Ribbon cut at Bull Run house

Gray Hughes

The first family has been granted the occupancy certificate for the first home in the Bull Run Subdivision.

Kara Dunlop and her family are the first people to move into a house in the subdivision, which became official with a ribbon cutting on Dec. 29.

“Thank you for the opportunity allowing me to move here to Hill City. ...I have a daughter who is in the school here who started in the fall. So she’s excited,” Dunlop said.

Dunlop works for the U.S. Forest Service and learned about the houses in Bull Run through a colleague’s husband at work.

She moved to South Dakota 11 years ago from Michigan and had been living in the Northern Hills.

“We really like the area,” she said.

While having visited Hill City before, Dunlop said she’s looking forward to seeing what the city has to offer as a resident.

She said Hill City is a very nice little town, and she said she’s looking forward to actually being able to eat out at restaurants in Hill City and avail herself of the pleasures the city and the area have, such as the shops, that she cannot do just driving through.

As for her new home, she said she’s a big fan.

“I think it’s a very nice house and it’s very well constructed,” she said. “I really do like it.”

At the ribbon cutting, Bob Lowrey, president of the Hill City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) officially welcomed her to the community.

It’s “really, really neat” to have a home that’s ready for someone to move into here in Hill City.

Lowrey presented Dunlop with three housewarming presents.

“The first thing I have is a loaf of bread,” Lowrey said. “That bread represents your new home and may you never, ever go hungry in your home. And then we have salt so that life may always have flavor. For the fun stuff, we have wine so that joy and prosperity may reign forever in your home. Welcome to Hill City and welcome to this beautiful home.”

Brett McMacken, city administrator for Hill City, said the Bull Run Subdivision is a wonderful project, and his thanks go out to the developer Jim Scull, Siteworks Specialists who installed the infrastructure and everyone in the city, such as Dani Schade, the development service coordinator.

“You did an amazing job pulling together all the nuts and bolts of it,” McMacken said. “So thank you, (Schade), and the planning and zoning commission and the city council. A lot of hands went into actually building this home — not just the guys who hammered the nails and put on the shingles and whatnot.”

With that, McMacken handed Dunlop the official certificate of occupancy so she can move in and enjoy her new home.

Scull, the developer, said the Bull Run Subdivision was not easy to do. In order to do the project, the city had to approve a tax increment financing back in December of 2019.

All the people who were present at the ribbon cutting — members of the EDC  and representatives from the city and county — played a huge role in getting the development done.

“It was challenging for various reasons but we got it accomplished,” Scull said, “so we have a wonderful development here. It’s better than I could have anticipated.”

With that Scull welcomed Dunlop to the community and presented her with $200 so she could buy landscaping for the home.

After the ribbon cutting, Mark Veley, owner of Elite Custom Homes (the company who built the homes) said it felt good to get in the development, get the houses built and have a good realtor like Dan McNamara get the houses sold.

Weather and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic presented issues, as did the cost of materials from manufacturers as the price of building materials went up 120 percent.

But, with the first family moving in, Veley said he felt great.

“It’s really rewarding to come up here and get to build and provide people housing in Hill City that’s really never been available here at a nice, affordable price,” he said.

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