by Max Brantley
A petition drive is underway — most likely fruitless — to remind the Little Rock Board of Directors of officials' promises to rebuild the Adult Leisure Center on 12th Street with fire insurance proceeds. The city Board is about to take the money to cover budget shortfalls instead. It's short-sighted and cowardly. But that's pretty much LR city government in a nutshell.
The call to arms:
The City of Little Rock Adult Leisure Center on 12th Street near the YWCA burned down last October (see Arkansas Times Blog article below). When it burned down the City promised to rebuild the facility by 2012; however tomorrow (Tuesday) night at 6:00 the City of Little Rock Board of Directors will make a motion that will include a recommendation to use the insurance money to balance the city’s budget rather than for their intended purpose, which is to rebuild the Adult Leisure Center. Please consider sharing this message and taking one or more of the steps listed below to preserve this much needed resource for our aging community and urge the board to find other creative ways to balance the city’s budget. Thank you.
How you can help:
1. Call or email board member, major, and city manager to voice your concern. All Little Rock City Board Members can be emailed at Board@littlerock.org; Andre Bernard, the Director of Housing and Neighborhood Programs can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org; City Manager Bruce Moore can be emailed at email@example.com or called at371-4510; and Mayor Stodola can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or called at 371-4501.
2. Attend the Board of Directors Meeting at City Hall (2nd Floor on Markham) on Tuesday evening at 5:30 to show support and voice your concern. If you want to speak, you must come early to sign in. The meeting starts at 6:00 and spaces are limited.
3. Sign the Petition that is being circulated.
4. Share this email and talk to neighbors and friends throughout the Little Rock Community to inform them of the problem and ask them to urge the city to use the insurance money for its intended purpose: to rebuild the Adult Leisure Center.
Arkansas Times Article - Below is a copy of the blog article posted by Max Brantley, editor of the Arkansas Times on Sunday, October 18th, the day after the Adult Leisure Center burned down. City Manager Bruce Moore is quoted half way through the article: “It will be a high priority to rebuild this important community resource. We will work quickly with groups and organizations that have reserved the Leisure Center for upcoming events to relocate them at other city owned facilities at no charge.”
LR Leisure Center burns down Posted by Max Brantley on Sun, Oct 18, 2009 at 5:14 PM
The city of Little Rock's adult leisure center on West Twelfth Street (near the YMCA) burned to the ground early this morning. Fire officials aren't speculating on cause. The city says it will rebuild the popular community center.
LR NEWS RELEASE
The University Park Adult Leisure Center on 12th Street caught on fire this morning at around 1:30 am and is considered a total loss. No one was injured in the blaze. “We’ll begin a comprehensive assessment first thing Monday morning with the Fire Marshall’s office,” said City Manager Bruce Moore. “They’ll conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the fire, which at this time is unknown. Foul play is not suspected.” The Leisure Center is the home for Little Rock senior citizen programs. Line dancing, knitting and social events were some of the popular recurrent activities there. It was also a popular rental facility for wedding receptions, family reunions and birthday parties. “It will be a high priority to rebuild this important community resource,” said Moore. “We will work quickly with groups and organizations that have reserved the Leisure Center for upcoming events to relocate them at other city owned facilities at no charge.” According to Fire Chief Greg Summers, Little Rock Fire Department Station 15 on Kanis Road was first to arrive at the scene. It took an hour to get the blaze under control. Ten engines, four ladder trucks and a heavy rescue unit were among those that responded to the emergency. No other surrounding properties were damaged.