RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Rapid City Council is being pressured into making difficult financial decisions due to an agreement made with a land developer over a decade ago.

According to the Rapid City Journal (http://bit.ly/2dRpMSn), the deal made to aid developers could have left 22 Rapid City homeowners to pay $11,000 each to build a new road. To help the homeowners, city council voted last week that homeowners south of Field View Drive should not have to pay for a mistake a previous council made.

The mistake the council is referring to was allowing the land developer a variance and to sign a Waiver of the Right to Protest (WORP) in 2005. WORP allowed the developer to not have to build a road then, but could do so at a later time when the city needed it.

The issue with the WORP is that the developer has since divided the property into at least 22 parcels, and sold them to the present homeowners. Legally, these homeowners are required to pay for a portion of the project, but many members of the city council and mayor Allender said that would not be fair to the homeowners.

“I think we need to do is what is the least painful for the homeowners,” Alderman Ritchie Nordstrom said. “The current atmosphere working with tax-increment financing (TIF) seems more complicated.”

Ultimately, the council decided to no longer require payment from the homeowners or enact a TIF.

The decision was continued to the Nov. 1 Public Works Committee meeting where city staff will receive more details on financing options.

Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com