STEUBENVILLE - Recreation Board President Sandi Rue said she will take an offer of free exercise equipment to the City Council recreation committee, but made no promises about free admission to the Martin Luther King Recreation Center Wellness Center.
Royal Mayo of the Ohio Conference National Association for the Advancement of Colored People renewed his proposal to donate dumb bells and possibly, "commercial grade exercise equipment" for the MLK Wellness Center.
"I want the wellness center to be free for the community. The city spent $4.6 million on Belleview and Jim Wood parks with no plans to recoup that money. But, you want to charge people to use the MLK Wellness Center and it was built with federal funds," Mayo told the recreation board Wednesday night.
Mayo also cited a multiple-page letter sent to him in response to questions he raised at a board meeting earlier this year.
"You didn't answer all the questions, and you had different people answer the letters. I represent a group of people who didn't get anything. I will remain angry until this is resolved," Mayo said.
"We worked on that letter as a group, but I take responsibility for it," replied Recreation Director Troy Kirkendall.
"We will sit down with the council recreation committee and ask them if they want to accept your offer. They will decide. You always blame the $4.6 million spent on the parks on us. We attended the town meetings just like you did. I wanted a senior citizens center, but we didn't get it. But I moved on. We are well aware of where the money was spent. We will sit down with the council members and ask them to look at your proposals," Rue stated.
Kirkendall said a new piece of exercise equipment has been installed in the wellness center.
"We may be getting additional new equipment, so I was waiting until that was completed and laid out before we started putting small equipment in the wellness center," said Kirkendall.
Board member Jason Jenkins said he agreed with several issues raised by Mayo.
"The basketball court at Belleview is a joke. It is not a regulation-size court," noted Jenkins.
Kirkendall said the MLK basketball court was refinished this year, "because we get much more use of that facility than the park basketball court."
In other business the board approved three facility requests including a proposal by Anytime Fitness to hold a boot camp at Jim Wood Park to benefit the United Way of Jefferson County.
"We will charge $25 entry fee and all of the proceeds will go to the United Way. We want to have some fun, help the United Way and show people it is easy to start working on getting back in shape," said Paul Giannamore, manager of the Steubenville Anytime Fitness Center.
Giannamore said prizes will be awarded at the end of the event, "and we are planning an anti-5K walk, where we will walk backward around the track. We are hoping to have some fun for a good cause."
The board also approved Derek Smith's request for the Belleview ball fields on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for a men's softball league.
And, a request to reserve the North End Park for an Obama barbecue and rally Saturday afternoon was approved.