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Rec Center Debate Remains Stagnant

After approving a plan in April to seek a $9 million bond issue, the Brentwood Public Works Committee asks for an update.

Last Monday, a Brentwood aldermanic committee briefly discussed whether the city should seek a $9 million bond issue to pay for a renovated .

The Public Works Committee asked for an update on the issue, which the committee originally discussed several months ago. Following the committee's approval to seek a from Brentwood voters, the full Brentwood Board of Aldermen sent the issue to the Ways and Means Committee for further discussion.

But the aldermen haven't made any progress on the debate. Ways and Means is expected to hold a discussion during a meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

"We've got to decide, and it better be soon," said Ward 3 Alderman Keith Robertson during last Monday's meeting.

Robertson has advocated for the bond issue. He's in favor of a plan that brings the current building up to code, improves the ice rink, adds a fitness center and adds a multiuse gym, among other improvements.

Ward 3 Alderman Andrew Leahy cautioned that voters may not approve a bond issue in the midst of the current economic climate. Leahy voted against the proposal in April.

While the aldermen debate the complex's future, officials must halt decisions about future programming initiatives.

The parks department budgeted $85,000 to replace boilers in the complex, but buying new boilers would be a waste of money if voters approve complex renovation. For the last two years, the city's insurance company has asked Brentwood to replace the aging boilers.

Parks director Michele Frankowski would rather use that money to pay for other parks projects.

"If we knew what ends we're working toward, we'd be better at planning," said Frankowski during last Monday's meeting. Staff could seek grants for programs and upgrades, she said.

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