Community expresses concern over Rushmore Plaza Civic Center vote

Posted: Updated:

Recently, a city committee approved an agreement with advising firm Dougherty and Co. to finance a decision on the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, whether that be remodeling the Don Barnett Arena, or building a new arena entirely.

At a Rapid City Common Council meeting on Monday, several community members expressed concern about moving forward with the rebuild. They said the city council should reconsider their priorities and fix the city's infrastructure instead of investing in Civic Center improvements.

“I would ask that you actually do your due diligence and do what matters most,” said Jordan Mason, a member of the group South Dakota Citizens for Liberty. “The roads that we drive on, the water that we drink. Let's not make this another Flint, Michigan. Let's make this a city that we can be proud of.”

The city council voted in favor of moving forward with Dougherty and Co. on Monday. The council will vote on whether to remodel or replace the arena on Feb. 26. After that, the community is welcome to petition for a public vote if they aren't happy with the council's decision. The deadline for a petition is March 20. If enough signatures are gathered, a public vote will be set for June 5.

“I’m pro-building, but I’m not pro-wasting,” said Citizens for Liberty member, Jodie Frye. “I think that there’s a lot of things with the Civic Center that can be fixed at a minimal price, and not at this huge remodeling price.”

Today's Forecast