Annual Meeting Pays Homage To Community & Businesses
BELLE FOURCHE –– Community development, building relationships, promotion, and supporting partnerships throughout the business community – new and established – are a just a handful of the driving forces which fuel Belle Fourche Development Corporation’s (BFDC) efforts to empower the community’s success.
Those victories and more were celebrated Jan. 11 at BFDC’s annual meeting, which was co-sponsored by Black Hills Energy. The celebration, held at Grap’s Burgers and Brews, also included the election of three members to the board of directors and recognition of local businesses and individuals who made special investments in the community throughout 2023.
“We had another great year in Belle Fourche,” Hollie Stalder, BFDC executive director, told the Beacon Friday. “Our annual meeting is such a fun way to talk to our members about all the success stories and everything going on in our community.”
During the meeting, BFDC recognized companies who have located their business or reinvested in an existing operation in Belle Fourche. Throughout the last nine years, the organization has acknowledged more than 95 businesses in this fashion.
BFDC applauded four new businesses that made Belle Fourche their homes in 2023 – Hot Shots, LLC; Tri State Medical Center; In the Black Bookkeeping & Payroll Services, LLC; and Crazee Cow Ice Cream.
- On the corner of Fifth Avenue and Grant Street, Hot Shots, LLC is owned by Greg and Karen Mondillo. Located at 603 Fifth Ave., the shop specializes in homemade ice cream and fudge, but also tempts those with appetites for coffee, lattes, boba tea, breakfast items, sandwiches, hot dogs, chili dogs, homemade peanut butter, gourmet popcorn, and freeze-dried foods.
- Last November, Tri State Medical Center, PLLC opened its clinical doors at 2398 Fifth Ave., Suite 101. Headed by Vanessa Kudlock, a certified nurse practitioner who specializes in family practice, the facility offers patients a “homey” atmosphere. With the goal of providing quality care with a touch of hometown feel, the full-service clinic provides an array of medical treatment services including dermatology, pediatric, men and women’s health, sports medicine, and more.
- In the Black Bookkeeping & Payroll Services, LLC is located at 1113 Fifth Ave. opened its doors in January 2023. Megan Erk and Cassie Richardson own the bookkeeping company which caters to small business owners and provides an array of services ranging from payroll to sales and excise tax assistance.
- Prairie Hills Pharmacy, owned by Pharmacist Cheryl Westland, substantially expanded its operation in 2023. The business opened in Belle Fourche in September 2019. In February 2023, Westland relocated to the former Wells Fargo building at 600 State St. With a freshly-remodeled space, capturing a vintage pharmacy styling, the flourishing operation welcomed Cindy Cowan’s Crazee Cow Ice Cream just three months later. A sizable gift shopping selection partitions the synergetic pairing, fulfilling the old-fashioned drug store and ice cream shop style charm that was popular in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.
Paying Homage in Recognition of 78 Years in Business
Lindstad Alignment & Brake Service was established in 1945. Flash forward nearly eight decades and the family-owned business had long been a household name. In fact, until its December 2023 closure, the company held the title of Belle Fourche’s oldest family-owned business still in operation.
During the annual celebration, BFDC offered special recognition to the company’s 92-year-old patriarch, Wayne Lindstad. The Belle Fourche business was launched by Lindstad’s father, Emil Lindstad.
After graduating from Belle Fourche High School in 1950, Lindstad served three years in the U.S. Coast Guard where he met his wife, Mae (Maisenhelder) Lindstad. After serving his term, Lindstad returned home to join the family business and help raise his four children – Sue (Cramer), Sherry (Lindstad Drolc), Wendy (Carr), and Dean.
In addition to his father, Lindstad’s mother worked as the company’s bookkeeper. His daughters, Sherry and Wendy, were trained to perform the company’s bookkeeping by their grandmother when they attended high school and continued to do so until the company’s closure.
Wayne’s son, Dean, also spent about 10 years working in the family business.
Other than the business and his family, Lindstad’s lifelong passions included fishing and music.
As one of the region’s best-known jazz and dance band musicians, he was inducted into the South Dakota Musicians Association Hall of Fame in 2014. Since the 1940s, Lindstad and his band, the Rhythmaires, took their music to countless community dances from Buffalo to Broadus, Mont., and beyond.
After a long and distinguished career in Belle Fourche, Lindstad has retired to enjoy his family and passions.
Each year BFDC holds an election for open seats on its board of directors during its annual meeting. The board is comprised of eight elected seats with staggered three-year terms and four appointed members – one each from the county, city, chamber of commerce, and school district.
The organization offered appreciation to this year’s outgoing board members, acknowledging the dedication of time and expertise endowed upon the development of Belle Fourche.
The outgoing members were Ashley Pearson, of Pioneer Bank & Trust, Travis Martin, of Black Hills Title, and Belle Fourche City Councilman Bob Somervold, who served as the liaison representing the city.
“We’re thankful for the service of our retiring board members,” Stalder said.
Five community members threw their hats in the ring for the three open positions on the board – Wendy Bowers, Pioneer Bank & Trust; Travis Featherstone, DRG engineering; Jesika Floyd, Heartland Home Health; Falina Selchert, real estate advisor with Real Broker; and Meg McNeese, Rose Group International. Bowers, a board incumbent, Featherstone, and Floyd were elected to fill the positions.
During the board’s first meeting of 2024, held Jan. 17, the board welcomed the new and returning members and elected officers for the year ahead. Bowers was elected to remain the board’s president, Karen Wagner was elected vice president, Levi Buck was selected to serve as the group’s secretary, and Renae Schaeffer was reelected as treasurer.
BFDC also gave special thanks to two community partnerships – the City of Belle Fourche for its continued investment in the appearance, infrastructure, and amenities that help expand business opportunities for the community, and NeighborWorks Dakota Home Resources for its continued emphasis on housing with significant investment in homes and programs, including its Paint the Town initiative, new homes, rehabilitation projects, first time homebuyer education courses, and special financing opportunities.
Centered on Progress
One of the Belle Fourche community’s most unique features is its designation as the geographic Center of the Nation. Congruent with that title, this year’s promotional video montage shared at the meeting was entitled “Centered on Progress.”
The video highlighted 2023’s successes and shared glimpses of encouraging progression moving into 2024.
The Belle Fourche Industrial & Rail Park has continued to serve towards success for the community, providing economic growth and development.
A $2.4 million rail siding and transloading facility expansion was completed at the rail park in 2022. In fact, the expansion made Belle Fourche home to the largest such facility on the Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad in Western South Dakota.
The park continues to attract prospective businesses looking to locate, in addition to increased inquiries from companies looking for rail shipment opportunities to deliver their products.
New plans are in the works to again expand the resource. The $1.2 million project would involve the construction of 1,500 feet of additional track to accommodate access to both sides of the rail cars.
Workforce housing development is another key area of focus for 2024. To kick off the year with a bang, the promotional video announced Vanocker Development’s expected acquisition of 40 acres of land between Cowboy and Sourdough Lanes. The development firm is in the process of drawing up plans for a new housing development on the western edge of Belle Fourche.
Branded the “Bunkhouse Development,” the expansive project is estimated to bring approximately 110-120 new lots with the intention to help ease some of the community’s housing shortage issues.
“We’re very excited about the housing development and new businesses that we’ve been working with for 2024,” Stalder said.
To view the “Centered on Progress” presented by BFDC, visit its website at https://www.bfdcsd.com or