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East Bay Regional Park District says Boys and Girls Club is Technically not Eligible for Alameda’s Measure WW Funds

By Erica Madison

On Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009, an East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) report was given regarding concerns about the application of $2 million worth of Measure WW Funds.

EBRPD board of directors member, Doug Siden, started the meeting off by explaining to City Council, how the money for Measure WW was obtained.

In November of 2008 EBRPD was given $500 million in recreational grants.

“The Board (EBRPD) approved the largest park fund measure for local parks in the United States,” Said EBRPD board of directors member, Doug Siden. Of the 500 million 125 million was split amongst 35 cities. The splitting of the money was determined by population status. Because of Alameda’s population, the city received 3.46 million for Measure WW.”

The report on Measure WW guidelines was given in response to the Sept. 1, 2009 City Council meeting. During this meeting, Council woman Lena Tam referred the Boys and Girls Club as possible recipients of $2 million from Measure WW, for a recreation center to be built on the Woodstock school site.

The request sparked a debate among Council members, as to whether or not the Boys and Girls Club is eligible for Measure WW funds.

Their suspicion was confirmed at a special joint meeting of the City Council and Alameda Reuse and Redevelopment Authority. “No we can’t transfer those funds ($2 million from Measure WW) directly to the agency.” Said an EBRPD representative.

But there was a silver lining. The representative went on to explain, who the money goes to is at the discretion of City Council members. If the Council desires to build a recreation center, it is within their right to use private contractors or nonprofit organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club. The EBRPD’s main concern, is that the money goes towards something that benefits the public.

There were also still many people against the idea of giving money to the Boys and Girls Club, regardless of the legal ramifications. “I am opposed. I think we have too many other things to do,” said Recreation and Park Commissioner Michael Cooper.

He informed the Council, that the Recreation and Parks Commission voted unanimously against giving the Boys and Girls Club Measure WW funds. A representative of the EBRPD said, the program already has $3 million worth of applications this year alone. Plus the application deadline for 2009, has already passed. In order for the EBRPD to make a decision on eligibility, the city of Alameda will have to submit an application. However this application will not be reviewed until February of 2010, and a decision may not be made until May of 2010.

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