Public, Board Upset Revised Rec Facility Plans Delayed has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.
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Copyright 2017 ProQuest Information and Learning

Palm Beach Daily News


Several residents were upset that revised plans for a new Recreation Center weren't available to view Wednesday at a public meeting.

A handful of people attended the Recreation Advisory Commission meeting hoping to see a new one-story design. The plan had been for a two-story building but staff decided to reduce the size at a meeting last month.

The one-story design is scheduled to go before the Town Council at its Tuesday meeting. But, at least one commissioner -- Khooshe Aiken -- and several residents thought the plans should have come to the recreation board first.

"My concern is, this is the Recreation Commission, and you're not going to present these revised plans to the commission before they go before the Town Council," said former Mayor Jack McDonald. "If I was sitting on the Town Council, I would have appreciated some input from the Recreation Commission. Otherwise the council has no idea how this commission thinks or feels about the revised plan."

The recreation board typically reviews projects first and then makes recommendations to the council.

Recreation Director Beth Zickar said architect Nelo Freijomel is still working on the new design.

"We're working on completing the plans as quickly as possible," she said. "I don't have an exact date on when they will be completed."

Later in the meeting, Zickar said staff heard from the architect and the plans will be posted online with the Town Council agenda. The agenda typically is released the Thursday afternoon before the meeting.

Town Council candidate Julie Araskog said it's important to release the drawings ahead of the council meeting for "transparency," and so residents who attend the meeting can voice their opinions.

"I think that one of the problems that we had the last time was that no one saw the design; all of a sudden it hit the paper, and everyone was upset," she said.

Councilman Richard Kleid said council members will take a look at the design Tuesday and decide whether they want staff to pursue the new "concept." The plans would still have to be presented to the recreation board, Architectural Commission and again to the council, he said.

"I think you should all understand this is a process and it is not in concrete," said Kleid, one of two council members in the audience along with Bobbie Lindsay. "This is not going to happen overnight, so all your fears about something happening quickly, and nobody is going to know about it ... is not true. You're going to have a lot of times to speak about this and talk about it and make your comments."

The recreation center plans have been discussed at numerous public meetings over the past three months, and the design has had several revisions.

"The team has been working exceptionally hard and extended hours to try and be sure that we are meeting the needs, and listening to the residents and all the groups that have expressed concerns to us," Zickar said. "We're very hopeful that they will be received in a very positive manner."

-- akopf@ Twitter: @aleesekopf


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January 5, 2017


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