ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana — The $22.9 million makeover for the Rapides Parish Coliseum is expected to begin by the end of March.
The Town Talk reports (http://townta.lk/1GOidpV ) the Rapides Parish Police Jury on Wednesday unanimously approved an agreement with the city of Alexandria, allowing the Coliseum renovation to begin. The City Council unanimously signed off on the deal on Tuesday.
The project is getting underway about a year after the Coliseum held its last event and about two-and-a-half years after voters approved a bond issue. The work is expected to take up to 22 months.
The Police Jury will pay the city $1.1 million to gain full ownership of property currently jointly owned with the city at the Coliseum.
The property is needed for parking as part of the renovation project, which is expected to take 20 to 22 months to complete once work begins.
The city is getting clear ownership of 0.833 of an acre at the Coliseum where the city has water wells and a communications tower.
In return, the Police Jury will get clear ownership of 15.738 acres of land that is currently jointly owned by the parish and the city.
The agreement ends a months-long dispute between the city and the parish over the parking lot property.
Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy said, "I look forward to a fully renovated structure and the promise it brings to voters. Our recreation department will work hard to line up events and help create a return on our citizens' investment."
Officials said Some paperwork and technical requirements still remain, such as the city advertising the ordinance approving the deal and waiting to make sure it's not challenged in court during the 10-day time frame for such challenges.
Police Jury President Richard Billings said he will sign a check for $1.1 million to give to the city when the agreement is finalized.
The first phase of the renovation will be demolition/removal of some existing facilities.
Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, http://www.thetowntalk.com
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