black Hills arts groups like the Black Hills Chamber Music Society, Black Hills Dance Theatre, Rapid City Concert Association and Dakota Artists Guild — was rejected. The vote, 6-3, with Alderman Steve Laurenti and Alderwomen Amanda Scott and Becky Drury voting nay, would see the funding restored using the city’s undesignated cash reserves.

“We’re an economic engine for Rapid City,” said fund President Joe Doyle, adding that the fund helps support arts and tourism, driving sales tax and tourism dollars into the city’s coffers.

Multiple council members including Alderman Chad Lewis, who made the motion to restore funding to Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Allied Arts and The Journey Museum, explained that the quality of life was more important than having “perfect streets.”

Laurenti and Scott repeatedly lambasted the use of the city’s undesignated cash reserves to fund the programs. As the budget currently stands, $1.3 million from that fund would be used to balance the budget.

Along with Lewis, Alderwomen Darla Drew and Lisa Modrick also made clear that the cuts seemed relatively insignificant when compared with the city’s overall $164 million budget.

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