ATLANTIC CITY — City Council introduced an ordinance Wednesday to lease city-owned property at 1010 Drexel Ave. to the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City.
Michelle Carrera, executive director of the club, said the location behind the club’s facility on Pennsylvania Avenue would host an economic development program.
The site formerly hosted the Mayor James L. Usry Child Day Care Center, which moved to a location on Bacharach Boulevard.
The ordinance passed 5-4 on first reading and sparked a discussion among several council members about the best way to maximize the property’s use by the city’s youth.
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Councilmen Frank Gilliam, Moisse Delgado, Chuen “Jimmy” Cheng and George Tibbitt voted against the measure.
Gilliam proposed the ordinance be tabled so additional organizations could express interest in the building.
“I do believe they should have access, but they shouldn’t be the sole entity,” Gilliam said of the Boys & Girls Club.
Council President Marty Small, who sponsored the resolution, said there can only be one leaseholder on the agreement. He said the Boys & Girls Club could work with additional organizations if they were to acquire the building.
The Boys & Girls Club wants to use the expansion site to run a program that would help children explore workforce and educational career paths.
Carrera said she hopes the ordinance is given final approval and that the organization is open to partnering or working with any other city organization for the betterment of youth.
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“We want to break the cycle of poverty,” she said. “We’re serving over 160 kids today, and we need more space.”
Also at the council meeting, final approval was given for ordinances that would let the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority acquire and demolish property at 1516 Belfield Ave.
An ordinance also was given final approval that would reduce barriers to finding housing in the city for people who might have been incarcerated or had criminal convictions. The ordinance passed 8-1. Councilman Jesse Kurtz voted against the measure.