Rural Office of Community Services (ROCS) has been a part of the North Sioux City community for many years, providing seniors with nutritious meals through the senior center. Now they’re looking to expand their services to include transportation to the public. ROCS Executive Director Peter Smith was present to discuss his proposal to the council Monday night, Oct. 19.

In order to expand these services, Smith asked whether the city could assist them in finding an office and parking space as an “in-kind” donation to cut back on their expenses. There is an open office within city hall (#131) and parking spaces under a light pole available. Smith assured the council that there wouldn’t be foot traffic to their office as it’s just a space for the driver to schedule transportation times.

“We’ve always provided transit services from Beresford down, but it’s a pretty good distance,” Smith explained. “So the DOT and I got together to provide more of a local service. From Elk Point, Jefferson, Dakota Dunes and here, we will now provide local services as transit.”

He said that they would be looking for a place to house a bus barn in the next couple years, around the Jefferson area. The buses are handicap accessible and are free for people over the age of 60, if rides stay local. Fees could apply if leaving the local area for doctor’s appointments and such. The buses would run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“We have other seniors from Elk Point that would like to come to the senior meals program or we can deliver the meals through our program,” Smith said.

The council agreed to the proposal as long as there is a written contract drawn with a year-by-year sunset clause.

“This is going to be great for the community,” Mayor Rodd Slater said.

City Park will now be known as Stevens Park as the council approved the name change. Council member Tena Carpenter requested the name change to commemorate part of the city’s history as it was named Stevens until North Sioux City was incorporated in December 1951. She is still looking for information on W. W. Stevens to include a small plaque at the park with the history of how the city was formed.

South Dakota created a COVID Relief Fund to reimburse local governments for expenses incurred due to the pandemic. North Sioux City was allocated $661,950. The city has submitted reimbursement claims for the period March 1-Aug. 14 totalling $286,823.06. A balance of $375,126.94 is still available. Carpenter asked for an itemized list so she could see what all is being submitted and whether anything could be added. City Administrator Eric Christensen said the vast majority being submitted has to do with payroll through the Police Department. Expenses can be submitted through Dec. 31.

See full story in this week’s Dakota Dunes / North Sioux City Times.