Final presentation on the Barnett Arena ahead of vote by council

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - On Feb. 12th, was the final presentation on what to do with the Barnett Arena ahead of action by the Rapid City council.

The City Council will hold a special session Feb. 26th in which a decision is expected on one of the two options. From there, it could go to a public vote in June

The options are to either remodel the current arena for around $25 million or build new for $130 million. Both the Mayor and Councilmember Ritchie Nordstrom spoke about what they say are some misconceptions about the proposals.

"Perceptions that is out there is that there is going to be another property tax, which is not true. It will be another tax on the citizens of Rapid City if we do the rebuild, which again is not true,” said Nordstrom, Rapid City Ward 2.

Nordstrom says he wants more information and more public input before making up his mind. But, one community member already has his mind made up.

"I remember when the Civic Center was first being talked about to be built,” said Pat Jones, Rapid City citizen. “And there was excitement about it and there was a group that was very, showed a lot of animosity about it. I lovingly refer to them as cave people, as an acronym, citizens against virtually everything. And they tend to fight new ideas and new concepts. Luckily, the forward thinkers, the planners, those that really want to see the beauty of what can happen here tend to win the battle."

We contacted the Citizens for Liberty, who have questions about the two plans. I was told they are stilling doing research on the proposals.

The money for a new facility would partially come from the Rapid City Vision Fund, with some money already set aside by the city council.