A new facility would cost about $5 million.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
CITY HALL REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The city's park and recreation commission gave preliminary approval to permit the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley to build a new facility at the Southside Park location.
At its Thursday meeting, the commission agreed to have the city law department declare the park as surplus, which would allow the city to work out a deal to turn it over to the Rescue Mission.
The commission also wants the agreement to require language that the property would revert back to the city if the Rescue Mission didn't break ground within two years of the contract's being signed.
The law department document must return to the commission for its final approval.
Since 1972, the Rescue Mission has operated its residential facility out of a 14,000-square-foot building on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard that used to be a YMCA.
The new building would be about 60,000 to 80,000 square feet and cost about $5 million to build, said the Rev. David L. Sherrard, the agency's executive director.
The agency's annual budget is about $2 million, which comes from donations, he said. The agency provides meals, overnight shelter, furniture, clothing and education for the poor.
Southside Park is located between Belleview and South avenues, south of Marion Avenue.
Residents don't object
Councilman Paul Pancoe, D-6th, who has Southside Park in his ward, said he spoke to residents near the park and they don't object to the Rescue Mission's building a structure there.
"We need to relocate because our current building is hard to keep up," Sherrard said. "It's not customer-friendly, and there's no parking lot."
As part of the deal, the Rescue Mission would build a playground on the property for use by neighborhood children.