TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL) – The city of Texarkana, Arkansas is asking the Advertising and Promotion Commission for $700,000 for improvements to downtown’s Front Street Plaza.

City Manager Jay Ellington proposed a $950,000 plan to modernize the stage, install restroom facilities and add landscaping and lighting at the venue where the city’s Mardi Gras celebrations, concerts, special events are held.

Ellington also asked for improvements to be done to the “Ties That Bind” railroad track sculpture.

Although commissioners expressed support for the project, they decided on Wednesday to defer a vote on allocating funds until they can review a revised budget.

The proposal called for $250,000 to go towards building a roofed structure around the stage,w which is currently a bare platform. The stage is located on land the city leases from Union Pacific Railroad, but because the city does not own it, A&P will not be able to fund improvements there.

A&P only allows funding for property in which the city owns an interest.

Ellington says the venue has been around for many years and he would like to see it stand for many more.

“We should be able to use that type of outdoor venue 25 to 30 days a year, especially on weekends.”

Back in December, the city board approved an annual budget that allocated $400,000 to improve the stage, half of what Ellington proposed.

Ellington says the commission will call a special meeting later to reconsider the plaza proposal once commissioners receive a revised project budget.

If approved, Ellington says the project could take about two years to complete.