The Rapid City Council voted Monday to move forward with the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center expansion project, despite objections from several former city leaders.
Two former aldermen and a former mayor spoke out against what they see as circumventing the vision fund process.
"I'm saying let's put a plan in place. Let's have a process in place. We had a process in place," said former alderman Ron Weifenbach. "If you're going to change the process, let people know up front so we can get these concerns out."
But the Council insisted there will be plenty of time for public input because Monday's vote simply approved looking for funding and didn't commit any money to the project.
Aldermen also reiterated there wasn't anything underhanded in their intent with the first vote.
"I don't believe that for a second, that anybody had that belief," said Chad Lewis of Ward 3. "Like I said, overly enthusiastic, perhaps. But, you know, obviously you don't just push a $150 million project through in one meeting. That doesn't happen."
Opponents say that by approving the first step in the project, other groups won't have the same access to Vision Fund dollars.
But the Council said they might find the Civic Center expansion isn't financially viable, anyway.