Demolished Rec Centers Spur Funding Feud
Before they became bulldozed lots, the recreation centers at BC Franklin and Springdale park spurred a political firestorm to save them. The buildings fell, but the firestorm persists.
"It absolutely is a surprise to the community," said community activist Vanessa Hall-Harper, dismayed that $248,000 once allocated to save the rec centers has been earmarked for another development instead of keeping it for future park use.
"We would like for that money to stay here and be spent for either amenities or any type of improvement that is planned for the park," she said.
Instead, Councilor Jack Henderson plans to direct the funds to the 36th Street North Small Area Plan.
"36th Street North Corridor is a visible plan, economic development, create jobs and that's where it needs to be spent," said Henderson.
To hopefully change his mind, dozens attended the city council meeting, which at times, got a little heated.
"We got a lot of stuff that needs to happen in district one and there are 47,000 people..." Said Henderson. "But Mr. Henderson you work for us as well. We sign your check, ok, we sign your check," replied one woman.
As to who exactly decides how the check for $248,000 should be spent?
"It's up to the councilman that the district is in," said Henderson.
"No, it is not one councilor's decision, it is the entire city councilor's decision," said Hall-Harper.
"No, that's not true, and that's why she's not a councilor I guess. She needs to do more research and find out how the council do their business," said Henderson.