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.

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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.

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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

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Dell Rapids Fire Department 2016 Calls

The Dell Rapids Fire Department responded to a total of 277 calls throughout the year in 2016.  Of those 277 calls, 151 of those were for medical need.  32 of the calls were for car accidents, and 25 of the calls were alarm activation.  June and April were the months with the most calls.  June had 35 calls and April had 32 calls.

The fire department had seven members make it to over 100 calls throughout the year.  Alec Hansen, Clarence Fjellenger, Shane Deraneau, Travis Roth, Wayne Mergen, Bob Mier, and Kelly Peterson.

As a small token of “thank you”, the Dell Rapids Connection group served a meal to the first responders on January 9th.

As of the beginning of this year, the Dell Rapids Fire Department has 21 members and four on a one year probational membership period.

2016 Calls by Month:

  • January – 27 calls
  • February – 15 calls
  • March – 21 calls
  • April – 32 calls
  • May – 27 calls
  • June – 35 calls
  • July – 27 calls
  • August – 20 calls
  • September – 12 calls
  • October – 27 calls
  • November – 19 calls
  • December – 15 calls

2016 Calls by Type:

  • Medical – 151 calls
  • Car Accident – 32 calls
  • Alarm Activation – 25 calls
  • Grass, Open Burns – 16 calls
  • Wrong Dispatches – 12 calls
  • Electrical Hazards – 11 calls
  • Mutual Aids – 9 calls
  • Vehicle Fires – 7 calls
  • Structural Fires – 4 calls
  • Gas Spills or Leaks – 4 calls
  • Appliance Fires – 2 calls
  • Water Leaks – 2 calls
  • Helicopter Landing – 1 call
  • Reckless Driver- 1 call




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Growth in Dell Rapids Strong in 2016

2016buildingpermitsThe city of Dell Rapids eclipsed the $11 million mark in improvements again through building permits in 2016.  The city had $11,816,021.31 worth of improvements in 2015, which was a record year.  This year, Dell Rapids had a total of $11,023,410.08 worth of improvements.  The city received a total of 261 building permit requests during the year that included 12 new buildings and 11 new homes.

The numbers were presented to the Dell Rapids City Council during their regular meeting on Tuesday, January 3rd.  City Administrator Justin Weiland commented, “It was a positive year in building permits.  Totals were really strong again and in line with the previous year.”

Dell Rapids has seen steady growth in construction over the last few years.  In 2014 the city had $6.5 million worth of improvements with the big project being the new Ace Hardware building.  In 2013 the city had $9.4 million in improvements on projects such as the new County Fair store, Casey’s, and Family Dollar.

Not only were building permits strong, the city also exceeded the $1 million mark in sales tax revenue through the month of November in 2016.  Currently the sales tax revenue total is $1,060,266.89.  This total is about a 6.13% increase over the total during the same time last year.  Weiland mentioned to the council that the final numbers for sales tax revenue for the month of December should be available in the next couple of weeks.


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Dell Rapids to Get New Mexican Restaurant

eltapatiocomingsoonDowntown Dell Rapids will be the home to a new Mexican family restaurant.  The owners of Azteca Family Mexican Restaurant in Sioux Falls and El Tapatio Family Mexican Restaurant in Yankton will be opening an El Tapatio Family Mexican Restaurant in the Grand Opera House in downtown Dell Rapids.

A sign announcing the news was hung in the window on Wednesday, September 7th.  A targeted opening date has not been released as of yet.

The owners of the restaurant chain are also opening up an El Tapatio in Brandon.

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Dell Rapids Student to Tour Taiwan

NorthwesternCollegeORANGE CITY, Iowa—Jordan Stone, a student at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, will tour with the college’s a-cappella choir during its spring break tour of Taiwan March 5–14.

The 44-member ensemble will perform at a variety of venues, including public concerts, private events, church worship services, middle schools, high schools, universities and hospitals. “We are partnering with the National Presbyterian Church of Taiwan, which has many existing outreaches and relationships already established in the area,” says Dr. Thomas Holm, professor of music and conductor of the choir. “We are offering our music as an extension of their work.”

The tour will begin and end in the capital city of Taipei. Students will also spend some time in the eastern area of Hualien.

The choir’s repertoire will include a variety of styles, texts and languages. Because the performance venues will vary significantly, Holm is tailoring the concert program to each setting and audience. “We will present sections of sacred music, of spirituals and gospel, and of virtuosic pieces,” says Holm. “We are intentionally showcasing a lot of favorite, high-quality American music, but we are also learning some Taiwanese pieces.” For one concert, the ensemble will rehearse and sing with a local children’s choir. First, they’ll perform a popular Taiwanese love song, followed by a gospel setting of “Amazing Grace.”

“We have been working on our cultural understanding of Taiwan’s history, politics, religion, educational traditions and various ethnic groups,” says Holm. “We are also working on spiritual preparation so we are ready and eager to serve, learn, accept and love. We’re hoping to see God work in and through us.”

Stone is a sophomore and humanities major at Northwestern College. She sings soprano in the choir. Stone is the daughter of Dane and Jody Stone of Dell Rapids.
Northwestern College is a Christian college of more than 1,200 students in Orange City, Iowa. Rated the nation’s seventh-best baccalaureate college by Washington Monthly and a top-10 Midwestern college by U.S. News & World Report magazine, Northwestern provides an education committed to academic rigor and a Christ-centered worldview.

by Amanda Kundert,, 712-707-7371

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Big Year for Dell Rapids in 2015

DellRapidsTowerThe city of Dell Rapids received a total of 485 building permit requests in 2015 resulting in $11,816,021.31 worth of improvements throughout the city.  Nineteen of the requests were for new homes or buildings including the new Dairy Queen building and Hometown Shopko.

In 2014 the city saw $6.5 million worth of improvements including 15 new structures, one of which was for the new Ace Hardware building.  Dell Rapids had $9.4 million of improvements in 2013 on projects such as the new County Fair store, Casey’s, and Family Dollar.

In addition to the $11 million in improvements during 2015, the city of Dell Rapids should exceed $1 million in sales tax revenue for the year.  The December numbers are not finalized yet, but the city had collected over $998,000 in sales tax through the month of November.  This was an 8.17% increase over the same 11-month period in 2014.

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Dell Rapids Sees More Economic Growth in 2015

2015DREconomicGrowth_2In 2014 citizens of Dell Rapids welcomed the opening of new businesses Caseys, Family Dollar, and Revive Fitness in town, along with the re-branding of T&Cs to Local, and the move of Roemen Automotive to their new building.  Dell Rapids has had even more growth in 2015.

The Dell Rapids Carnegie Library held their dedication ceremony for the newly expanded space on May 2nd.  Ace Hardware opened their new building on July 7th and held their Grand Opening celebration August 7th-9th.  Dakota Technology Consulting, Creative Lush, Mason Jar, and Blooms on Main had ribbon cuttings this year to celebrate their businesses moving into new buildings in downtown Dell Rapids.  GoldenWest’s expansion project next to their current location downtown has begun.  Matt Beukelman purchased the former Tryon Gym and re-opened as Rapid Fitness.  Construction has also begun on a new building next to the Rocky Run Car Wash that will be home to Great Life. 2015DREconomicGrowth_1

Also announced in 2015, Midwest Fresh Logistics will be building a distribution center in the Fiegen Development Park located on the southern edge of Dell Rapids.  Ground-breaking for the new center and development park will take place in the near future.  Dairy Queen closed its doors temporarily so they could build a brand new Dairy Queen building that will be placed in its current location.  Dirt work has already begun just north of the Ace Hardware for a brand new Shopko Hometown store which is targeting a July 2016 open date.

City Administrator Justin Weiland said that along with the economic growth in Dell Rapids, the city also issued nine new home building permits throughout the year.

Dell Rapids St Mary 7-12 Principal and Activities Director Casey Michel said, “The overall growth of the town is bringing new families into our school community.”  Dell Rapids St Mary school has had new families register in their elementary and pre-school grades, and they will also have a new family coming to school after Christmas.

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Bacteria Found in Water Not a Health Risk

DellRapidsTowerDell Rapids drinking water recently had two test sites that tested positive for coliform bacteria for the month of October.  City Administrator Justin Weiland discussed the finding with members of the Dell Rapids City Council during their regular meeting on Monday, October 19th.  A letter was also sent out to residents explaining the findings.

The letter stated that coliform bacteria are generally not harmful themselves and that this was not an emergency.  Coliform bacteria is used more as an indicator that other, potentially harmful, bacteria may be present in the water.  When Dell Rapids received reports of coliform bacteria numbers being higher than standard for two of the test sites, the city did follow-up testing to determine if other bacteria that was of a greater concern was present in the water.  The additional testing did not find any of those bacteria.

The letter also stated that city employees immediately flushed the water lines following the positive tests.  More testing was completed after the flushing was completed.  The results from those tests came back negative for coliform.  According to the letter, all indicators point to no bacteria in the water, but the city plans to continue testing and monitoring the area that had the failed tests to be certain the bacteria is fully removed.

The area that had the failed tests was in the area of the new water main replacement project.  The new lines were tested for bacteria before the lines were connected, but it is believed that loose debris entered the pipe during the connecting of the lines causing the failed tests.

Residents are encouraged to still contact City Hall for additional information at 428-3595.

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