The City Council voted to approve the use of $200,000 from the Long Beach Relief Fund for repairs at the Recreation Center, as well as to set aside $100,000 for grants to help community organizations with their post-Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.
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The city set up the fund soon after the storm hit last October as a means to accept donations and has since raised $1.4 million. Most of the money arrived in June, when Billy Crystal present his hometown with a large check consisting of $800,000 he raised with his celebrity friends and $112,000 he and his wife, Janice, kicked in.
When the council voted to dip into the fund for the first time at the Aug. 20 meeting, City Manager Jack Schnriman explained that the city wanted to use the funds for the Rec Center since the Federal Emergency Management Agency doesn’t reimburse for many of the items needed to restore the storm-battered building. Among the upgrades the fund will help replace are lockers, benches, a new liner for the pool and new tile for the pool deck, according to the Long Beach Herald. Schnirman said:
“If our residents had to endure having their facilities closed for quite a substantial period of time, the least we could do is use a little bit of our relief funds in order to make them better than they were before.”
Meanwhile, applications for the community grants are posted on the city’s website and each organization can file just one application before the Oct. 4 deadline.