Dell Rapids 2018 Sales Tax Revenues Dip from 2017

DellRapidsTowerThe final 2018 sales tax revenue report was shared at the latest Dell Rapids City Council regular meeting held Tuesday, January 22nd.  The numbers showed a drop of 3.45% from the 2017 numbers.

The city of Dell Rapids had $1,227,419.65 of sales tax revenue in 2017.  By contrast, the city had $1,185,064.63 of sales tax revenue in 2018.  A drop of just over $42,000.

“It looks better than it did in July and August.  $42,000 less, if you look at July and August, that’s about $40,000.  That’s at the height of the construction.  That’s the way I interpret those numbers,” said City Administrator Justin Weiland.

July 2018 was an 11.68% decrease from the numbers in July 2017.  August 2018 had a bigger drop from 2017 at 23.24% decrease.  The numbers rebounded in October, November, and December with each of those three months having positive gains in 2018 over 2017 numbers.

Share and Like this story:

Papa’s Pub & Eatery To Open Their Doors Early December

David and Rebecca Ohayon Photo courtesy of Tammy Chamley, Dells City Journal

David and Rebecca Ohayon
Photo courtesy of Tammy Chamley, Dells City Journal

Dell Rapids will be welcoming a new restaurant to Main Street.  Papa’s Pub & Eatery will be opening soon for all to enjoy.

David and Rebecca Ohayon are the proud new owners of Papa’s Pub & Eatery.  Rebecca is a graduate of Dell Rapids St. Mary.  “We chose Dell Rapids for a few different reasons, and it all came together so perfectly,” Rebecca explained.  “The family connection first and foremost. We wanted to be in a community where we wouldn’t be just another place to eat, such as Sioux Falls. We wanted to be some where we could make a name for ourselves. We also love unique buildings, and David is a history buff, so the minute we walked into the Opera House building, he was in love.”

Opening a restaurant in Dell Rapids has been on the Ohayon family’s radar for quite some time, unfortunately, the timing was never quite right.  “This time around, it just all fell into plac,e and that’s how we landed in Dell Rapids,” the Ohayons stated.  “We think very highly of the city of Dell Rapids, and it is a beautiful town. We also understand the need for a casual dining experience in town. We would love to fill that need, while becoming a part of the growth of Dell Rapids.”

Papa’s Pub & Eatery is named after David’s late father, Daniel.  “We know his father is with us every single day, so naming this restaurant in honor of him just made perfect sense,” Rebecca said.

Together, David and Rebecca have over 30 years in the restaurant industry.  “From dishwasher to operations director, we have done it all,” Rebecca explained.  “David is well versed in both the kitchen and the front of house, whereas I strictly stay in the front of the house.” The Ohayons also have a leadership team in place that has many, many years of restaurant experience in the dining room as well as the kitchen. “David’s management style is unbeatable,” Rebecca explained.  “You work with him, not for him, and I truly believe that is why he has been extremely successful everywhere he has worked.” David throughout the years held many positions with companies such as Spezia, On the Border, Johnny Carinos, Beef ‘O’ Bradys, The Willows at Willow Run and more. “After seeing him work so hard for others, I am glad he is finally going to do it for himself and our family,” Rebecca stated.  Rebecca has worked in the restaurant business as well, at places such as The Monarch Steakhouse, Cody’s Tavern and Grill, The Minnehaha Country Club and Johnny Carinos.

The menu will be mainly American fare with some of David’s experiences and cultural background sprinkled in. Papa’s Pub & Eatery will offer other types of food such as Mexican and French along with other countries in the Mediterranean region as weekend features. “The menu isn’t quite finalized, but you can expect to see a few appetizers, burgers, steak/chicken/shrimp entrees, pastas, salads, specialty sandwiches and soup options,” Rebecca explained.  Papa’s Pub & Eatery will offer a lunch menu, dinner menu, children’s menu as well as desserts.  A full bar will also be included in the restaurant.

David and Rebecca have four children, Mia (10), Quinn (4), Andre (almost 2) and Genevieve (6 months old).  Whether it be a weekend of competitive softball, soccer tournament or gymnastics meet, the Ohayon family enjoys every minute of life with each other. “We stay extremely busy with four children, but they keep our hearts full, and that’s what matters most,” Rebecca said.  “The greatest things in life aren’t things.”

“Obviously, the timing was right for Dell Rapids as well as our family,” Rebecca explained on why choosing to open a new restaurant.  “It has always been a dream of David’s to have his own place, and we would talk about the different locations throughout the country that we would move to, but somehow, family always kept us grounded here.  Opening Papa’s Pub & Eatery in Dell Rapids will give us a place where we can share our love and passion for food and people!”

Papa’s Pub & Eatery plan to be open Tuesdays-Thursdays 11am-9pm; Friday and Saturday 11am-10pm. “We will eventually consider opening on Sundays in the morning,” Rebecca explained. “We want to offer an atmosphere for everyone – family gatherings, date night, business lunches, rehearsal dinners, you name it!”  Papa’s Pub & Eatery plans to open their doors early December.

Want to read more from the Dells City Journal? Here’s how:

Facebook Page:


Tammy Chamley, Managing Editor
Contact Info:
Dells City Journal
513 West 4th Street
Dell Rapids, SD 57022
Tel: 605-428-5600
Fax: 888-397-6154
Subscription Rates are as follows:
Subscription Rates in SD: 1 Yr. $38.00
Out of State: 1 Yr. $45.00
Share and Like this story:

2nd Annual River Cleanup Planned in Dell Rapids

DellRapidsCleanUpDay1What started as a community project after frustrations over garbage and trash at the dam area in Dell Rapids has led to an annual event.  The “2nd Annual River Cleanup Day” is planned for Sunday, October 7th starting at 11:00 a.m.

Kiley Stone organized the annual event last year and is asking the community to join in the cleanup day to keep the local parks of Dell Rapids clean.  Stone invites everyone to the event and says that folks can start a team, bring the kids, or grab a neighbor to help at the event.

The group will be cleaning up trash, glass, and other debris along the dam and along the river.  Trash bags will be provided, but volunteers are encouraged to bring gloves to protect hands.  It is also suggested to wear jeans, good shoes, a bright shirt, and a hat.

For more information, Stone can be contacted at 605-254-6913 or  More information about the event can be found on the Facebook event page at

2nd Annual River Cleanup Days
Share and Like this story:

Highway 115 South of Dell Rapids Now Open

Hwy115_Sept2018A portion of the final phase of the Highway 115 project has completed.  The north bridge from 3rd St southward out of Dell Rapids was opened by the South Dakota Department of Transportation in the late afternoon hours of Wednesday, September 5th.  The north bridge has been closed to traffic since December 4th, 2017 to start the final phase of this major highway construction project.

“It will eliminate the detour, which is be a big relief to the community.  It’s been a slog,” said City Administrator Justin Weiland during the Dell Rapids City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 4th.

Construction still continues on Highway 115 from the four-way stop by T&Cs and Dells Auto westward out toward the interstate as projects all across the state are falling behind schedule.

“T&R is doing the Tea-Ellis road, and they’re talking about not even tearing up sections that are supposed to get done this year, and calling it quits and finishing where they’re at right now because they’re not going to get to it.  Hopefully they shift some of that man power over here.  Everybody’s way, way behind all across the state right now.  We might be stuck with this late into the winter season,” Weiland mentioned during the council meeting. Hwy115_Sept2018_2

The first phase of the project, the replacement of the south bridge on Highway 115 and highway replacement to 248th St., began in April of 2016.  That section was completed in a little over a year with the bridge and new road opening May of 2017.

The second phase of the $18.8 million Highway 115 project was the replacement of the Interstate 29 interchange at exit 98.  That portion of the project was re-opened to traffic on November 29th, 2017.

Share and Like this story:

Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office Gives County Report to Dell Rapids Council

MCSOLogoMinnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead along with Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Mike Walker gave a report of what the office is seeing throughout the county.  The presentation was given during the Dell Rapids City Council’s regular meeting on Monday, May 21st.

Sheriff Milstead noted that the drug cases in Dell Rapids stayed nearly the same from 2016 to 2017.  Dell Rapids had 29 cases in 2016 and 30 in 2017.  However, Sheriff Milstead said the meth arrests and overdose deaths in the county have doubled.  There were 11 overdose deaths in Minnehaha County in 2016 and 21 in 2017.

“We didn’t use to see meth overdoses, but here’s what’s happening.  Our percentage of purity and strength of our meth coming into our community is nearly 100%,” said Milstead.  He also noted that the meth epidemic is something the sheriff’s office struggles to handle.  Milstead said that over half of the violent crimes and burglaries in the county are related to meth use.

Meth isn’t the only the drug being seen in the county.  Milstead noted that seven of the overdose deaths in 2017 was related to heroin.

“I don’t think I’ve ever said the word heroin in Dell Rapids.  I never thought that I would, but heroin is in our communities now,” Milstead added.

Despite the shocking statistics given by Sheriff Milstead, he praised the council and the community of Dell Rapids.

“I have great respect for what you do and the challenges you face.  It’s really nice, actually, to come up and listen to a setback issue being a major thing that you’re handling, and you’re not dealing with a crisis that we’re seeing in other communities.  I think there’s a reason why people live in Dell Rapids. They want to keep it like Dell Rapids and will fight to keep it that way,” Milstead commented.

Officer Walker provided a few comments as well.  He noted that while he doesn’t know everything that goes on in the school, he does hear a lot.  Walker said he that he does hear a lot of the trends and said that it goes up and down every year.

“This year has been a really, really good year at Dell Rapids I think.  I’m not here to tell you that no kids are using marijuana or drinking and stuff, but I just did not hear the trend that I have in the last three or four years,” Walker said.

Walker also noted that while he didn’t hear some of the same trends in the school when it came to marijuana or drinking, he did mention that vaping is now becoming more of an issue.

Sheriff Milstead and Officer Walker also touched on other drug related items, apps and technology that the office is using or hopes to use, and social media.

The entire nearly hour-long report can be viewed in the video.

Share and Like this story:

2018-2019 School Calendars Planned

Both Dell Rapids and Dell Rapids St Mary schools have their 2018-2019 scheduled planned.  The Dell Rapids School board approved the calendar during their regular meeting on Monday, February 12th.

“This 18-19 calendar is very similar to what we’ve been doing.  The start date…we’re kind of creeping back up there to earlier in that third week (of August), which if I didn’t do that, we were right up against Memorial Day which people have also said they don’t want.  They don’t want to start early in August, but they want to be done by Memorial Day.  So in order to do those two things, this is kind of where it had to be,” said Dell Rapids Superintendent Dr. Summer Schultz during the board meeting.

The 2018-2019 school year will begin on Thursday, August 23rd for both schools.  The scheduled last day of school would be Tuesday, May 21st, 2019 for both schools.  The Christmas break will run from Monday, December 24th until Wednesday, January 2nd with students returning to class on Thursday, January 3rd, 2019.  The Dell Rapids St Mary graduation is scheduled for Friday, May 17th, 2019 while the Dell Rapids graduation is scheduled for Saturday, May 18th, 2019.

​The Dell Rapids St Mary 2018-2019 calendar is almost completely set.  Dell Rapids St Mary 7th-12th principal Casey Michel said, “We’re pretty set on it. Only thing really up in the air is Carnival date, but I have both dates on there that it could be.”

 Dell Rapids St Mary Calendar  Dell Rapids Calendar
StMary18-19Calendar DellRapids18-19Calendar


Share and Like this story:

Six Students Earn Outstanding Performer Awards

OneActPlaySix students from the Dell Rapids community earned Outstanding Performer Awards for their performances at their respective regional one-act play festivals.

The Dell Rapids St Mary team performed at the Region 3B One-Act play festival on Tuesday, January 23rd.  St Mary placed third in the regional performance at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse in Madison.  Courtney Geraets and Thomas Eining earned the Outstanding Performer Awards.

The Dell Rapids cast and crew performed at the Region 3A One-Act play festival on Wednesday, January 24th.  Their festival was also held at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse in Madison.  Outstanding Performance Awards were earned by Tayte Gleason, Jay Holm, Isabella Tesnow, and Carter Wynja.

The South Dakota State One-Act Play Festival will be held February 1st through 3rd at the Brandon Valley HS Performing Arts Center in Brandon.

Share and Like this story:

Three Young Dell Rapids Students Selected for Elementary Honor Choir

music-2618342_1280Three young students from Dell Rapids were selected to participate in the 2018 Elementary Festival Honor Choir. Fourth grade students Madyn Lacey and Finn Murphy, along with sixth grade student Olivia Gill were selected to participate in the event.

The choir consists of about 180 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students from around the state who are selected by recorded audition.  Over 800 auditions are received for the event.  The choir performs each year during the annual SDSU Choral Day event.  The Elementary Festival Honor Choir will perform on Thursday, February 8th, 2018 in Brookings.

“They get to travel with me to Brookings and perform in front of a variety of college professions, high school teachers, and elementary teachers in February,” said Dell Rapids Elementary music teacher Kim Gaul during the afternoon performance of the Christmas concert on Thursday, December 14th.  Gaul recognized Lacey and Murphy at the end of the performance.  Lacey, Murphy, and Gill were also recognized for their accomplishment during the Dell Rapids School Board meeting on Monday, December 11th.

Dr. Sean Burton will be the conductor for the Elementary Festival Honor Choir.  Dr. Burton currently serves as Director of Choral Activities and is the Chairperson of the Department of Music at Briar Cliff University.

Share and Like this story:

Second Phase of Hwy 115 Project Complete – I29 Bridge Opens at Dell Rapids

DellRapidsI29BridgeThe second phase of the $18.8 million Hwy 115 project in and around Dell Rapids has completed.  On Wednesday, November 29th, the Interstate 29 interchange at Exit 98 to Dell Rapids reopened to traffic.

Coinciding with the opening of the interstate interchange, the north bridge on Hwy 115 heading south of Dell Rapids will be closed starting Monday, December 4th, resulting in a detour through Dell Rapids.  The detour will be the same detour used Hwy115DetourRoutewhen the south bridge on Hwy 115 was being replaced.  When driving north into Dell Rapids, motorists will be routed off of Hwy 115 to Centennial Dr., to Garfield Ave., and then to 4th St. back west to Hwy 115.  Trucks will be directed off of 4th St. at Orleans Ave. and will need to use 3rd St. to get back to Hwy 115.

“The DOT has reassured me that if they are shutting this bridge down, that the contractor is planning on working as expediently as they can through the winter.  They’re not going to show up, tear the bridge down, and take off site for six weeks, a month or even two weeks.  They plan on working through the winter.  They want to get as much work done when the water level is where it is now so that they can Hwy115NorthBridgebe ready to go in the spring.  It’s also their hope it pushes up their re-opening schedule on the bridge as well,” said City Administrator Justin Weiland during the regular meeting of the Dell Rapids City Council on Monday, November 20th.

The final phase of the project is the replacement of the north bridge on Hwy 115 and road replacement north to the four-way stop.  The highway from the four-way stop west to the new interstate interchange will also be replaced.  According to the South Dakota Department of Transportation, the overall completion date for the project is June 21, 2019.

The first phase of the project, the replacement of the south bridge on Hwy 115 and highway replacement to 248th St., began in April of 2016.  That section was completed in a little over a year with the bridge and new road opening May of this year.

Share and Like this story:

Garbage Frustration Leads to River Clean-up Day

DellRapidsCleanUpDay1Frustrations over garbage and trash at the dam area have lead a Dell Rapids resident to schedule the first River Clean-up Day.  Kiley Stone, owner of Stone Photography, couldn’t stop thinking about how sad it was that an area so beautiful is being damaged with garbage and litter.

“Growing up I never really knew the area by the dam existed. When I started getting into photography, I started exploring all the areas of town I was unfamiliar with.  The area by the dam is my favorite.  It is  a beautiful area and there is a lot of ground to walk around and explore.  I have continued, year after year, to watch this area get trashed and damaged.  When I take customers there, I am always having to tell them to watch out for all the glass or we cannot use this spot because it’s littered with trash,” Stone said. DellRapidsCleanUpDay2

Rather than complaining about the situation, Stone has organized a “River Clean-up Day” for Saturday, October 14th, starting at 8:00 a.m.  A Facebook event posted by Stone as already gotten great response from many in the community that want to help.  The event has also received support from the City of Dell Rapids.

“The City of Dell Rapids said they would provide the trash bags and bring a couple of dumpsters down to throw all the bags into,” Stone said.  “Since this is the first time, I am not sure how much ground we will cover, but I hope to cleanup all along the river from Highway 115 west to the trestle. If it works out great and I get a good response, I hope to keep this as an annual event and circle around to different areas of town each year.”

More information about the event can be found on the Facebook event page at  Stone can also be contacted at 605-254-6913 or at

Share and Like this story: