Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Rose Park Bill Moved Up in the Agenda to Accommodate Packed Public Gallery; Amendment Adopted

A motion was adopted early in tonight's council meeting to move third reading of the ordinance on Metro-Belmont lease on District 19's Rose Park up on the agenda.

Council Member Ginger Pepper introduced an amendment, which would replace the existing Metro-Belmont lease with a new one. Changes (many, but not all of which were suggested by the neighborhoods affected) include:
  • Belmont is required to contribute $50,000 per year for 30 years (80% will go to Metro Parks; 20% split evenly between Rose Park & Carter Lawrence PTOs).
  • Parks cannot cut annual funding to Rose Park on the basis of Belmont's contribution.
  • No part of the Rose Park property could be sold to Belmont.
  • Adjacent public schools and park activities will be given priority in scheduling.
  • Belmont shall not schedule activities for at least 30 minutes after a public school and/or park activity ends.
  • If collegiant game tickets with a money value are issued, Belmont shall provide at least 10% to Community Center.
  • It is not the intent that any of the field should be named after Belmont University.
  • Traffic & parking study was conducted on August 1; controls recommended by that study must be made.
  • Since Belmont's construction does not begin until 2008, the 07-08 year is to be an evaluative year at Belmont's expense.
  • Parks has to complete annual reports on lease and they have to meet with the community for feedback and then present report to Council evaluating all of the other requirements.
  • Belmont will provide a full tuition scholarship & 2 half tuition scholarships annually. The boundaries will be determined by a community advisory committee.
Ms. Pepper reported that changes have been accepted by Belmont. Parks Department will decide in September. If Parks declines, the bill will move to consideration by the new Metro Council and the new Mayor.

There remained some questions about whether the community supported the amendment changes. Ms. Pepper responded that it did not satisfy all of the community, but that she felt it was the best "win-win" compromise that she could get after two community-university meetings this month.

The Pepper Amendment was adopted by voice vote. Amended bill still has to be passed at the end of debate, which is still going.

UPDATE: The City Paper reports this morning that the Pepper Amendment stipulated "8" full Belmont scholarships.

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