The City Council approves a redevelopment consultant’s contract extension and receives a petition in favor of the project.
The City Council approved an $844,600 purchase order at its Aug. 31 meeting to keep Hirsch and Associates on as consultants for the Roxbury Park Community Center’s redevelopment.
Mildred Heller, president of the Beverly Hills Active Adult Club, was on hand at the meeting to voice her support for the project. Many activities and services for adults and seniors take place at the community center.
“We strongly urge you to do everything in your power to make the Roxbury Park Master Plan a reality,” Heller said. She was holding a petition with the names of 150 residents who support the redevelopment. “People are really anxious about this.”
The Roxbury Park Master Plan was approved by the council in May 2008. It calls for the teardown and replacement of the current community center and a renovation of the surrounding park area. The estimated cost of the project is $14 million.
“I think as a community we spend money upgrading our libraries and Greystone [Mansion], yet we have been neglecting Roxbury Park for well over a decade and a half,” Vice Mayor Barry Brucker said. “I’m so anxious to support this because this is good for all of our community.”
Councilman William Brien echoed Brucker’s sentiments.
“At the end of the day, we’ll put people to work in building this project and it will be a capital asset for this community,” Brien said. “All of the residents in the community who will be using these facilities will thank this council.”
But not all council members were as optimistic.
“My problem with the whole Roxbury plan is not the $800,000 now, but it’s the $14 million,” Councilman John Mirisch said, referring to the cost of construction and renovations. “I didn’t support it before, and I’m not going to support it this time.”
Councilwoman Nancy Krasne, who says she considers herself an active, Social Security-collecting senior, supports the idea of improving the community center but believes the city has bigger issues to deal with first.
“I have to prioritize things and the first thing I have to prioritize is the city’s electricity,” Krasne said. “Electricity in this community is not a luxury, but a necessity of life. If I had to choose a way to spend my money, I’m going electricity first and the park second.”
Mayor Jimmy Delshad, who initially was against funding the project, was swayed by Heller’s petition.
“You’ve presented a document that has more than 100 names on it,” Delshad said. “I really believe the city of Beverly Hills deserves more…at this point, I’m going to vote yes on this.”
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