Who We Are

The Black Hills Council of Local Governments was established in 1972 asone of six planning and development districts in South Dakota. Black Hills Council is a voluntary organization formed by a joint cooperative agreement authorized under South Dakota joint powers statutes. Our role is broad and dynamic to reflect the needs of our members. We understand that proper planning is vital to the stability of the region and remain committed to working to improve the quality of life for the people of western South Dakota.

Our District

The Black Hills Council district includes local government entities within the following counties: Bennett County, Butte County, Custer County, Fall River County, Harding County, Lawrence County, Meade County, Pennington County, and Perkins County.

Member Benefits

Some of the key benefits to Black Hill Council member are:

  • Access to professional staff with a wide range of planning and community development knowledge and experience
  • Opportunities to come together with other units of local government to address shared issues
  • Collaboration on regional problems
  • Access to current information on State and Federal programs and regional issues
  • Ali DeMersseman

    Executive Director

    Ali DeMersseman started working for Black Hills Council in 2010 as a Planner and became Executive Director in 2017. Ali is a Rapid City native, and has a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University in Oregon. She has worked in planning for the City of Rapid City and the City of Portland, Oregon.

  • Bill Lass

    Senior Community Development Planner

    Bill Lass has worked as a planner with Black Hills Council since 2001. Bill has a Master’s Degree in Urban Studies from Mankato State University. Prior to starting at Black Hills Council, Bill worked as a Senior Planner at the City of Rapid City and the South East Council of Local Governments.

  • Lysann Zeller

    Community Development Planner/GIS Specialist

    Lysann Zeller started with Black Hills Council in 2014. Lysann is a Rapid City native, and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography from Arizona State University. Lysann was previously a planner for Pennington County.

730 East Watertown Street, Suite 102
Rapid City, SD 57701

(605) 394-2681

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