Recreation contract still not approved by council

Allison B. Hudson

After months of discussing recreation, the council still has not come to an agreement with the Parish.

In December the parish presented a workable contract to the city to take over recreation on the west bank. Council members had several questions and concerns over the past few months, and as some councilmen were ready to vote Tuesday evening, a motion was granted to postpone the decision because of new information given Tuesday night.

"I left our last meeting with the knowledge that the council was ready to let the parish take over recreation," says Councilman Tony Huey. "Its been on my mind for a while and I disagree with the contract. Until I see what we want on paper, I don't feel comfortable voting on this."

Councilman Rev. Charles Brown read several responses to the council and concerned citizens about the contract.

The West Ascension Basketball Association will continue to run the Biddy Basketball program. The parish will assume administrative responsibilities that include compensation of referees, insurance coverage, and clean up costs for facilities where games take place.

The city of Donaldsonville will continue to provide use of the Lemann Center for scheduled games and practices. The city will continue to provide financial support to the parish to support the administration of the basketball program.

Also, the West Ascension Recreation Commission will be abolished and will have no hand in the agreement between the city and the parish.

"My concern is seeing if dual employment is allowed," said Councilman Rev. Charles Brown.

Brown advised the council that Spencer Harvey, who has been instrumental in the Biddy Basketball program for the past 20 years, is also employed as the Superintendent of Public Works for the city.

Attorney Ben Johnson advised the council that dual employment is permissible for an employee to work full time and part time, as long as time doesn't overlap with full time job.

"Donaldsonville really can't afford to hold its own recreation," said Councilman Reginald Francis. " Nothing will change, because it depends on us as a council."

After hearing opinions of the council, Councilman Emile Spano made the motion to allow the parish to take over recreation.

Tony Huey made another motion to postpone the approval of contract due to the information about dual employment given by Attorney Johnson.

Rev. Brown and Councilman Francis voted with Huey to postpone until the April 13 meeting.