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March 21, 2018 06:10 PM

Rapid City Civic Center To Appear On Ballot

It now appears likely that voters in Rapid City will be able to vote on a proposal to build a new arena in the city. A group circulating a petition to get the issue on the ballot turned in 2,861 signatures to the city finance office yesterday afternoon.

The group calling itself Citizens for Liberty says it's not taking a stand on whether a new arena should be built, or the old arena renovated. 

But member Tonchi Weaver says the people need to be heard, as the group works aggressively to gather signatures.

"Now that it is on the ballot, we can stick to the discussion of the merits or lack of merit of the current plan and also what will happen with the alternative plan. The mayor seems to have a strong opinion about the alternative plan.  He sees it in a negative light. But not everyone in the community does. So that's why it's important that the community weigh in," Tonchi Weaver, Citizens for Liberty said.

Mayor Steve Allender reiterated his endorsement Wednesday of the construction of a new arena. Allender says Citizens for Liberty does have a bias in this debate.

"You see the Citizens for Liberty only wanted to get it to a vote. They're not taking a position on it. I'm being sarcastic. They are taking a position against it. And I don't know what their... I don't know where they get the information to take a position against it because just about everything that's been said now isn't factual. So, it's already a campaign by innuendo and rumor," Rapid City Mayor, Steve Allender said.

The Rapid City Council will meet Monday night to validate the signatures. If approved, the matter will appear on the June 5 ballot on primary election day.

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