Long-awaited deal over parking at Rapides Parish Coliseum near, renovations could begin soon

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ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana — A long-awaited deal that would clear the way for Rapides Parish Coliseum renovations to begin appears to be close to fruition.

Rapides Parish Police Jury President Richard Billings told The Town Talk (http://townta.lk/1yBx8Ae ) Thursday a proposed agreement between the police jury and the city of Alexandria over jointly owned property needed for Coliseum parking could be finalized as early as next week.

"I'm praying that this issue can be solved, and we can get our P's and Q's together and go ahead and start the project and get it done," Billings said of the $23 million Coliseum renovation.

The Police Jury canceled a special meeting that had been set for Thursday morning on a proposed intergovernmental agreement with the city of Alexandria on the parking lot issue.

The meeting cancellation occurred because wording of the agreement was still being worked on, but Billings is hopeful the agreement will be ready soon.

If the process goes smoothly, Billings said, it's possible a special Police Jury meeting could be held Tuesday morning to approve the agreement and then that agreement could be considered by the Alexandria City Council at its regular meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

City Council President Chuck Fowler said the city looks forward to getting a deal done and that the council could act on it at its Tuesday meeting if everything was in order.

"Would I like to get it done Tuesday? Yeah. I'd like it to be over and done with," Fowler said.

The City Council passed an ordinance in November to enter an intergovernmental agreement with the Police Jury so that it could be ready if and when a deal was worked out.

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

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