PARK BOARD REMOVES ITEM TO CLOSE SITE, PRESIDENT PARKER SAYS COUNCIL WILL WORK TO FIND ADDITIONAL SOLUTIONS
PRESS RELEASE Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Contact: Kim Garner
During today’s Park Board meeting, a motion by Council President William Parker was approved to remove Item G from the agenda that would have closed 12 parks and recreation centers across the city.
Council President William Parker, who led the charge opposing the closures, said during the meeting that the Council will be working with the Park Board as well community stakeholders to identify a plan for the parks and recreation centers.
“We’re going to exhaust all options to ensure our residents have access to these parks and recreation centers,” President Parker said. “The list of proposed closures was not equitable and was unacceptable. All parties are going to come to the table and work this out in the weeks to come.”
Council President Pro Tem Wardine Alexander, who had four parks and recreation centers in her district on the potential closure list, said she’s encouraged by the collective effort to keep them open.
“I understand there are difficult decisions that must be made regarding the budget and this public health crisis we’re dealing with,” Pro Tem Alexander said. “However, I do not think closing these sites is the best path forward. We need to get creative and work together with all our partners to make sure our residents continue to have access to these valuable community assets.”
Parks Director Shonae Eddins said her department is going to look for ways to have limited programing at the recreation centers as a way to mitigate staffing shortages caused by the current public health crisis.
While no specifics were presented, Eddins said that recreation centers would operate 3 to 4 days a week with additional projects and programing being added to city parks.
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