January 2021 Fort Pierre Mayor's Report
Looking back at my desk calendar, January appears to be a very typical month, with lunch meetings, the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast, ribbon cuttings, annual meetings, and a variety of legislative events (all in person!). Moving into February, there were open houses, and countless meetings and receptions, all in person.
Then March hit.
We closed our City offices to the public in mid-month. Employees worked remotely where possible, Council meetings were held by Zoom, and major projects postponed. We began having regular Zoom meetings to share information with other communities and agencies. And so it went.
But, events were still taking place. The High School Rodeo Finals in June, 4th of July events (parade, rodeo, fireworks), Streetmasters Car Show and Trader Days in August, Fort Pierre Summer Nights (a scaled down version of our weekly farmers market), 4-H Finals rodeo, and horse races returned to Fort Pierre in October. Archeologists worked in Cedar Hill Cemetery, along with a drone operator taking aerial photos and videos, to help us improve our records of that historic place.
Organizations continued their work. Fort Pierre Tourism (BID Board) met the challenge of promoting Fort Pierre during a pandemic. Fort Pierre Development found innovative ways to meet and continue the growth and development of our community. Council and staff of the City of Fort Pierre rallied around one another to make sure essential tasks were covered even when individuals were personally affected.
Work continued on the planning and funding of a major improvement project on our sanitary sewer system. A fun diversion was the lighting of the Bad River pedestrian bridge. Despite COVID-related delays, we were able to flip the switch, to the enjoyment of a larger-than-usual crowd, and kick off the Christmas season.
And now, looking forward to 2021, we are grateful for living in a community that demonstrates care for one another every day. We are grateful that COVID vaccines are now available; we are eagerly awaiting normalcy. My new year’s prediction is that we will emerge on the other side of this frightening and frustrating experience with an appreciation for the simple things in life. My own list includes handshakes and hugs, seeing friends and family in person, a packed church, kids in classrooms, and tossing my collection of facemasks!
Wishing you all the very best in the New Year.