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A Response: Why Do We Need a Multiplex "Marina?"

Do we need a multiplex center?

Why do we need a $45 million multiplex center? We have Rapides Coliseum that doesn't generate any revenue.

I agree that the Rapides Coliseum is in bad shape, but the Coliseum offers a different kind of venue than the proposed multiplex center would. It also makes good use of a prime piece of riverfront property, drawing people into our Downtown and showcasing our unique location.

We don't have much going on in Alexandria. No sporting events or anything. Maybe one or two concerts, circus and monster truck shows. The revenue generated by these must have been used to only pay utilities when the building was in use.

"Not much going on" is a matter of perspective. Nowadays, you can hear live music every weekend in Downtown Alexandria, and most of these bands are being drawn in from all over the country. The Aces are back in business, and from what I gather, attendance is encouragingly high. Not to mention that our zoo continues to attract thousands of visitors every month. These are promising signs that our economy could support such a venture.

Also, for the hurricane season in 2005, they complained about the electricity and use of utilities when the evacuees were there. I don't think that it will make things any better with the new multiplex. It will still have utilities that need to be paid.

Hopefully, though, the project will be income-producing.

With $45 million we could fix roads, put dorms on LSU-A's campus, train people who are unemployed so that they can be more productive in the workforce, help those who may be struggling to pay bills or who has to decide whether or not they want to use their money to buy groceries; or to pay for their medication.

The $45 million is being drawn from federal and state sources, not local taxes. LSUA is in the process of building dorms. We shouldn't confuse priorties, because it is possible for us to multi-task. I hope though that, like you said, we'll begin to focus on workforce training.

Some may think that bringing this to Central Louisiana will help generate jobs, but what's going to happen once this building is finished? Most will be back in the same predicament that they were in before.

Self-defeating thinking.

Cowboy Town is another example of why we don't need this $45 million multiplex.

Cowboy Town was a failed project for a number of different reasons, including the fact that it's located practically out of town with little surrounding business infrastructure to support it.

Why not use the money to make Cowboy Town into a bigger Funzone?

Oh man, not another Funzone.

You could have more for the kids and something for the grown-ups.

Last but not least, this money could be used to help those who want to open their own small business.

Again, it's not that simple. Some federal and state programs earmark money for very specific projects. That said, we should seek financing in order to create more programs that encourage and support small businesses, particularly in their infancy.

Alexandria is trying to be like our surrounding (bigger) cities but there is just not enough that goes on here for the things that they are planning to build in the future. What do you think, Cenla?

Mickey Doe Pineville