MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Mount Vernon Council member Deborah Reynolds has proposed an eight-lane track that would be constructed at Memorial Field.
The council member has started an all-out campaign to get the track built, sending e-mails to thousands in an attempt to rally support for her cause.
“Participating in sports gives our youth the ability to develop tight and lasting friendships with others who have common interests,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds said that it was an insult to local athletes and taxpayers who are missing out on the chance to generate revenue by becoming the hosts of events on the proposed track. Mount Vernon High School already has an eight-lane track for events.
“In these tough economic times, we need something that will generate income for our city, and constructing a track at Memorial Field will help the city make money,” she added. “We shouldn’t have to rely on the school district’s track and field facility. We should have our own.”
During the City Council meeting on Wednesday, residents expressed both support and disdain for the idea of the track. Reynolds asked council members to vote on a referendum regarding to the track, but the notion was quickly rejected and never voted on.
“For Mayor Davis not to institute a competitive eight-lane track at Memorial Field is a slap in the face to the athletes of Mount Vernon High School, the youth, and the taxpayers because of lost city revenue in hosting competitive competitions,” Reynolds added.
Fellow council member Roberta Apuzzo countered Reynolds proposal by adding that the proposed tennis bubble that is to be constructed at Memorial Field can generate revenue year-round, while a track is seasonal.
Resident Juan Gonzalez said that he liked the idea of a track, but wasn’t sure it was feasible.
“Anything we can do to bring people into our city is always a good thing,” he said. “But with the economy the way it is, I’m not sure it makes sense for us to undertake such a big project.”
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