Alexandria stands ready to make deal with Rapides Parish Police Jury over Coliseum parking lot

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ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana — The city of Alexandria stands ready to make a deal with the Rapides Parish Police Jury over the Coliseum parking lot, despite the parish suing the city over the issue.

The Town Talk reports ( ) the city council on Tuesday introduced a special ordinance to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the Police Jury to resolve the parking lot dispute that has delayed a $23 million renovation to the Rapides Parish Coliseum.

City Council President Chuck Fowler said the ordinance was introduced to provide the framework for a deal with the Police Jury.

The ordinance was one to accommodate "the deal that was in progress" before the Police Jury filed a lawsuit, he said.

"Basically we went ahead and introduced it with the hope that we can work something out in the interim. If we can't, we'll see 'em in court," Fowler said after Tuesday's council meeting.

The ordinance won't come before the council for official action until Nov. 25, after required publication requirements have been met. There wasn't any discussion of the ordinance during Tuesday's City Council meeting other than to get clarification on when it would be available for the council to consider.

While the parish owns the Coliseum itself, the city and the parish jointly own more than 16 acres of the surrounding property, most of which has been used for parking for decades without an official agreement.

To get the permits needed to proceed with the Coliseum renovation, designers must show that the parking spaces available meet city codes. That means the parish needs ownership or a firm agreement on use of that parking area.

Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk,

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