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Sturgis Council discusss downtown statue policy

STURGIS, S.D. – The city of Sturgis is adopting a new statue policy after some concern arose about another motorcycle related statue was announced for the downtown corridor.

The council on Monday night approved the new statue, which will feature a life sized likeness of famed motorcycle builder Jesse Rooke.

Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie says while they welcome such incredible artwork to downtown Sturgis, they want to make sure there is an equal mix between motorcycle related and city heritage or history.

“We adopted the policy that says on downtown right of way we would have at least half of our artwork pieces be related to Sturgis or the heritage of the community and not necessarily motorcycles; and not more than half would actually be motorcycle related. We also passed an amendment to make sure that the number of motorcycle statues were not more than two more at any one time.”

The Downtown Foundation will collect donations towards this project and its continued maintenance and after sufficient funds are collected, the Foundation will commission the artist and transfer maintenance funds to the city.

The Jesse Rooke statue will be located at the corner of 4th and Main near One Eyed Jack’s.

In other council news, the city is working with the Iron Horse Saloon on a plan to widen Dudley Street – located behind the establishment. Ainslie says the street right now is only one-way, due to on street parking. Ainslie says they are working on solutions to that – including possibly closing the alleyway between Junction and Middle north of Lazelle during the rally.

The proposal that was talked about last night was actually going to be permanently vacating the alley, widening Dudley so that it would be two-way, and then, in addition to that, Iron Horse was going to provide a contribution to Sturgis recreation and allow the public to use their new outdoor swimming pool that was built in July at their campground east of town. I think most people seem to be in favor of closing the alley just during the rally period and not allowing parking on Dudley and making it two-way.”

Ainslie says that was the original proposal that was brought several years ago, and he wants to work towards that. One main concern is where residents of Dudley would park if it became a two-way street.

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