City Council Turns to Department of Defense for Coliseum Expansion Funding

SAN ANGELO – The San Angelo City Council on Tuesday will consider taking a much different approach to securing funding the planned renovation and expansion of the San Angelo Coliseum during its regular meeting.  

According to the agent for the regular meeting, the council will consider approving a resolution supporting Tom Green County’s application for grant funds from the Department of Defense and the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation to be used for the expansion of the coliseum.

At the same time, Tom Green County Commissioners will consider a similar measure.  According to the agenda, the Court will consider pursuing a grant application for funding from the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation, under the Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program (DIP) to assist with the expansion of the San Angelo Coliseum.

The San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo Association announced a $40 million plan to expand and renovate the Coliseum during the April 2022 Rodeo.  The expansion would increase seating capacity from 5,000 to 10,000 and add 60 suites, handicapped seating, additional meeting rooms and restroom facilities and much more while keeping the arena floor of the coliseum exactly the same size.  

 At the time, the Rodeo Association said it had several funding sources committed including Tom Green County.  The City of San Angelo owns the Coliseum and state law prohibits the County from spending taxpayer dollars on a facility the County doesn't own.  

The Rodeo Association, City and County negotiated for several months and were attempting to put a $30 million bond proposal project on the May 2022 election but the County's bond attorney said an opinion requested from the Texas Attorney General did not approve of the selling bonds guaranteed by Tom Green County tax dollars to be spent on the City owned facility.  

Funding from the Department of Defense for the project would be similar to the millions the DOD flows through the County for building projects on Goodfellow AFB through the DEAAG program.  

The project was put on hold for several months while SASSR officials explored other funding options.  

Friday, the City of San Angelo sent out the regular agenda for the City Council meeting and it includes the following: 

Consider a resolution in support of Tom Green County's application for grant funds from the Department of Defense and the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation to be used for the expansion of the coliseum.

The Department of Defense and the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation are providing an opportunity for states and local governments to obtain funding to improve community infrastructure supportive of military installations.

The County is applying for the grant to provide part of the funding for expansion of the existing coliseum built in 1959 that has an outsized economic, agricultural and military impact on the community.

The expansion would provide additional space to house joint service members and family in the event of a natural disaster; serve as alternate Continuity of Operations site in the event of a catastrophe at GAFB; and serve as an event center for specialized military training events, joint military and interagency exercises and as the prime location for emergency management in the City.

The San Angelo City Council meets at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning in Council Chambers at the McNease Convention Center.  City Council meetings are open to the public. 

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