Concerns loom over Rushmore Plaza Civic Center ADA plan - KOTA Territory News

Concerns loom over Rushmore Plaza Civic Center ADA improvement plan

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Rapid City's Legal and Finance committee approved $50,000 dollars of Vision Fund money to update the Barnett Arena to become ADA complaint, but concerns loom over the decision.

While Rapid City Council members agree that something needs to be done, some believe funding shouldn't come from the city. And there is too much uncertainty.    

Councilman Steve Laurenti says that he is concerned about putting money into a temporary solution.

"If the Barnett center is deemed not viable or not going to be part of the some expansion that may or may not happen, I'm really concerned about putting thousands, if not hundred of thousands, if not millions of dollars into a Barnett arena, that may not be apart of the future of Rapid City," said Laurenti. 

He says that the city shouldn't pay for a facility that generates its own revenue, even though he agrees improvements should be made.

Finance officer Pauline Sumption says that CIP fund or Capital Improvement Fund usually isn't used for autonomous entities like the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.  

But Mayor Sam Kooiker says waiting is not an option and he says the city should help with funding the update.

"The time has come to take care of this particular wheelchair access issue the Americans with Disability Act. Its not just another law, its civil rights legislation. We have a responsibility to comply with it," said Kooiker.   

The Rapid City Council will make the final decision whether to approve the funding from the Vision Fund on Monday at the city council meeting.

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