The controversy over a lack of a kitchen at the soon to open Eisenhower Recreation Center became part of the discussion over the 2022 Manhattan City Budget.
Andrew Elliott used public comment time at the City Commission meeting Tuesday night to express frustration over the status of the Northview area as a “food desert”.
Elliott accused city staff of failing to discuss in good faith the potential of placing a kitchen in the rec center to help ease some of the food insecurity issues.
Mayor Wynn Butler was blunt in his response.
Commissioner Linda Morse floated the idea of providing funding for the project to provide assistance to the Northview district during the budget discussion.
But Mayor Wynn Butler noted the change would mean another change would be necessary within the budget.
Residents have been arguing for a kitchen to be built at the rec center since it was on the drawing board. Butler noted that discussion over building that kitchen was a part of the initial planning process.
The “food desert” designation highlights that the neighborhood has not had a grocery store for more than 20 years, after a successor to the Dutch Maid store in the Blue Hills Shopping Center closed.