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Council Approves $500,000 for Senior Center

The City Council voted to approve $500,000 towards the design of the new $7 million Senior Center while councilors said they would work with members of the Ward Park neighborhood.

The City Council voted unanymously to funds slated for location at Ward Park.

The fund transfer was voted through unanymously by the council although two councilors voiced the need for ongoing discussions regarding the location at Ward Park.

"I do have a lot of concerns with how we got here," said Ward 3 Councilor Matt Elder who was concerned that both he and the recreation commission were bipassed.

He said that he would be voting for the funds, which will be used towards the design of the project, in order to allow things to move forward. Elder said he will hold meetings with constituents and explore their concerns. He said many people who have voiced concerns still were in support of a new senior center, but had questions regarding its impact on the neighborhood.

“I will be working close with my constituents so that their voices are heard," said Elder who explained that there will be a meeting next week. “I am pretty sure I am going to be able to support this."

Councilor Joseph Delano said the center will be reviewed in the Operation and Oversight Committe, which he chairs and Elder sits on.

“We are going to make sure things are done right and voices are heard," said Delano.

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Concerned Mom December 04, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Chrissy - having watched on tv last night, my impression was that the other councilors behind this project "got" to him to have him give his approval.. There are always back door discussions and politics going on that us residents and taxpayers will never know. Elder mentioned talking to other councilors....I feel like he was probably stuck between a rock and a hard place.... I am also questioning why there has been no public hearing/input on any of this? Or was there and I missed it? I am very interested to know when and where these meeting will be...I think they need to be open to the public not just the residents in the area.
Chrissy December 04, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Concerned Mom! THANK YOU for continuing this discussion!! I understand what happened last night but it was still a shock to the supporters whose main purpose for attending was to hear Councilor Elder support our request to postpone the project until more information can be exchanged - something that was communicated moments before the meeting began. To answer your questions - there was no communication to inform residents prior to last Monday's announcement. The meeting will be open to the public and not just surrounding residents. The best thing to do is contact your own Ward Councilor and make sure they know that you want to be informed of this meeting - and get as many bodies there as you can so Mayor Vigeant understands that concerned residents are not against a new Senior Center, they simply question his choice of location and how many it truly benefits.
Chrissy December 04, 2012 at 08:00 PM
JUST RECEIVED MEETING CONFIRMATION Wednesday, December 19th at 7pm in Memorial Hall Opportunity to share concerns about 13,000 sq ft building built on the Park property - if interested, ATTEND AND SPREAD THE WORD - also contact your own Ward Councilor with immediate questions
resident December 05, 2012 at 04:25 PM
ABSOLUTELY! Go to the meeting and tell the Mayor NOT to take precious Park land away from the cities children. Putting a 13,000 sq foot two story building where kids have played for the last 90 years is irresponsible. It affects not only today's children, but generations to come! Take a ride or walk and visit Ward Park. Take a look at the beautiful skating rink being built there for use by city residents all Winter. That is right where this proposed 13,000 sq foot two story building is to go! Why take this away from children and families? What will a child remember more, going skating together in the Winter and playing catch together on the ball field in the Spring, or walking past a 13,000 sq foot building listening to you tell them how it "used to be" a place for people to play? And, maybe you have taken your children to the wading pool in the Summer. Who's to say that's not going to be the next spot the Mayor or an other future politician decides to build on? It's not far fetched. If they can take land from one end of the Park, why not the other? Where will it stop, maybe after all the land is developed? There must be a better alternative! If you can't go to the meeting write the Mayor and City Councilors. Write the Recreation Commission also, without the Recreation Commissions permission the Mayor could not build on this land!
resident January 24, 2013 at 08:02 PM
There's an online petition to stop the taking of Ward Park land. Go to www.savewardpark.com to learn more and sign.


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