May 22, 2019

First Half of Property Taxes Due

Tuesday April 30th, 2019 is the last day to pay the first half of your property taxes without any penalties. You can pay your property taxes at the Fall River County Treasures office at 906 N River St in Hot Springs. Or call them at 605-745-5145

Employment Opportunity: 911 Dispatcher

The Fall River County Sheriff’s Office is accepting applications for a full time 911 Dispatcher. For complete job description and application please visit the employment page on our website. 

Employment Opportunity: Elections Administrative Assistant

The Fall River & Oglala Lakota County Auditor’s Office has an opening for a full time Election Administrative Assistant.  Please go to our employment page for details.

Statewide Tornado Drill

South Dakota will have its Statewide Tornado Drill on Wednesday, April 24th, 2019.  Sirens will blow!

A statewide tornado drill will be conducted for South Dakota by the National Weather Service between 9:00 and 9:30 am MDT (10:00 and 10:30 am CDT) on Wednesday, April 24.  Because the exercise is used to ensure communications and warning systems are functioning properly before storm season, people will see and hear the actual alerts used for tornadoes.

Outdoor warning sirens will be sounded in many towns.  The sirens may not be heard inside homes and office buildings, as they are intended to alert people who are outdoors away from radio or TV.

The drill will also include activation of the Emergency Alert System, which will interrupt local media broadcasts.  The scroll on broadcast television and cable TV channels will look like a real warning, while the NOAA Weather Radio and broadcast audio will be identified as a test.

Local emergency response agencies may practice their response procedures and many schools will conduct safety drills for their students.

Cell phone alerts and other electronic notification systems will not be involved in the test.

People do not need to take any action during the drill, but they are encouraged to make plans to protect themselves and their families before storms develop.  Don’t wait until the storm is headed toward you as there won’t be time.  Information about storm safety is available from county emergency management offices or visit the following web sites:

Rapid City National Weather Service:

American Red Cross:

Federal Emergency Management Agency:

Proposal for Census Block Group Change

The Fall River County GIS Department is proposing a change to the census block groups for the 2020 census.  Individuals or organizations that use the census block group demographic information are encouraged to read the proposal and provide feedback.  Comments, suggestions, and other feedback should be directed to Stacey Martin at 605-745-7584 or [email protected] by April 30th.


What is a Census block group?

A block group is the smallest census division for which the public can obtain demographic information (median age, income, etc).  This information is often used by groups applying for grants.


Problems and Solutions

Ideally block groups should contain populations that are similar in their demographics.  If for instance a block group contains both a low-income area and a subdivision of millionaires, the median income information is going to fall between the two groups but does not actually represent either population.

For grant writing it is also helpful for block groups to represent populations that receive services from the same community.   A block group that contains populations that receive services from Edgemont and Hot Springs is less useful for those writing a grant for one community or the other.

The attached maps show the issues with the existing block groups and a proposal to be submitted to the US Census Board for changes to those groups.


There are limitations on how we can divide the block groups.  There are minimum and maximum population thresholds that must be met.  The census also has specific features that can or cannot be used as dividing lines.  This is the reason that boundaries are often a squiggly line following a creek or road instead of a nice straight line following a school district boundary.



Anyone with feedback regarding these proposed changes should contact Stacey Martin at 605-745-7584 or [email protected] before April 30th.  Feedback, issues, or concerns will be considered for the final proposal to be presented to our local governing councils (county commissioners, city councils, etc) at their first meetings in May.



The US Census Bureau generally does not like changes to boundaries that are as extreme as what we are asking for in this proposal.  This proposal would have a greater chance of acceptance if accompanied by letters of support from our local governing councils and service organizations.

Download: census proposal