The now vacant recreation building at Dover Park again will be the subject of debate for the Dover City Council when it meets at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24.
Council already has voted to demolish the building, but that action was vetoed by Dover Mayor Carleton E. Carey Sr. Carey has said he wants to see definitive action taken on providing recreational opportunities for children on the east side of the city before taking the final step of tearing down the existing building.
The center, which has been vacant for several years, would require several thousand dollars in repair work to make it usable, according to a report provided by the city’s planning staff. An alternative use for the money includes using it as seed money to provide either a new building, to upgrade existing services at the park, or to provide new recreational opportunities there.
Former council member Reuben Salters has opposed demolishing the building.
In an email blast sent to supporters Friday night, Salters said, “With a good showing we can stop this from happening.
“The youth of the east side of Dover need a place to recreate,” Salters wrote. “Help fight this battle to save the good portion of the building and adding a space where kids may play during inclement weather or hot summer days.”
Right now the only other alternative is to ride the five miles to the existing Schutte Park, a trip Salters says is too dangerous.
Council President David L. Bonar said he plans to vote against any action to tear down the existing building, as he has done before.
“My stance is the same,” Bonar wrote in an email to the Dover Post.
“The youngsters in that area and even those who are not so young deserve a safe place to have recreational and after-school programs that are near to their homes,” he wrote. “It’s imperative that we consider a new facility at that location, but finding the financing to provide that will be challenging.”