RAPID CITY, SD – The public has expressed concern about a proposed reconnaissance well in Pactola’s Jenney Gulch area.
Rapid City’s Legal and Financial Committee heard from Larry Mann of F3 Gold and Professor Mark Bowron of the School of Mines, who provided information about the project to try to address people’s concerns.
Bowron says he is surprised the council will speak about the issues without contacting the School of Mines and that it would be “appropriate for the council to hold a joint meeting and address the school” and that exploration is not mining.
While Mann says water is not being sourced from Rapid Creek or injected into the creek drainage and that there is no interest in drilling below Pactola.
Seven local residents followed with their concerns about the program and the water supply.
“We really need to stop now and think about the motivation,” Rapid City resident Justin Herreman said during a public comment. “What is the motivation behind the half million dollars you have already spent on this project and the additional million dollars you will spend? What is my motivation for skipping lunch today and pushing three meetings today to show up here? Because we care about the future of our community. We care about the opportunity for my grandchildren, which I hope will one day have clean drinking water. What are the people of F3 interested in? They live in Minneapolis – they care about money.”
“One of the groups that is really knowledgeable is Rapid City’s watershed, they know all the details. They provide us with some of the more technical stuff like the decision notice and information from the mining company doing the exploration,” Alan Anderson, Chair of the Rapid City Standing Committee on Sustainability. “One of the other groups that we have spoken to or receive information from is the Clean Water Alliance for Rapid City; they know each other pretty well. Bottom line, Black Hills is a beautiful place. It means a lot to everyone who lives here and to everyone who wants to come visit. In some areas people have a legal right to mines. But there are limits. When is it unacceptable and why is it unacceptable?”
Some community members say the city of Rapid City has rights to 89% of what goes into Pactola.
The committee deferred further discussion to Monday’s joint council meeting so that all members could share their thoughts.
“About two years ago this same group — many of the members are the same people — stood before us and called for us to support a resolution against drilling and mining in the Black Hills,” said Ritchie Nordstrom, Ward 2 City Councilman. who spoke today [Wednesday] was dealing with essentially the same group who don’t want to see drilling or mining in the Black Hills. My concern is that there are many steps in this process. If we get to mining at all, I’m only speaking based on today’s information, Given the thousands of wells we currently have in the Black Hills, I am skeptical that we will see any further mining activity in the Black Hills.”
Legal and Finance approved 15 points during the meeting today.
The Police Department has been given items to obtain money for Project Safe Neighborhood Grants, the Johns Hopkins Agreement and JourneyOn Contract Providing Wages, as well as authorization for employees to apply for and accept the 2022 JAG Grant to purchase forensic equipment if he is awarded.
Money for a Live Fire Training Tower for the fire service was also given.
The agenda for the meeting can be found on The City of Rapid City’s website.