Civic Center—No?!

Having served the board of the Rapid City Chamber for seven years and having been its chairman, and with great respect for that board’s process and careful decisions, I regret that I must recommend a vote against the Civic Center expansion.

Having served on Civic Center board for six years and having served as its chairman, the need for improvements at the Civic Center is clear to me, but this is not the right plan and the current City Hall Administration does not inspire confidence in its ability to do a $180 million project competently.  After decades of success in the contracting and development business, I know how to tell.

The Civic Center expansion project should not be undertaken until there is a new mayor in Rapid City. We must have a mayor who is capable of management, rather than one whose incapable management has caused many department heads to resign, including Brian Maliske, the talented and trustworthy long-time manager of the Civic Center.

While his successor may prove to be competent, he certainly does not yet have the in-depth knowledge of Rapid City, its people, and our marketplace.  I also hope that the new manager can bring Brian’s creativity and business know-how to the task, but that, too, is at this moment an unknown, and $180 million is too much to spend to find out the hard way.

It seems to me that all of the options have not been fully evaluated.  To propose the most expensive public project in the city’s history, one that would consume all of the half-cent sales tax that has been so important in the Vision Fund, is too much of a gamble.  What happens if the sales projections are not met?  What happens if a large emergency should come along while we have taxed our debt-paying capacity to the max?  What other investments were considered, if any, that might better serve the citizens and tax payers of Rapid City?

I admit to being protective about that Vision Fund.  It was made possible by creative leadership through a program initiated by my friend, the late Governor Bill Janklow.

To win public confidence on an undertaking of this size, we need a new Mayor, one who is not constantly in conflict with the council, one who is willing to show true leadership.   It’s not very inspiring to have seen our current Mayor say, in effect, “Well, here’s my plan, but I’m not really all that sure of it, so y’all go vote.”

To make a project of this magnitude successful, we need a leader who expresses confidence that the plan he proposes is the best one, he is certain it is so, and he is devoted to making it work.  The current Mayor’s priority seems to be a different one: covering his political rear end by keeping a foot firmly planted on both sides of the fence.  Alas, this isn’t the first such instance of his weak leadership, only the largest.

It’s not the kind of leadership required for an undertaking like this.

I plan to vote no and urge my friends to do the same, but that will not be the end of it.  We need a new Mayor and a new plan to address the Civic Center’s legitimate needs, a plan we can afford, and one that is not betting the farm on finding two new professional sports teams, attracting concerts that draw 10% of the area’s population at $150 per ticket, and hoping that thousands of parking spots will magically appear when needed.

It’s too big, it costs too much, and we shouldn’t spend that kind of money without first asking what other ideas and projects will have to be killed or delayed that might have been better for our economy, our future, and the quality of life here.

I should add that I have personal and respectful friendship with Mayor Kooiker, but at the same time I can see that he lacks the management skill required for such a large and complex undertaking.   It’s not pleasant, nor is it the first time I’ve had to tell a friend that he’s not the best one for the job at hand, but that’s always the best thing to do.

36 thoughts on “Civic Center—No?!

  1. Stan,
    I certainly agree with your thoughts concerning the vision fund. I believe it is one of the most valuable tools available to our community and has provided a bountiful return for our citizens. I also share your concerns about the massive blue sky being referenced for concerts, sports teams and overall use of the facility.
    I would like to add the following question that I have yet to hear anyone address with clarity. What about the massive elephant in the room over parking. My most recent experiences with events at the Civic Center were chaotic. Finding a parking place within any reasonable walking distance in frigid weather is next to impossible. If we add huge concerts on top of any other event, at Central High School, a hockey game of in the beautiful Civic Center Theatre, parking will be completely out of control as will traffic. It is amazing to me that we have a stifling problem currently and there is no effective solution anywhere in the overly optimistic propaganda being thrust at the public. Proposing a 500 vehicle parking structure to serve an addition that would seat an additional 9 – 10,000 individuals is simply pouring salt in the wound. I think that refusing to address the issue in the flood of advertising for the project is tantamount to fraud.

  2. Stan the Civic Center Expansion is not about the Mayoral race coming up – its about updating a very old facility making it relevant for the future – our future – our kids and grandkids’ future. This just makes me sad.

  3. Stan, I agree that a “no” vote is best at this time for the issues facing the civic center, but not because we need a new mayor. That thinking is flawed. Yes, Sam has drunk the Kool-aid on this civic center plan. But, so has every other councilperson.

    I suspect you are backing someone else in the mayoral race, (And I think I know who that will be) and I will tell you now, if you make the election about Sam’s position on the civic center, your candidate, however capable, will be assured to lose.

    But, the real problem is that this plan has not been properly vetted. It is conspicuous in what it does not include, like O&M costs, costs to upgrade the physical plant, costs to include chairs in the new arena, and of course, costs to offset the horrible calamities that will occur when the first big convention comes to town and there’s no parking.

    I’ve heard it until I want to burst, that parking will take care of itself. It won’t. 10,000 more capacity, while adding 500 parking places. You have been a developer for many years here, Stan. Could you get a permit in Rapid City to build a building with this kind of egregious lack of sufficient parking?

    Call me sometime. I’d love to discuss it further. Lots of people you know have my number.

  4. Perhaps these points would have been valid before the Department of Justice settlement. As it stands now, we have no choice but to comply within the 30 month window and the plan that was adopted by council was by far the most cost-effective when leveraging all the moving parts, financing, marketability, etc. against planning for the next 40-plus years. The question about parking? Do the citizens of RC want us to build enough parking to accommodate future capacity now and waste that real estate, or build what we need now with the ability to expand as demand and financing warrant? City budget is $150M. This project is $180M. Some perspective is necessary here.

    • Charity Doyle
      Wow See how this works folks. Charity says we shouldn’t build more parking than we need. So Charity should we build more civic center than we need? As for complying with DOJ If we start fixing the problems they wont do a thing and people say the civic center will be shut down that’s another outright lie as they are more than willing to work with city’s that have this issue. So are you planning for the next 40 years or not?
      RC will never grow into this monster do you know how many people net move to Rc each year? I do we will never have enough people to make this work. As for drawing people from outside Rc we already maxed out on that.

    • My good friend Charity

      There is NO Department of Justice settlement – NONE. The Mayor has signed something called an”agreement,” but it is not binding until both parties sign – and to this Sunday – DOJ has not signed, and I am informed NEVER WILL.

      Sorry, but you are wrong this time — and for you that is a rarity.

      Stan Adelstein

  5. I am puzzled…Can you explain what the Mayor’s race has to do with the RPCC expansion project? This isn’t a political issue. This is about the future of Rapid City. This is about our economic development. This is about providing a safe and modern gathering place for our children and our children’s children.

    I was born and raised in Rapid City. I was here when the Don Barnett arena was built. I remember the naysayers who were against it then. They were wrong.

    I have attended concerts, trade shows, graduations, rodeos, circuses, fairs, indoor football, powwows and many other events at the civic center over the past forty years. I worked in the concession stand when I was a young girl. It was one of my first jobs. My 19 year old daughter’s first job was at the civic center, working in the very same concession stand that I worked at thirty some years earlier. I can’t imagine why we wouldn’t want to expand and modernize this facility to fulfill the needs of the people of Rapid City for the next 40 years. It would be incredibly short-sighted to try to fix the problems with a band-aid and not go ahead with this much needed expansion when we have the opportunity.

  6. You are right on, Larry. There is a solution to parking that was discussed several years ago – but it requires imagination and public/private negotiation.

    Linda, we can do better, but not without improved management. It really is not as much about the next Mayoral race, but more about evidence of failure from the past.

    Charity, you are correct about need for some improvement, but this plan it is not! 30 months is not insurmountable.

    Stan Adelstein

  7. I am puzzled…Can you explain what the Mayor’s race has to do with the RPCC expansion project? This isn’t a political issue. This is about the future of Rapid City. This is about our economic development. This is about providing a safe and modern gathering place for our children and our children’s children.

    I was born and raised in Rapid City. I was here when the Don Barnett arena was built. I remember the naysayers who were against it then. They were wrong.
    I have attended concerts, trade shows, graduations, rodeos, circuses, fairs, indoor football, powwows and many other events at the civic center over the past forty years. I worked in the concession stand when I was a young girl. It was one of my first jobs. My 19 year old daughter’s first job was at the civic center, working in the very same concession stand that I worked at thirty some years earlier.

    I can’t imagine why we wouldn’t want to expand and modernize this facility to fulfill the needs of the people of Rapid City for the next 40 years. It would be incredibly short-sighted to try to fix the problems with a band-aid and not go ahead with this much needed expansion when we have the opportunity.

  8. Stan – I can’t express how disappointed I am in your decision to oppose the Civic Center Expansion. This is not the Stan I remember back when you were proactively involved in every good thing happening in Rapid City. To drag the mayoral election into this is politics at its worst. Many, many people have spent hundreds of hours looking at multiple options for “fixing” our crown jewel, and for this kind of negative opinion to come one month before the vote is, again, extremely disappointing.

  9. So Linda’s great retort is that informed opposition to this idea is “just sad”. Charity’s retort is that $180 million is a drop in the bucket – no big deal! (when compared to the city’s budget). That’s what I have come to expect from the Chamber and others who religiously want (demand?) to spend this money. They are hell bent on delivering this Jerry Wright Center to the taxpayer’s doorstep whether we like it or not. And if you don’t like it, well you’re “just sad”. How juvenile have they become? Something tells me the taxpayer’s voice will be heard on election day in March, whether THEY like it or not.

  10. John Kammerer Stan, I was extremely pleased to see you come out against this monstrous debacle. I say a prayer each day, that we defeat this idiotic scheme!!

  11. I agree with you completely…Rapid City will not be able to support this endeavor. I appreciate your thoughts about the need for leadership at the Civic Center and in the Mayor’s office. Certainly, the Rush have been successful and have marketed the hockey team well….Now is not the time to expand city debt or the Civic Center

  12. Rapid City has to do something before we lose everything to Sioux Falls. Our facilities are no comparison to what Sioux Falls has and continues to build.

  13. My biggest concern is not so much the cost of the building but the cost to manage the building in question. After the construction is complete how will the operating expenses be handled, will that too come at a cost to the tax payer? Sure it’s nice to envision big venues coming to Rapid City but everything I have seen or read so far is 10 to 15 years in the future. So what about those 10 to 15 years of operating costs where does that money come from. Rapid city needs more economic growth through industry if one building defines this city then we have a real problem.

    The Civic Center is not the crown jewel of the community, it is the citizens of Rapid City. So what jobs outside of the construction will this new building provide? (I’m not talking minimum wage here) how much more will be charged for vendor space ect.

    Just sounds like a lot of focus is being taken away from our real priorities of developing good paying jobs in the community.

    At this time there are to many what if and we hopes going into the project.

  14. First of all Julie, this is not a changed Stan, Thanks for the kind words. Often what you praise me for had to come from a willingness to publicly say what is honestly meant for the good of this wonderful town. Opposing the appointment of a fine young man for Police Chief in front of his wife, children and friends was honestly hard to do.

    I fought for the original Civic Center along the side of Art LaCroix – two elections! As chairman, had to have two elections to get the Hotel!! I know, and have experienced the decisions that need to be made with a project of this kind.

    The replacement of the Andrew Carnegie Libary was “going to destroy down town!!” There was no way to pay for it, and besides we didn’t need any more room for books. The design was completely changed — twice!! It took a Mayor and Council working to gether, not squabling each meeting to make it happen.

    Who do you think will negotiate and finalize the bond issue(s) and who seem to have not thought of alternative modes of finance? It required an Art LaCroix and a respectful/team relationship with the Council (and yes some of other community activists{)

    Who is going to approve the inevitable change orders? Why do you think that the Mayor and Council will be facing hundreds of thousands of dollars – up and down. That took a lot of thought with an Art Lacroix, Council members Jerry Schoener, Tom Lane to name a pair. An experienced long time City Engineer – who knew that he could talk to the Mayor and advise – not someone who had come through the revolving door recently.

    Where have you seen any true discussion of parking? What about those new Sports Teams. As Chairman it fell on me to end taxpayer subsidy of the Basketball team. Who do you think will represent thbe city in THOSE negotiating – while he/she is locked in petty differences with the Council?

    How many more years do wait for “negotiations” to end — and something is done about the boondogle on President’s Square, which should have been done six years ago. Yes/no/maybe – finger in the political wind and no guts to stand up to threats of suit. To much effort in trying to get poor council members running for County Office, etc. etc.

    This project needs better thinking for fruition, and strong hard looking before be concluded.

    I support a major change, and know with proper leadership we will have it done by this time next year.

    The Same Old Stan.

  15. All councilman have not endorse this particular expansion plan.
    There is not a mandate by the DOJ to do this project or close the arena. We must understand that no person has or will be turned away from attending the civic center activities. People are more likely to be limited by the price of a ticket.
    The financing of the civic center will be 120 million in a lease and the other 60 million bonds by the city. Because state statue limits the amount debt Rapid City can have. The state accounting procedures does not look at a lease as debt so we have chosen a lease backed by C.O.P.S. This will require the council will to vote each year to make that lease payment to the lease holder.
    I have thoroughly studied the AECOM report at this point there is very little relevance to that report as it completely contradicts the ever evolving argument for this particular expansion.
    It is also important to note we have done several major improvements to this civic center over the last years ( that is relevant). When the civic center was built originally it was raining and RC was selling umbrellas. Since that point in time umbrella stands have been built in areas that are closer in geographic proximity forcing us to better identify our mission here in RC. We added the Ice and it has been successful.
    It is important for RC to prioritize our needs. We have major drainage and street water and sewer issues that will continue not to be addressed as this half cent will be committed for years to the CC if it passes. If construction cost rise 6- 8% and the Vision funds 5% the present value of the gain is 0 or below for future projects as those cost will grow also.
    We still have not identified what the purpose will be or who exactly we are targeting.
    Are we just redistributing the spending habits of citizens in RC ( since 48% of the civic center business is from people in or right around RC and they have to makes decisions where they spend their money)
    Do we want to bring people into Rapid City.
    Do we want big shows or several small shows.
    Do we want large conventions or several small conventions.
    Do we want two or three sports teams or one.
    Are there other venue that make more sense for our target market
    Bottom line we need to identify where we can make the most out of these funds. I say commit to the roads, drainage (repeal the rain tax) water and sewer and safety
    ( as we are suppose to). Start moving forward addressing the most paramount ADA issues while identifying what venues will best serve RC).
    If you look at the numbers provided (AECOM) we should be expanding the fair grounds and the band shell for the most bang for the taxpayer buck.
    This post is not all inclusive of my knowledge on this subject.

  16. So the civic center is not relevant anymore I wish people that use that tired phrase would explain how it is not relevant. The stock show seems relevant and to become relevant do we need to spend 400 million dollars? I think relevancy is only ones perspective and should not be used to describe the Civic Center. Guess overnight its became useless maybe should condemn it sounds pretty bad to me.
    I hear how we need this large playpen for the rich because we need concerts etc. really try and get a large concert to come here. Also many city’s are downsizing their Civic Centers. Because many entertainers are using smaller venues. We will have the ability to seat 19,000 people same as the Pepsi center in Denver and Denver has three pro sports teams using theirs for 62 days a year.
    So how is this fair as far as distribution of taxes? Many people that work here will not be able to afford to use this place dues to high ticket prices. So when these people eat at a fast food place and pay this tax how is it fair to them when they have to pay for something they can’t afford to use?
    They spout big numbers and cannot back them up with facts. And people buy into this I don’t get it just throw out numbers and see what happens how is this the right way to do business? They wont tell people that it wont be owned by us because it’s a lease Sam Kookier said in 2003 that lease leasebacks were just a way for bonding co. to take money from the taxpayers. Well this is the same thing so why is Sam behind it?
    He says the one in 2003 is different but its not its a lease leaseback period. Its being done to get around State law. Plus they had to throw the cip funds in on the deal cause bonding Co. wanted more collateral. So now the funds for infrastructure is also at risk if economy turns down they will be used to pay off the loan. Its a bad bad deal anyway you look at it. I recommend folks look for the truth because we are not hearing it from the local city Gov. There is much more I could say but I think you get the idea that truth is in the eyes of the beholder on this deal. Even the study didn’t come out and recommend this project it said if this and this happens then maybe we can do it. If its built don’t forget the names of those who pushed it thru.

  17. A friend of mine has a great idea to solve parking downtown and civic center and I think its a great one. But he wont tell anyone what it is and I don’t blame him cause nobody listens anyway and he is not in city gov. So its like why bother. There are people in this city that have great ideas but they are irrelevant

  18. I have lived in RC for approximately 22 years. Every year I keep thinking…when is this city going to repair the roads and cleanup the neighborhoods. I’m surprised that a project this large is even being considered when the city is not capable of taking care of what it already has. It is akin to a person with a rundown home [unkempt yard, broken windows, leaking roof, bad plumbing, etc.] and limited income, thinking… hey- I know how to fix this old house; I will go buy a fifty thousand dollar new truck. Honestly.

    • Many people are wondering the same thing. Cab driver told me he cant believe they want to build this thing when the streets are so bad. I guess they want to wait until the cost to fix them gets higher and higher.That’s the excuse they use as to why we need to build civic center now because the costs will get higher if we wait.

  19. Greetings Stan,

    Thank you for your friendship and your feedback.

    Until yesterday I thought you were supporting the project.

    I am curious as your statement on the vision fund as being started by Gov Janklow. He wasn’t governor until late 1970’s.

    I have three questions for you.
    1) Did you support Don Barnett for Mayor in 1971?
    2) Did you support his efforts in 1972 for the positive vote on the Sales tax (now partially known as the Vision fund)? He supported the project and led the effort for a public vote.
    3) Did you support his efforts in 1973 regarding the building of the facility? Again he supported the project and led the effort for a public vote.

    Sam

  20. Actually Sam you have your dates wrong. What we now call “the vision fund” used a half cent that was no longer needed to pay off Civic Center bonds which were paid off by Selling the Civic Center to investors, and then leasing it back from them (which came from Bill Janklow’s Sale and Lease Back legislation.)

    The Idea came from Dick Schlelusner, who was a member of the Council and had been President of the School of Mines. The first use of this fund was to build the Journey Museum — which he wanted to see happen. The exact date is not clear in my mind, but it was sometime between 1990 to 1992 – guess we can look on the plate at the Museum. Dick raised the idea at a lunch at what is now the Quadoba Hotel, at a Museum Alliance of Rapid City and Joe Rovere, then the President jumped on it and we got it done

    Maybe there was something else that Barnett called the vision fund – but it had nothing to do with the half cent, that had previously been used to pay of the Bonds but which was no longer required to make Civic Center payments.

    I am not sure what you are driving at – but that half cent will have to go back to the Civic Center, if we are careless enough to ignore reality.

    NO, I sure did not vote for Don Barnett. The Mayor that he defeated was a former Ellsworth Commander, who had been my assistant before he was elect Mayor in 1970.

    In those days Rapid City spent little money owning snow removal equipment when there were contractors with idle equipment in the winter. Hills Materials was the largest, and did the most snow removal.

    In his contest for Mayor Don referred to the fact that Col/Mayor John’s former employer was paid $10,000 for snow removal!!! A big snow year, but despite the fact that snow removal is hard on equipment we did the job at bare cost.

    Barnett’s first year as Mayor had a huge snow storm. I called Chuck Kuleza, our General Superintendent that when the call came in – HE WAS NOT TO TURN A WHEEL. He said he could not do that, the snow was heavy and coming down hard.

    I told him that he would not to start a single piece of equipment until Mayor Barnett called KOTA to apologize for his malicious attack on Col Barnes. Barnett apologized since the town was absolutely paralyzed,

    After the flood and the AIM “occupation” we worked together, and actually became pretty good friends — even if he was a Democrat and had won rather dishonestly – and I was a damn capitalist Republican.

    You are wrong again, if you mean by the “Facility,” you are referring the Civic Center. That was led and accomplished by Mayor Art LaCroix. And as the little girl used to say on TV “Ah helped.”

    Stan Adelstein

  21. You are trying to turn the Civic Center into an issue about the Mayor. I’m glad you have noted that is not as much the case. Ironically, there were many people who knew the ADA issues had to be dealt with but no one wanted to touch it. Mayor Kooiker took it on and consistently advocated a public vote. Now it’s in the hands of the voters (where it should be)—up or down. I would not fault him for doing that.

    The idea that we can spend more money on other Vision Fund projects is a concern for me. Most Vision Fund projects have come with a need for operating expenses that ends up coming out of the general fund budget. Most haven’t generated significant sales tax revenue. Many projects have been good for the community but they have also required general fund dollars to keep them going, leaving less money for infrastructure. By contrast, the Civic Center is an enterprise fund. It’s not self-sustaining but it does a better job than most.

    I am glad you are aware of the 30 month time line. The project that is in the forefront was vetted by citizens. It’s fairly similar to one that came forward in I believe 2012. Spending more money for more options will not help the issue. If people vote down the Civic Center the city will be spending $70 million on ADA upgrades for an antiquated facility.

    I don’t use the Civic Center much at all but I see its value in regards to sales tax revenue for the city and the region.

    Thanks for your thoughts, your time and your contributions to our community.

  22. Madison Square Garden has been through two separate renovations since the current version opened in February of 1968. The most recent took place over a 3-year span. In other words, it has been continually upgraded throughout its life. During the course of its life, (the first was built in 1879) the Garden has moved several times. It was originally built by a syndicate that included J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie and PT Barnum.

    There has been much talk about Sioux Falls. Sioux Falls received a substantial gift from Denny Sanford. No such gift is forthcoming for Rapid City from any philanthropist I’m aware of. There is some notion that RPCC must be bigger and better than the new Sioux Falls arena in order to compete for “big acts.” That is not true. “Big acts” come here when it makes economic sense to do so. Having 19,000 seats doesn’t mean you can fill them. Promoters pay rent on the building and the benefit to having them is social, not economic. The acts pay rent, pay a portion of their merchandise take, and, due to the genius of former Civic Center manager Jerry Jazinski (1-800-GOT MINE), they get a small portion of ticket sales. The RPCC gets the food and beverage business. That’s it.

    According to the city’s own consultant, the Black Hills does not have the population base to support “big acts” in the new civic center arena, and it will need to have no less than three professional sports teams to make it work.

    I’m all for vision. But this is a pipe dream. “If you build it they will come” is a line from a bad movie, not reality.

    • Michael, what do you think of the CC managers statement that ” the teams would not be sought if a new arena was built.” (Feb 1 RCJ) Given that the study assigns about half of the increased use and revenue to these 2 new teams.

  23. Hello Stan,

    Thanks for your dedicated service to the Civic Center Board. Let’s see, you served from 1985-1987, and then again from 1992-1998. We had the pleasure of your presence at one Town Hall meeting during the three years that we have been deliberating this project, despite the hundreds of public meetings involving thousands of citizens.

    What’s you agenda, and what’s your plan? From your comments, you obviously want to replace Sam, and want Brian Maleski back at the reins. I beg to differ that 30 months DOES play into the scope traingale…as does the opportunity cost of loosing events while the Barnett becomes an active construction site. Think $180 mil is expensive now, wait until we see the bill as we sit around and wait another three years!

    Are we moving ahead, or moving back?

    • Thanks for your comments, though I would have preferred to have a persons name for reply. You asked sincere questions.

      My agenda is to make use of the hard work that was done, to develop quickly! an alternate to the present undertaking. Something needs to be done. Unfortunately my health put me completely out of touch with life for most of a year, so many details are not known – hopefully different eyes can use all that was seen by the development committee to:
      1. achieve a lesser cost, that will not eliminate the “Vision” plan expenditure, as well as seek parking alternates – with a private/public joint venture.

      2. Will be in place by this time next year, hopefully with a less contentious City Council that would result with a better manager for Mayor.

      3. Recognize that it is far fetched to plan for new sports teams, 500 miles from the nearest large city – anywhere near – what often referred to as the “curse of distance”
      Therefore significant re-sizing (or staged expansion), perhaps.

      4. Like number 3 – 19,000 seats for the current manifestation of entertainment by the panoply of curiously loud, somewhat anti-social, and temporarily “star” performers is not in our town’s economic interest.

      • irritation prompted me to say that you must not have seen me at another meeting – on a “walker.”

        During the last year’s earlier meetings, which would have been attended – you seemed be the only person (since literally hundreds of people wrote – and sent energy that saved my life) not to know that a year of my life was spent in the Hospital with seven surgeries, and much of time without cognizance due to drugs and anesthetics.

        This was the first time since returning home from the Army in 1957 that I was not involved in public life.

        Stan Adelstein – who unlike you any mouse, use my name whenever

    • Since the meeting issue came up again at the forum on Friday, where your “hundreds”- of meetings were recast as “dozens,” My wife – past chair of the Rapid City Arts Council and member the South Dakota Arts Board, asked for the dates of only the first “dozen,” where they were held and how they were advertised.

      Hundreds indeed – dozens unlikely – four possible

      Stan Adelstein

  24. This would be a freaking waste like the Journey Museum and the underutilized visitors center. Deadwood continually draws in big names without the state of the art facility and the Buffalo Chip brings people in. Fix the real problems in this town. We need to celebrate economic diversity and get beyond the white trash casinos, title loan business, pawn shops etc. Not to mention the hundreds of homeless people in this town. We don’t need to screw the tax payer anymore.

    • Bruno you hit the nail on the head many poor people and we help the rich take money from the poor. Its a opportunistic City. The rich feed on the poor here and get richer. This playpen for the rich needs to be voted down.

  25. Meanwhile those of us with mobility problems just have to wait for what, another few years of negotiating with the DOJ and still not have the Civil Rights violations resolved until someone feels the politics are right! It only affects a few disabled persons for a few more years …NO BIG DEAL?

    • Dear Mr/Ms Anymous

      Please call 718 7070 and tell me what your mobility problem are in the arena – feel free to call back and just leave a message, if it is answered right away – and you not want to talk to me, personally.

      You must not have a few more years to wait, and surely not for politics. It would appear from the estimates pointed out above any problems should be easily fixed for far less than $180 MILLION.

      After a year of no or very little mobility — I understand (probably for the first time in my life) the hardship. As a State Senator it was my job to support a Bill to increase the fine from $100 to $300 for parking in marked spaces — now know it should have been $500.

      Stan Adelstein

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