Brea Allows Construction of Community Center

After a delay of more than two months, the City Council has allowed construction of the Brea Community Center to proceed.

Groundbreaking on the $7-million project had been put on hold by the council in December, shortly after the collapse of the county's investment pool. Brea had $9 million invested in the pool when the county declared bankruptcy Dec. 6.

The 4-1 vote to go ahead with the center came Wednesday at a special council session. Councilwoman Kathy Wiser, who said she wanted to err on the side of fiscal caution, cast the lone dissenting vote.

"I cannot support putting the residents of Brea in debt," Wiser said. "It's like getting a house that's grander than you can afford."

The other council members, however, said they believe Brea will be able to pay for the project without affecting vital services such as public safety and maintenance. A bond to fund the center will be repaid by the Brea Redevelopment Agency.

The 51,000-square-foot center at Randolph Avenue and Madison Way will feature a gymnasium, locker rooms, a community hall, classrooms and an arts studio. Mayor Bev Perry said the facilities are needed to house city programs serving infants through seniors.

Councilwoman Lynn Daucher said the cost of building the center would probably rise if the city postponed construction any longer.

"It's a great bid," she said. "You may not get that in a couple of years."

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