Phenix City leaders address concerns about new community center

Phenix City leaders address concerns about new community center

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - The ribbon was cut on the Idle Hour Park Community Center less than a month ago and folks in Phenix City are already talking about who they think it should be named after. Some are even raising concerns about the price to rent the new facility.

Councilors urged those concerned to take a tour before sounding off.

"We compared ourselves to the Columbus State Cunningham Center, the River Mills, the trade center in the bid for the realtors," a city spokesperson explains.

Phenix City leaders say because of this, they are able to competitively price the rental for the only place in the city to host a gathering for more than 300 people. At $1,000 a night for weekends - and slightly lower during the week - council members tell us the fees are in place to preserve the city's newest jewel.

"If we have fees attached to it so we can clean the carpet, repaint the walls and do things like that," said Chris Blackshear, Council Member-At-Large.

Together, Phenix City Council agreed to address several other concerns brought to their attention by the community -- like why the center isn't named after an influential person in the city.

"I can sit here and tell you, nobody on this current council -- and I think you can ask these department heads and our city manager -- we haven't committed to naming anything after anyone," Blackshear adds.

Councilor Blackshear went on to add that there is only one building in Phenix City that bears the name of any person -- The Roy Martin Center, named after the man responsible for creating Moon Lake, which Ilde Hour Park surrounds. Even with these issues swirling around the center's opening, councilors urge residents to bring their concerns to council to be addressed.

Blackshear pleads with residents "if y'all have questions of what we're doing or you're hearing on the streets -- come ask us. We'll tell you. You may not like the answer we're going to give you, but we're going to give you the truth."

Councilors also approved a resolution for a more than $14,000 credit for Idle Hour Park as well as granting an easement for Alabama power to move one of the light poles already place at the park.

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