After announcing plans to shutter recreation centers on the North side of Lafayette, the Josh Guillory administration has again issued a release about the decision.
Today's release appears to attempt to provide justification for the selection of the centers that would be closed.
Yesterday, Guillory's Chief of Minority Affairs issued a statement saying it is up to the community to find the money to fund operations at the centers. All of the suggestions he provided involve private funding.
Here's the statement:
"There has been a lot of discussion over the past few days about why the decision was made to close four of Lafayette's 10 recreation centers. While these decisions were difficult, they were not made with any intention to harm any particular group of citizens nor for political reasons.
Sixty percent of the parish recreation centers are located on the north side of Lafayette Parish, in a district where less than 20 percent of the population resides. Despite the closures, the remaining recreation centers in that area still represent one-third of those in the parish. The remaining north side facilities are more than adequate to fulfill the needs of our citizens in that area, and still have more convenient geographical access for residents than other centers in the parish.
The Bowles Activity Center only houses offices and meeting rooms, the park remains open. J. Carlton James Activity Center also only houses offices and meeting rooms, however Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) will work with non-profit groups to continue to facilitate after school tutoring. That park remains open as well.
The Heymann Recreation Center has a gym with no bleachers and can not be used for basketball games and the usage numbers for the center are low. Heymann Park will remain open. The Domingue Recreation Center also has very low usage, but will likely be opened during basketball season to facilitate youth leagues and City Park remains open.
Mayor-President Josh Guillory will continue to work with the Councils and community leaders to find alternative ways to keep these centers available for the citizens of Lafayette Parish. He will also do everything it takes to ensure that the City and Parish of Lafayette are in the best financial position possible to avoid increasing the financial burden on our citizens."