Building permit for renovations to Rapides Parish Coliseum issued by city of Alexandria

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ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana — The long-awaited building permit to the Rapides Parish Police Jury for the Coliseum renovation project has been issued by the city of Alexandria.

However, it is a "conditional" permit, and the Police Jury objects to some of the conditions.

Mayor Jacques Roy tells The Town Talk ( ) work now can begin on the Coliseum renovation whenever the parish wants.

The jury's acceptance of the requirements of the building permit would bring with it obligations, including that the clock would start running on a 90-day period that the jury would have to resolve its lawsuit against the city over the Coliseum parking lot.

Police Jury President Richard Billings said the city's conditions are being studied by the parish's legal team. He also said J. Chris Guillet, one of the attorneys representing the jury, has sent a response letter to City Attorney Chuck Johnson.

"We have written them back a response and are just waiting on them to answer that response," Billings said late Friday afternoon.

Johnson, in a letter dated Feb. 11 and sent to Guillet, said the city has granted a conditional permit "allowing you to proceed with construction immediately upon execution." The conditional permit will be converted to a "final permit upon your resolution of the litigation/parking issues" which "can also be remedied immediately."

The City Council and Police Jury already have approved an intergovernmental agreement whereby the jury would pay the city $1.1 million for the city's share of the Coliseum parking lot, which currently is jointly owned by the two entities. The parish needs the parking spots guaranteed to meet codes.

Provisions related to the governmental agreement have been sticking points.

Billings said he looks forward to the Police Jury getting a regular building permit, not a conditional one.

The Police Jury will wait to hear back from its attorneys before scheduling a special meeting on the issue.

Billings said he did not want to elaborate at this time on which conditions the jury finds objectionable.

Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk,

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