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Brentwood Aldermen Discuss Rec Center, Votes to Hand Over to Public Works For Now

The first hour of Monday's board of aldermen meeting was devoted to the recreation complex. In the end they voted unanimously to let the Public Works Committee work on it one more time, before the full board takes it up again at the July meeting.

Two issues brought 50 to 60 Brentwood residents to a multi-purpose room at the Monday night for the June Board of Alderman meeting.

The meeting was a week early because mayor Pat Kelly and city administrator Bola Akande couldn’t make the scheduled June 18 meeting, and it was at the Recreation Center because the court had the room in City Hall Monday night.

It was appropriate to meet in a room with windows overlooking the ice rink. It was the topic of discussion the first hour of the meeting.

Mayor Pat Kelly had scheduled the discussion because he said he wants the alderman to get to a motion on the future of the recreation center. He said he’s concerned that they can’t seem to all get on the same page.

 “That’s why it’s been four or five years and we haven’t gotten anywhere,” Kelly said. “The facility isn’t getting newer, the maintenance still need to be done, and I think if we can do it on a piece by piece process going forward, we may be able to get to an end to present something to the voters.”

Alderwoman Marueen Saunders said she was concerned that the public had been surveyed in 2008, and a draft had been made from the public input, but then had been apparently dropped.

“When the city picked it back in in 2011 there was no transition from what the public said they wanted,” she said. “I feel an integral part of this would be to take this and go back.”

Alderman Keith Robertson, who was the chairman of the public works committee last year when it was picked up, asked to have the May 2011 Public Works Committee meeting minutes entered into the record, which recommended the ice rink stay, and that the center be expanded into a community center.

“Do we spend approximately $7 million and bring this building up to code, and keep what you have right now,” he said, “or spend $2 million more, $9 million, and expand this facility so we have a gym, a multi-purpose workout, and improve the town center feel. And the façade improvement is part of it too.”

Robertson said he wants “someplace for us to be in Brentwood.” He said he’s retired and doesn’t want to go to the Heights for the next 30 years.

Alderman Andy Leahy said the numbers were massaged to get to the $9 million number. Also there’s the question of duplicating what is offered by , and what would happen with the city’s agreement with Richmond Heights?

Going back to May would be a mistake, he said.

“I’m sorry, as I’ve got my history here, we’re still piecemeal, and not in a good arraignment,” he said. “I think it’s premature for the voters to vote on if we can’t explain what’s in front of them.”

Kelly finally said he’s going back to the question of the last board meeting: “Do we want to keep the ice rink?”

He said the board needs to put together a plan and let the residents vote. “That’s the ultimate survey,” he said.

Alderman Tom Kramer made a motion to have a special public works meeting ahead of the next aldermanic meeting in July to specifically to address this topic. The agenda could also include the public survey if deemed applicable if necessary.

It passed unanimously.

Read previous Patch articles about the Brentwood Rec Center:

  • , May 24, 2012
  • , Aug. 29, 2011
  • , July 16, 2011
  • , June 28, 2011
  • , May 30, 2011
  • , April 25, 2011

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