CLE council members claim rec center improvements delayed by slow bid process

Council members claim bid process delays to blame
Posted at 11:28 PM, Jun 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-14 23:28:29-04

Cleveland's recreation centers play an important role, especially with the upcoming summer season, but some city council members are upset with maintenance and improvement project delays at these facilities. 

Councilman Kevin Conwell pointed to maintenance concerns at the Lonnie Burton city pool, where low water levels had some parents wondering about potential problems at the facility.

Conwell was also animated about what he called major roof issues at the Glenville Recreation Center.

Conwell claimed $700,000 was appropriated for needed repairs back in 2015, but said the project has been held in limbo due to a slow bidding process in finding contractors for the job.

"I go down and see them almost every week and ask them when will the project get started," said Conwell.

"They said councilman we're putting it out to bid."

Conwell said the city administration needs to streamline the bidding process, especially for critical city improvements like recreation centers.

Councilman Michael Polensek agreed, pointing to stalled projects at Kovacic and Thurgood Marshall recreation centers, as well as new issues at the 5-year-old Collinwood Recreation Center.

Polensek said it all comes down to the city administration re-evaluating its priorities.

"It takes too long to get things done in this city, far too long," said Polensek.

"We've got to make these recreation centers as important as the "Q," as Public Square, as whatever the other projects are.  They got to be on the same level."

News 5 contacted the Cleveland Mayor's office, and it responded quickly.

It said it would look into low water levels at Lonnie Burton city pool.

The administration said it currently has money approved for 7 Cleveland recreation center projects.

The Mayor's office told News 5 the bidding process to find the right contractors for these jobs takes some time, to insure tax dollars are used in the best way possible.

But Conwell said it should never take three years to get a project started, especially when the money for the job is just sitting there.

"Our residents deserve better," said Conwell.  "These residents count on our recreation centers and Glenville and other recreation centers should have seen major improvements last year.