Alderman Butts Heads with Mayor's Office Over Opening of O'Fallon Park Rec Center

Sep 17, 2012 at 8:00 am

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Mayor Slay
Mayor Slay

Jeff Rainford, Slay's chief of staff, calls the rec center project the mayor's "baby" and says he's not sure why French, who was previously happy with the YMCA's fee schedule and management proposal, is suddenly holding up the bill. The YMCA says they'll be able to open the center 90 days after the bill is approved.

"Halfway through, he pulled the bill and started criticizing the mayor," says Rainford. "We want people to be able to use it. It'd be a crying shame to build this palace on the hill and no one can use it."

Rainsford says there will be 1,300 guaranteed scholarships given to kids and their families, 650 will be distributed by the Boys & Girls Club of Greater St. Louis, which is supposed to partner with the Y to provide children's activities. In order to obtain the lower $25 membership, parents will have to show cause for need and bring in a paystub or W-2 form.

Rob West, the executive director of the Monsanto YMCA who will also run the O'Fallon rec center, says that's the way the Y has always done things.

"Anybody who comes in our facility is elligible for finanical assistance," says West. "That financial assistance can be as much as 90 percent off."

French says until he sees that in writing, the bill to open the center will remain on the back burner.

"As a completely 100 percent taxpayer funded building, I want to make sure every St. Louisan is able to access that building regardless of income."