This is it
Tonight’s the night, folks: The City Council is slated to decide tonight whether to give $2 million of Alameda’s $3.4 million share of Measure WW regional park bond money toward the Boys & Girls Club of Alameda’s planned West End facility.
The council had been waiting for a letter from the East Bay Regional Park District’s bond counsel saying the money can be used to help build the club’s facility. But that’s not coming until early next year.
Councilwoman Marie Gilmore asked her fellow dais-mates to make a decision anyway, saying that East Bay Parks staff have indicated the money can be used for the club. But Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant stopped short of recommending the funds be committed, writing in a staff report that the council should “(h)ear testimony from EBRPD representatives and take appropriate action, contingent upon receipt of bond counsel opinion as previously directed.”
Park district representatives have confirmed that they will be at tonight’s meeting, the staff report says.
Gallant had previously recommended that the council change its previously approved project list to include a request for $2 million for the club, with $1 million to be paid back over the next five years.
Club representatives had asked for the money because they’ve had a tough time raising the remaining $2 million they need for the $8 million facility they hope to build next to the Woodstock Child Development Center, and they fear they could lose some of the grant money they’ve secured if they don’t start construction before the end of the year.
Some proponents, including members of the council, have said they think the request presents an opportunity for the city to gain public access a recreational facility the city couldn’t afford to build or maintain on its own. But park and open space advocates have fought the request, saying the city has enough of its own park and open space needs and little money to meet them.