Campaign for the Coliseum - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Campaign for the Coliseum

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RAPIDES PARISH, La. - The countdown continues. Less than two months until election day. You may know which presidential candidate you're voting for, but what about issues a little closer to home?

On November 6th, residents of Rapides Parish will be voting a 23 million dollar bond issue to renovate the coliseum.

Mayor David Butler of Woodworth says when he heard about the major overhaul planned for the Rapides Parish Coliseum, he and his constituents had some questions.

Mayor David Butler, Woodworth: "Naturally the subject of the coliseum has come up. And there are a number of concerns, the age of the coliseum, does it need to be rebuilt, does it need to be torn down."

So Mayor Butler went to get those questions answered, attending a presentation Tuesday afternoon, by BH&B, the architecture firm hired to design the renovated coliseum.

Mayor Butler: "They've obviously done a well-thought-out job, into what the direction that they'd be going with it."

Mayors from towns across Rapides Parish were invited to see the renovation plans, and Coliseum Authority Board members say they hope everyone likes what they see...because if there's a 'no' vote in November, then there will be no renovations.

Jimbo Thiels, Coliseum Authority Board: "To go back and talk with their people and try to encourage them to support the bond issue. And we're also going to ask them for feedback, as to any questions the people have been asking them concerning the coliseum and the coliseum tax."

Jimbo Thiels say Alexandria needs this boost to stay competitive for big entertainments acts. He says, it'll have a trickle down effect into the rest of Cenla's economy.

Thiels: "That's a quality of life issue for the people of Rapides Parish. If we expect to bring big business here, we have to have something for the people that work for new companies to enjoy."

BH&B architects say their part is to make sure Rapides Parish residents know exactly what they're voting on.

Jay Lynch, BH&B: "We've got an investment, and our investment is to help make the project go forward."

So, after coming into the presentation with questions, Mayor Butler says he's now leaving with his answer.

Mayor Butler "I think it would be greatly beneficial to the people of Rapides Parish as a whole. I think they need to be seriously thinking about it, and not just say, well I'm not against the tax, oh I'm against the tax, et cetera, and see what it really benefits for them and their children and a community as a whole."

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