The city has temporarily postponed plans to hire a youth outreach worker for $15,000 a year because of the county's financial crisis. And an outside play area for children, which was to be added to a section of the Boys and Girls Club, has also been put on hold.
The same is true for the acoustical sound repairs that were to be made at the city's cultural arts center.
Though the postponed improvement projects are relatively small in comparison to ones that other cities with money in the county investment pool must put off, they will, nonetheless, affect everyone--from the bands that entertain in the arts center to children who need a place to play.
"I haven't given up hope yet," said Neal Hopkins, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club. "I figure once the problem is solved, we'll be back in the running, and we'll be able to build the play area."
Though the county allocated $200,000 to the city in park grants before the financial disaster, City Manager Greg Hulsizer said he'd rather play it safe.
But in regard to the county bankruptcy filing, he said, "We're in a better position than most municipalities. We have remained a very lean, cost-conscious organization over the years and we intend to continue operating that way."
At a City Council meeting Tuesday night, Mayor Sal Sapien said the city has never been in a better position, despite the financial crisis in the county. A new golf practice center, complete with driving range, putting course and pro shop, is planned, and a new business opportunity center will soon open.
"These are accomplishments we can be proud of," said Sapien, reflecting on the old council just before council newcomers David John Shawver and Brian Donahue joined reelected incumbent Harry Dotson in being sworn in. "We are definitely working as a unit."