City needs to put community rec center back on CIP list

I was disappointed that the Homer City Council deleted the Community Rec Center off  the city’s CIP list. It makes me realize that the city leadership continues to undervalue the role recreation plays in the  health and economics or our  community. 

With the closure of the HERC building which housed the Boys and Girls Club and other community classes, the city’s small recreational presence has almost disappeared.   The city of Homer currently has an inadequate vision of what their recreational obligations are to the full spectrum of their residents. 

Also, when people come to Homer from out of town, unless their visit is marine industry related, they are here to recreate. They arrive to hike, ice skate, snowmachine, play ball, camp, kayak, stroll our beaches, ski, bike, fish.

The recreators are a force, a financial force. They  contribute significant sales tax to our city coffers. Local nonprofit recreational groups have stepped in and created an infrastructure with little city support through which the city benefits greatly — year round. 

I would like to see the city council put the Community Rec Center back on  the city’s CIP list. With a community center, potential is possible.  Please  consider increased funding and the expansion of the Parks and Rec  Department.   

I believe city leadership needs to acknowledge the importance of  recreation to a community and not only encourage it, but support it with city resources. 

Shelly Laukitis