Debate continues between the parish and the city over coliseum parking lot

KALB - Alexandria, Louisiana - News Channel 5 continues to follow what has become a war of words that has developed over the parking lot issue at the Rapides Parish Coliseum.

On Friday, Rapides Parish Police Jury members expressed frustration with the city over an attempt to obtain a permit to begin renovations at the coliseum. Mayor Roy defended the city saying they are not the ones holding up the process.

The two sides met at a hearing on Monday over the issue of purchasing the parking lot. Judge George Metoyer ruled that since the parking lot has been used for parking for fifty years, then that must be its intended use. Therefore, the police jury should not have to pay the city to use it.

The city is planning to appeal that decision.

On Wednesday, Alexandria City Councilman Chuck Fowler said the property was “never ever bought for the purpose of parking. You can go back and get an abstract of the original sale which i did and read. It was bought long ago for the purpose of donating the five acres to the National Guard Armory.”

Fowler went on to say that, according to the agreement, if the armory were to close, the property would default back to the city.