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May 1, 2013

Charlestown secures $1.6M for community center

City leaders continue planning of Family Activity Center

(Continued)

CHARLESTOWN —

The train is currently being assembled and includes an old-fashioned-style locomotive made from an airport tug vehicle that will pull three passenger cars and a caboose.

Hall said the opening date for the FAC was scheduled for May 24, but the sprinkle pad equipment has caused some delay, and he now expects to have the center open about June 1.

Council members Dan James and Ruth Rawlings were the two dissenting votes on the resolution to take out the $1.1 million loan from New Washington State Bank.

James was also the only member to vote against each of the three ordinances passed during the meeting.

“I don’t have any problems with the project,” James said of the FAC. “I have a problem with how Bob Hall does things.”

He said Hall has initiated the project, which is currently being constructed, without securing the funding beforehand.

“The funding should have been in place before the project started,” James said. “The project is on the way and the funding is not there. It’s being done after the fact.”

While James said he doesn’t take issue with the FAC, he said the funding would be better spent elsewhere.

“We would be better spending our money on infrastructure, something the entire community benefits from, instead of 10 percent of the people [Charlestown residents] who will use the park,” James said.

Hall has said the FAC will serve as an amenity that will attract people and business to Charlestown.

For Hall, the FAC, and other initiatives, will serve the community for decades to come.

He has said children will develop a strong connection to the city through recreation, and in the future, they will want to raise their families in Charlestown.

He has also said as the east-end bridge is built and businesses continue to expand in the area, employees will be drawn to Charlestown by the FAC.

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