(SD)-Council Votes To Replace Rushmore Plaza Arena
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - The Rapid City City Council voted 9-1 Monday Night to replace the Don Barnett Arena at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center with a new facility expected to cost $130-to-135-million dollars..
The vote followed a marathon special meeting focused on the choice between a multi-million dollar remodeling the Barnett Arena or building new facility. The meeting featured public comment, several presentations, and extensive debate.
Talk about a new arena began about 5 years ago when the city was notified the Barnett failed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and that it would take tens of millions of dollars to make the needed upgrades.
More than a dozen people spoke in favor of building a brand new arena, saying it would create new jobs and bring more visitors and revenue to Rapid City. Opponents cited the cost, the lower price tag for renovating Barnett, and a desire to let the public make the decision.
Rapid City voters rejected a more expensive new arena proposal a couple years ago and Mayor Steve Allender has championed the new proposal, arguing a larger new arena would attract big-name entertainment and help the local economy.
Monday's vote will start a window in which opponents of building a new facility will have an opportunity to gather petition signatures and take the issue to a public vote.
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