To the editor:
Regarding the proposed 180,000-square-foot recreational complex, I suggest spreading out the basketball courts among various local neighborhoods with easy access to parks such as: “Dad” Perry, Holcom, Prairie, Centennial, Broken Arrow, Edgewood, Brook Creek, Burcham and the city-owned 37 acres near Free State High School where the original 100,000-square-foot recreation center was planned.
Money might be used from FEMA to help pay 75 percent of the cost of building recreational or community centers. Edna, Texas is using FEMA funds to pay for a structure that will serve as a high school gymnasium, community center and storm shelter. According to a Dec. 30, 2012, story in the New York Times, the plans call for the Edna building to be 20,000 square feet and cost $2.5 million, less $1.875 million paid by FEMA because it will withstand winds of up to 200 mph. Nationwide FEMA has awarded more than $683 million to 18 states to help build shelters and multi-purpose buildings.
Has the City Commission contacted FEMA for any help with costs if the structure is built to withstand storms?
I don’t want the developers’ dreams and profits from a regional sports tournament complex to be paid for by taxpayers. Why not put the decision up for a public vote and have competitive bidding on the project?