A consultant is recommending that Rapid City, S.D., include two new fire stations in a $180 million project to expand the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
The possible addition, recommended by Dougherty & Company of Sioux Falls, would push the cost of the project to $200 million. With interest, the amount would nearly double over 30 years.
“I’m kind of surprised to see that fire stations were thrown into the mix,” City Councilwoman Charity Doyle said. “That’s not what we instructed to be done.”
Fire Chief Mike Maltaverne said packaging the projects together might make the bonds more appealing to investors. City Attorney Joel Landeen said the city has talked about new fire stations for a while, but funding has always been in limbo and bonding is likely the only way to pay for them.
“(If) we come back after you decide to move forward with (the arena) and say, well, (bonding) is the only funding source we can use for that, and it’s at the last minute, I’d think there would be a lot of consternation about that too, frankly,” Landeen told the council Monday night.
Any bonding would be backed by tax-supported city economic development funds.
The proposed expansion would double the size of the Civic Center’s Barnett Arena, expanding seating from 9,400 to 19,000, and also include a new multilevel parking garage. The project must get Council approval.
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