By Hannah Poling
David Hooie, neighborhood program coordinator for the city of Columbus, attended the September meeting of the Westland Area Commission to listen to ideas for a recreation center on the westside.
Hooie said he has been involved in Westland in some way for more than 20 years.
“I do believe that you guys need some attention,” he said.
According to Hooie, there are several other area commissions within the city that all have the same request. In his opinion, if all three commissions were pulled together to request one central location, it would make a stronger case than each commission alone.
“If we get three commissions to all agree that they want this, it’s more powerful,” said Hooie.
Janet Cahill, chair of the parks and recreation committee, said that they have already reached out to the other commissions adjacent to them to come to a meeting and see if they could combine resources.
“They do not think that it’s in their best interest,” said Cahill.
Hooie suggested commissioners arrange a meeting with city’s parks and recreation leaders.
Cahill said she has requested the parks department provide a report on the park’s dedication funds.
According to Cahill, these funds have been accumulating since 1985 and she anticipated on the account having plenty of money to invest in the recreation center.
Cahill said the commission’s parks and recreation committee has talked to numerous individuals to determine a potential property to build a recreation center. However, she said she spoke with the parks and recreation deputy director who reported that the city has no plans to build another recreation center.
“The bottom line was there will be no more recreation centers built in the city of Columbus,” said Cahill.
The commissioners wants to make some progress, even if it’s creating a park similar to Alkire Park.
Cahill and Hooie agreed that having a meeting with influential people in the city may be of benefit.
“People higher up the food chain would be nice,” said commissioner Nancy Day-Achauer. “We have talked to pretty much everyone below on the food chain.”
Hooie said he would try to facilitate a meeting.
“I do think it needs to be brought to light,” he said. “I will bring it up to my director.”