SPEARFISH, S.D. — The new city administrator in Spearfish says the biggest surprise since taking office in September has been dealing with the explosive growth in the community.

Michael Harmon is charged with overseeing 105 full-time employees and a $25 million annual budget, the Rapid City Journal reported. The 35-year-old said he recognizes that the city is in a transition.

“The only surprise is a good surprise and that’s accommodating the expansive growth pattern we’ve seen in Spearfish,” Harmon said. “This fiscal year, we’ve had $42 million of added valuation to the community. Of that, $18 million is attributable to new housing, which is remarkable and unique to a city our size.”

The city has assumed control of the Black Hills Airport/Clyde Ice Field and transformed its volunteer fire department into a city department with paid leadership. But he says other hurdles are awaiting city leaders, including providing and maintaining infrastructure such as water and sewer.

“Right now, working through an agreement with the fire district and continuing to provide fire services to the district,” Harmon said. “Right now, it looks like we’re close to achieving a mutually beneficial agreement for the district and the city.”

Harmon, who has a salary of $117,000, previously served as city administrator in Fairfield, Iowa, a town of 10,000 in the southeast corner of the state.


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

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