$7 Million More for Recreation Requested

Article excerpt

Three District council members are calling on Mayor Anthony A. Williams to include $7 million in additional funding for the city's Department of Parks and Recreation in the fiscal 2002 budget he's scheduled to present in two weeks.

Kevin P. Chavous, Ward 7 Democrat; Adrian Fenty, Ward 4 Democrat; and Vincent Orange, Ward 5 Democrat, spoke yesterday outside the LaSalle Recreation Center in the 500 block of Riggs Road NE. The center has been closed since 1994.

Mr. Chavous said that the District had made considerable progress in other issues in the past few years, but "the recreation department has not been funded enough for years."

He said that the mayor had promised a "modest" increase of about $1 million to the Department of Parks and Recreation this year, but this was not enough. "We need an aggressive campaign to get more funds," he said.

"This [LaSalle] recreation facility and a number of them in the city have a lot of needs. We're going to make sure that they are met," Mr. Chavous said. He added that the $7 million increase would be just enough to meet the basic needs of the recreation sites.

The council members said that some District families had to take their children to recreation sites in Maryland and Virginia because there were not enough places in the District.

Mr. Fenty pointed out that as many as 5,000 people living in the neighborhood of the LaSalle Recreation Center were left without any recreation services when it closed its doors in 1994. …