A proposal to charge a registration fee at the Kiley Recreation Center in Peekskill has some residents up in arms.
The Peekskill Common Council is considering a proposal to make users pay $10 a quarter, or $40 a year, to use the programs in the facility. Officials said the move is being considered as part of a series to make up $30,000 in revenue.
Last year, officials were considering eliminating staffing in the building as part of a number of cost saving measures in this year's budget.
A week would be established each quarter for registration. It's not clear if the youth would receive any sort of identification card after they register . The process would start sometime around April 1.
Recreation officials are exploring other ways of creating revenue such as basketball tournaments, clinics and camps.
"During the budget process, we discussed a lot of things about the Kiley Center," Councilwoman Marybeth Mcgowan said during Monday's Common Council meeting. "The staff at the Kiley Center themselves, also brought up the possibility of a $10 fee for a particular period of time. That $10 discussion is still on the table and I believe it will be implemented. When it is implemented? I don't know."
Jim Edler accused the Common Council of racism and suggested that they undergo race sensitivity training.
"There's another more creative way you can pay for [training]," Edler said. "I think you can take the money out of your pockets and go out for some anti-racism training…instead of asking this kids at the Kiley Center on quarterly basis to participate in."
Darrell Davis, the leader of the Committee for Justice, said that the fee would target the children in the community with the least resources.
"The point is that the most needy community, kids with no backyard, no porches and you want to start charging $10?" Davis said.
Peekskill resident Leesther Brown believes the city doesn't have the authority to charge a fee for the center, because the city doesn't own the building.
"This agreement says that you have to provide all of the educational programs, the recreational programs and in consultation with the house authority which is the board, not [Peekskill Housing Authority Harold Phipps," Brown said. "You can't change this agreement."
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