2021: Record-Breaking Year for Spearfish Building Permits

It isn’t an exaggeration to describe 2021 as a record-breaking year for Spearfish in terms of total building project valuation, which came in over $98 million.

“This is the highest valuation total in Building Services history,” Tom Paisley, Spearfish building official, said, describing the previous record, set in 2020, was $54,968,747. “This is almost double the 2020 tally of 109 new residential units,” Building Official Paisley said.

Several new commercial building permits were issued in 2021, included the new Cobblestone building on Main Street, commercial storage units on Colorado Boulevard and Highway 85, the new Carquest Building on Main Street, a new asphalt plant on 1st Avenue, and the Pioneer Bank and Trust building on Jackson Boulevard. New commercial units in existing buildings included Cowgirl Pizza, an indoor climate-controlled storage building on 12th Street and Industrial Drive, Ruby’s Roost Bakery, Ink Imprints, Black Hills Blade and Axe, Black Hills Moto, Millennia Motors, Work Rigs Unlimited, and Eye Love Spearfish. Commercial alterations were also a large part of the permits this year, with 48 commercial alteration permits issued.

Building Official Paisley said 2022 is already looking to be another busy year for the Building Services department, with several new developments underway with more buildable lots, specifically the extended development for the Countryside Subdivision, the Reserve on Higgins Creek, Elkhorn Ridge Golf Estates, Miller Ranch, and Sky Ridge subdivision. In 2021, 650 contractor licenses were issued.

SEDC Hosts U.S. Congressman Dusty Johnson

Spearfish Economic Development Corporation hosted Congressman Dusty Johnson at Black Hills State University on Tuesday, December 21 for a discussion with business representatives and city officials to focus on the work being done in Spearfish to address the workforce issues facing the country as a whole.  

Johnson heard presentations from Pam Carriveau, interim provost and president of academic affairs at BHSU; and Kirk Easton, superintendent of Spearfish School District, about the steps being taken to meet the workforce needs in education. Through student success programs at BHSU, such as the joint internship program with Spearfish Economic Development Corporation; as well as the career and technical education center planned by the school district, educators in the Black Hills shared with Johnson that there is a real focus on helping students find a workforce direction.  

Spearfish mayor Dana Boke also updated Johnson, and everybody in the room, about the work being done at Sky Ridge to keep affordable housing options in Spearfish for that workforce. “Right now our median house (price) is over $400,000, and what we are looking at is the first (price) level house (at Sky Ridge) is just under $200,000. The second is just under $250,000, and the third level of house at this development maxes out at the first-time home buyers (price cap) which is around $300,000.”  

Johnson said he was impressed by the measures being taken by Spearfish to address the gaps in workforce housing and training.   “I grew up in poverty; there were seven of us in my family and, but for work, education, and training, I could not have gotten out of that situation,” he said. “Some people win the lottery but realistically there is no – underline, ‘NO’ – way out of poverty without some form of work, training, and education.”  

Johnson praised the leadership of Spearfish for taking the steps it has to address the ongoing and countrywide workforce problem.   “I want to thank you for what you’re doing because, frankly, I think a lot of what we’re doing is working in tandem as we encourage people who can work to work. They’re gonna need houses, they’re gonna need education, they’re gonna need opportunities, so thank you for doing what you’re doing,” he said.

Construction Begins on First Home in Sky Ridge Workforce Housing Development

Construction for the first home at Sky Ridge, a workforce housing development and adjacent sports complex near Exit 17, began during a groundbreaking ceremony celebrating this milestone to create affordable housing for Spearfish.

“The need for more affordable housing has long been a topic of concern for communities across the nation, and I am proud that Spearfish has worked to make this priority a reality,” Mayor Dana Boke said. “To see construction begin on what will become a home for a local family is exciting, and I am thankful to everyone who has worked hard to bring this project to fruition.”

Sky Ridge, located south of Colorado Boulevard and west of U.S. Highway 85 in the Exit 17 area, includes 150 lots for workforce housing, developed in phases over five years. The current contract requires 40 percent, or 60 homes, to be sold at or below $197,000; 40 percent to be sold at or below $247,000; and the remaining 20 percent (30 homes) sold up to the maximum price point established the South Dakota Housing Development Authority’s First-Time Homebuyer Program, which is currently $300,000. The square-footage of the home designs varies from 800-1,700 square feet, and Dream Design International, Inc., is responsible for constructing the homes. 

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New Contract Manufacturer to Expand into Spearfish

Alex Portal | Black Hills Pioneer | October 11, 2021

Through the efforts of the Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), Pacific Stainless Product, a contract manufacturer from St. Helens, Ore., will be expanding its business into Spearfish, and bringing more skilled labor jobs with it.

“Pacific Stainless Products is exactly the type of mid-sized, light industrial company we have been working to attract to the Spearfish Business Park,” said SEDC Executive Director Kory Menken. “In addition to creating quality jobs and expanding our local tax base, their manufacturing process is environmentally mindful as they produce very little waste, consume very little water, and use no VOCs (volatile organic compounds). The company has also established a stellar reputation for their corporate citizenship.”


BHSU, SEDC Create Paid Internship Program

Alex Portal | Black Hills Pioneer | October 9, 2021

In an effort to bolster the local workforce and keep students graduating from Black Hills State University in the area, the Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) has partnered with the university to create the new Workforce Development Internship Program.

“SEDC’s primary role will be to identify Spearfish businesses that could benefit from this new partnership and to serve as a conduit to BHSU,” explained SEDC Executive Director Kory Menken.

“In standing up a Career Center, we plan to work much closer with area businesses to develop internship programs, career fairs and job placements. Starting with SEDC on this exciting partnership was a perfect way to launch this new initiative,” added BHSU President Dr. Laurie S. Nichols.

As BHSU brings the students to the table, SEDC will supply the business opportunities. The program will provide part-time, paid work experience to BHSU students in positions related to their course of study as well as provide local businesses with affordable help and a potential funnel of future employees.

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Menken Speaks at Regional Critical Issues Luncheon

SEDC Executive Director Kory Menken participated on a panel of five regional economic development leaders at last week’s Regional Economic Development 2021 Critical Issues Luncheon hosted by Elevate Rapid City. Menken and fellow panelists discussed the importance of regional economic development by addressing the critical issues we face today and into the future and shared with guests how increased partnerships are furthering the economic prosperity Spearfish andof the Black Hills region.

Spearfish School District Presents CTE Center Plans

Superintendent Kirk Easton and the Spearfish School District hosted a public forum on Wednesday, September 29 at Creekside Elementary to discuss the planned Career and Technical Education Center that will begin being constructed this upcoming Spring next to the Spearfish High School.

The new sixteen-million-dollar CTE center will have the potential to house more than thirty classes in sixteen different career clusters, including family and consumer sciences; medical sciences classrooms and labs; a STEM lab; an information technology classroom; a building trades shop where students can learn about construction, plumbing, electrical and HVAC; and classroom and shop space for woodworking, automotive, and welding. Additionally, the building will feature a presentation area that will hold at least one-hundred-fifty to two-hundred people, that can be used for everything from sports banquets to special lectures from experts in various fields.

The Spearfish School District CTE center will be an asset to students, local businesses, and the entire Spearfish community. Because of the significant positive impact the center will have on workforce development here in Spearfish, SEDC serves on the CTE Advisory Committee for the project.

SEDC Participates in New Economic Development Course

SEDC Marketing and Administration Coordinator Cayley Schmitt
receives certificate from BHSU President Dr. Laurie S. Nichols

SEDC recently participated in the inaugural “Fuel the Growth” Economic Development Training Certification Workshop hosted by Black Hills State University (BHSU), Rushmore Region Economic Development Alliance and the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) at the BHSU-Rapid City Campus.

SEDC Marketing and Administration Coordinator Cayley Schmitt completed the three-day course and SEDC Executive Director Kory Menken taught the class on workforce development. The course was attended by dozens of economic development professionals from across South Dakota and surrounding states and included education on various topics such as economic development finance, business retention and expansionentrepreneurshipcommunity and real estate development, strategic planning, organizational management and ethics.

Fuel the Growth is one of several new strategic training programs being established by Black Hills State University to address workforce development needs for economic growth and prosperity in the Black Hills region.

Spearfish Hosts Statewide Craft Beer Festival

605 Magazine’s annual 605 Black Hills Classic Beer and Music Festival returned to Spearfish’s Lions Park on Saturday, September 11. The event featured beer tastings from over 20 South Dakota breweries including Spearfish’s Crow Peak, Sawyer and Spearfish brewing companies. The festivities also included live music, food trucks and lawn games. Visitors came to Spearfish from across South Dakota and surrounding states for the annual event. SEDC is a proud sponsor of the 605 Black Hills Classic Beer and Music Festival in partnership with various other Spearfish organizations and businesses.

SEDC Promotes Spearfish at Outdoor Retailer Tradeshow

Outdoor Recreation is an economic powerhouse in the U.S. with a $787 billion impact from businesses supporting 5.2 million jobs.

SEDC was at the epicenter of the outdoor recreation industry yet again this past month at the Outdoor Retailer Tradeshow in Denver, Colorado. The Outdoor Retailer Tradeshow is North America’s largest tradeshow in the outdoor industry, drawing thousands of attendees from across the globe each year. This year’s show included more than 140 new exhibitors. SEDC worked to promote the many benefits of living, working and playing in Spearfish with aims to attract not only outdoor recreation businesses to the Spearfish area, but workers with interest in our outdoor recreation lifestyle as well.