Police jurors approve agreement to pave way for Rapides Parish Coliseum renovations to begin


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ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana — Police jurors have approved an agreement that could pave the way for Rapides Parish Coliseum renovations to begin.

The Town Talk reports (http://townta.lk/1BTqTth ) police jurors met in executive session Tuesday before voting to go along with the terms of a proposed Alexandria City Council ordinance.

The ordinance was introduced by the City Council on Monday and is expected to come up for a council vote in early April.

The deal calls for the Police Jury to pay the city $1.1 million in a lump sum and to give the city clear ownership to 0.833 of an acre of jointly owned Coliseum property where the city has water wells and a communications tower.

In return, the Police Jury gets full ownership of 15.738 acres of land that is currently jointly owned by the parish and the city. The property is needed for parking to meet codes for the $22.9 million Coliseum renovation project.

Police Jury President Richard Billings said a bit of legal wording will need to be added to the agreement to designate the exact parcels of property. Otherwise, he thinks the proposed city ordinance will satisfactorily resolve the parking issue and let the jury get a building permit with no strings attached.

"I think it's going to happen," Billings said.

"We commend and thank the City Council for their integrity on moving this project forward."

The city has legal publication requirements that will prevent the council from officially voting on the ordinance until early April, but Billings said it would be "fantastic" if the city would issue a building permit before then based on the pending resolution of the parking issue.

The Police Jury and the City Council each previously had approved an agreement for a $1.1 million purchase by the parish of city property, but police jurors would not go along with stipulations that were included with that deal. The new agreement does not have the provisions to which police jurors objected.

Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, http://www.thetowntalk.com

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