Rapides Parish Coliseum Project Top Priority

ALEXANDRIA, LA (AP) — Rapides Parish Police Jury President Richard Billings doesn't hesitate for a second when asked what the top issue is facing the Rapides Parish Police Jury in 2015.

         It's getting the $23 million Rapides Parish Coliseum renovation project underway.

         Billings tells The Town Talk’s Richard Sharkey it's imperative that the Rapides Parish Coliseum renovation project move forward as soon as possible.

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         Billings said it's imperative that the Rapides Parish Coliseum renovation project move forward as soon as possible. He's not happy with the prospect that the Police Jury will have to pay the city of Alexandria to obtain full rights to the parking lot, but he said the jury will do what it must so that the project can proceed.

         He said working out an arrangement with the city on the parking lot is a top priority so the jury can "get it completed for the citizens of Rapides Parish because they voted the tax to do it, and I think we're doing them an injustice by holding it up."

         Police jurors over the past year have said Alexandria officials haven't cooperated with them on allowing the jury clear permission to use the parking lot for the Coliseum improvement project. The Police Jury even sued the city.

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         City officials have said they want an intergovernmental agreement with the Police Jury to resolve the parking lot dispute, but the details haven't been worked out. They say they are acting diligently in protecting the city's investment in the parking lot.

         "We hate to purchase the property," Billings said Monday, because the intent when the parking lot property was purchased in the 1960s was for the parish and city to work together.

         For more information

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