by SarahJo Griggs, Central Speaks
Indian giver. That’s the first word that comes to mind when recalling the March 9th council meeting. Senator Bode White stood before the Council and threw what I perceived a temper tantrum. He made the decision to take the two million dollars he had line itemed in legislature for the Central Sports Complex parking lot on the School Board property located at the corner of Sullivan & Hooper away from the City of Central and give it to the school board for their funding.
I would like to say that I can’t really believe that one of our senators acted this way in an open public meeting towards a city that he represents as a senator, but he did and I’m not surprised. Towards the end of Senator White’s speech he made the statement “I can promise you I won’t ever get any more dollars for the City of Central”. Central, that is your senator. His personal feelings are driving his decisions? How is that acceptable?
What was all this commotion and controversy over, you ask? City Hall. What have our Council & Mayor accomplished on City Hall since my November 11th paper with my updates of City Hall on the front page, nothing. Still no site selected, still no purchase agreement to purchase a site.
White has also authored a bill SB 205 this proposed law creates three separate recreation districts in EBRP in the cities of CENTRAL, ZACHARY & ST. GEORGE from a portion of the Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC). Bodi White is attempting to pass a Bill that eliminates BREC from Central. On the Lovett Rd Park improvements alone in 2019 $1.2M. BREC is expressing deep disappointment in Senate Bill 205, which seeks to pull assets from the award-winning and nationally recognized parish wide parks and recreation system for the creation of three new parks and recreation districts, along with new paid staff and governing authorities.
“Parks should not be used as a political football. This proposal screams of government inefficiency and duplication when now, more than ever, it is vital that tax dollars are used to their highest and most optimal benefit for taxpayers,
overseen by agencies like BREC with a track record of delivering on this mandate,” said Wilson.
In recent years BREC in Central:
- development of a green infrastructure initiative to mitigate future flood risks and impacts to neighborhoods and businesses surrounding BREC parks,
- expansion and addition of air conditioning to popular recreation centers across the parish like Central’s Lovett Road Park Recreation Center and Zachary’s Church Street Park Recreation Center, with additional facility upgrades that include program spaces and indoor amenities, exterior upgrades, energy efficiency improvements including new roofing, modernization and upgrades for new building code
- More than $7-million invested in the creation and improvements to Central Sports Park and Central’s Jackson Community Park as promised in 2008, as well as new amenities, one-of-a kind modern playground, a new recreation center for Jackson Community Park, and the pending purchase of adjacent land for expanding the park.
- new education building and master plan for Frenchtown Road Conservation Area, creating the only park in our parish which will be on par with the size and quality of State parks,
- New recreation centers at Jackson Community Park