- Associated Press - Sunday, March 12, 2017

BELLE FOURCHE, S.D. (AP) - Officials are deciding whether to replace the nearly century-old rodeo arena grandstands at the Roundup Grounds Sports Complex in Belle Fourche, and how to pay for such a project.

Mayor Gloria Landphere says work began on a master plan for the complex earlier this year. She says initial talks should focus on the financial aspects of the $1.2 million projected cost of replacing the grandstands at the city-owned complex.

“It is a huge undertaking,” Landphere said.

Landphere told the City Council during a meeting last month that officials need to talk about replacing the bleachers because of the insurance liability, the Black Hills Pioneer (https://bit.ly/2mXbyHI ) reported.

“We’re going to have to address some type of a plan because of the age of these (grandstands),” Landphere said.

Council members discussed the possibility of using the city’s hospitality tax to fund the project. Councilwoman Jessica Carmichael noted that other projects also need attention within the complex.

The complex consists of soccer and baseball fields that require repair and maintenance, in addition to the rodeo arena. The mayor said she would put together a list of projects on the plan to discuss at a later meeting.

Other suggested funding sources include bonding, grants and fundraising activities.

Councilman James Ager urged the council to move quickly.

“If we’re going to look into grants and things, that’s fine. But let’s not drag our feet any longer on this project. It is a must,” Ager said.

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Information from: Black Hills Pioneer, https://www.bhpioneer.com

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