PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Residents of Pierre have soundly rejected a proposed $14.5 million recreation and event center.

Unofficial returns from Tuesday's election show nearly 58 percent of the 6,500 voters opposed the idea.

Mayor Laurie Gill says the City Commission wanted the matter to be a community decision, and residents have made their decision clear. Opponents had said the city should focus on keeping utility rates low and streets in good condition.

The facility would have replaced the old City Auditorium that closed in 2010 due to structural issues and was demolished in 2014.

A local couple donated 16 acres of land for an event center a year ago. Gill says other options for the land will be explored.

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