The newest city recreation center isn’t in the recreation budget.
The Recreation Committee approved its section of the proposed city budget almost as written Tuesday night. The only cut was $1,500 from the line item for propane at the Giorgetti building — recreation superintendent Kim Peters said she based her estimate on a bill that had been posted incorrectly.
Alderman Thomas DePoy, the committee chairman, noted the city’s rental of the College of St. Joseph gymnasium is not accounted for in the budget. With activities at the building proving instantly popular, several city officials have expressed interest in the city purchasing the facility when the short-term lease expires at the end of March.
DePoy asked where the operating funds would come from if the city is running the building when the budget year begins in July.
“That’s a big question,” Mayor David Allaire replied. “I’m certainly interested, but we haven’t sat down to negotiate even what a price would be, let alone operating costs.”
Allaire said that when he drafted the budget, he had no idea what would happen with the facility. DePoy said he wasn’t asking for numbers, just an idea of how the city would fund the facility. Allaire replied that he did not have an answer and DePoy said it was something they needed to start thinking about.
“I would love to see the city continue to run that facility,” he said. “The usership keeps going up and up.”
The city’s short-term lease on the facility began Nov. 1, and it instantly became popular with senior citizens who could no longer get their exercise by walking around Diamond Run Mall, which had just closed. Peters reported late last month that she had aimed to sell 100 memberships to the facility and had already hit 180.
“This has taken on a new life that we really weren’t expecting,” Peters said Tuesday.
The committee normally does Rutland Free Library as part of its review, but DePoy said the library had not been property notified. Alderman Scott Tommola, chairman of the General Committee, agreed to let him put the library on for the beginning of that committee’s budget meeting on Thursday.