ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana — A recent appraisal valued the portion of the Rapides Coliseum property co-owned by Rapides Parish and the City of Alexandria at $2.2 million.
The Town Talk reports (http://townta.lk/1rzLmeH ) the appraisal was paid for by the Rapides Parish Police Jury, which must secure full ownership of the property or an agreement to use it in order to move forward with its planned $23 million renovation of the Coliseum.
"We're hoping the (Alexandria City Council) can act pretty rapid on this issue," said Police Jury President Joe Bishop. "This is a time sensitive matter."
The property in question is more than 16 acres that has been used for parking in the past. For designers to include that property as parking in plans for the renovated arena, the parish needs to have full ownership or an agreement with the city to use it. City code requires a certain number of parking spaces in relation to the number of seats or space in a venue for a construction project to be permitted.
Officials on both sides have agreed a sale is the best solution.
The parish is presenting two options to the city — a partition of the property or a purchase of the city's share.
The partition the parish is offering would give the city ownership of two parcels —a 2.45-acre portion of the more valuable property fronting Louisiana Highway 28 West and a .83-acre portion behind the Louisiana National Guard Armory, plus a strip connecting the two.
The other option is for the parish to pay the city half the cash value of the property, or $1.1 million under this appraisal. The city is also proceeding with an appraisal.
City Council President Chuck Fowler said he had not seen the parish appraisal yet. Once the city's appraisal is done, he said, officials can proceed with a better idea of the property's value.
If the property were partitioned in the way the parish is offering, it would take 330 spaces away from the original design, said Bill Tudor, a principal in design firm Alliance Design Group.
Tudor is confident those spaces can be made up through an agreement to use adjacent property owned by the state. That would require additional paving. It would also strip away some prime parking and move it further from the arena.
Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, http://www.thetowntalk.com