Charleston City Council passed a resolution Monday to use money from the Community Development Block Grant budget to allocate money toward recreation centers, a nonprofit and curb ramps.
The money in the fund has been building up for the past three years. Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin identified projects around the city she thought could use the money.
A total of about $242,000 will be spent among four projects. One was to provide $45,800 for a new air conditioning system for the Kanawha Valley Fellowship Home, a home for men recovering from substance abuse.
Another $15,000 was to do a historic research survey for the Five Corners area on the West Side.
This would make it so property owners there would qualify for state and federal tax credits.
To adhere to Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the city will be putting $80,000 toward ADA compliant curb ramps.
A total of about $80,000 will be used to make upgrades for two recreation centers — the North Charleston Community Center and the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center. Most of the upgrades will be made for safety reasons such as adding panic bars to doors, installing parking lot lights and making bathrooms ADA compliant.
Goodwin said when she did an assessment of the parks and recreation facilities one thing became apparent right away: “We need to do massive upgrades for safety and security in many of the buildings,” Goodwin said. “It’s something that has been neglected for way too long.”
At a previous Parks and Recreation committee meeting, city officials said there are about $122,317 worth of updates needed to the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center and North Charleston Community Center.
It was also mentioned that the committee was historically under budgeted in the past.
“These are things the city must address for safety reasons,” Committee Chairwoman Caitlin Cook said. “It’s a good thing we have money to fix these issues that isn’t necessarily coming from the budget.”
Goodwin said safety and ADA compliance were among her top priorities for the facilities, but there is still more work to be done. She said she would like to make additional upgrades such as improving softball and baseball fields.
“This is a start, but we’ve got a long way to go,” Goodwin said.