Some clarification on the savings obtained by eliminated two positions at parks and recreation. The savings are 1 million dollars over ten years. Not the $100,000 you inferred from the article posted. They did not word the information accurately. If you have two full time employees that makes $20 and hour they would make a combined salary of $83,200, add retirement and health care and the two positions will be worth 100K a year. The elimination of the two positions at parks and recreation is projected to save 100K per year or 1 million dollars over ten years.
The one million saved through salary reduction is part of the financing for the P&R building. Without that savings it is doubtful that the project would be continued. We currently have two options that are possible for completion. As both of those options will result in consolidation of customer service at City Hall – the city will in fact save one million dollars for inclusion in the cost of the office construction.
The two options that remain are:
1. Build the P&R office in the green space in front of City Hall, killing off the trees and reducing the building set back –about 1.7 million.
2. Removing the stage and building a second basketball court and P&R offices without increasing the building footprint - about 2.8 million.
In option one the stage remains – but no money is allocated for repair or renovation. The Mercury inaccurately reported today that option one included two million for the stage which is not correct. Option one just leaves the stage as it is.
How do the plans stack up with city goals and mission? Goals – expand park and recreation facilities; build parks and recreation offices; achieve best value in regards to debt. Part of the Manhattan mission statement is to preserve the built environment.
Option one – Only supports the goal of building P&R offices.
Option two – Supports all three goals, P&R, expand parks and recreation facilities and is best value as it build two projects – a gym and an office. If these were done separate then the cost would exceed 2.8 million.
Removal of the stage may not support the mission of preserve the built environment – as the stage already exists.
A decision matrix would indicate that more of the city goals are achieved by removing the stage; it provides the better value for the greater good. This was supported by the Parks and Recreation board. It does have the negative of removing part of the built environment. But not everything that is built s still useful.
In the event that option one is selected the stage will remain as is, and any additional funds will be used to build more gym facilities in another location, exceeding the aggregate cost of the stage removal project.
The auditorium itself may become a CIP project in regards to the roof and the AC – as that will enhance the goal of gym facilities use. Private efforts may be used to renovate the stage. The Commission goals for the year do not include the stage as data clearly indicates a lack of best value, gym space trumps stage space.
The Mercury also reported tonight that the Peace Memorial Auditorium was a WWII memorial. I guess if a falsehood is repeated enough times people will believe it. Publishing a picture of the plaque on the front page might set the record straight. If a WWII memorial is desired then perhaps the Veterans Coalition, VFW, and Legion might consider a project to actually create one. Or as part of the living memorial idea, change the plague or add a display in the foyer of the Auditorium that makes the building a true living memorial to WWII veterans.