YMCA Has Designs on TLAC Site

Oh, so that's why the city wanted to close the Town Lake Animal Center

Animal advocates and parks advocates alike were in alarm mode early this week as news broke that the city is in negotiations with the YMCA to give land and funding for a new aquatics center near the Y's Town Lake branch – possibly impinging on the tract formerly occupied by the Town Lake Animal Center, and now being used as a temporary shelter by Austin Pets Alive!.

The animal rights community had suspected the city all along of having ulterior motives in closing the TLAC, and some view this news as grim confirmation of those fears. Parks advocates, meanwhile, see it as another in a series of privatization initiatives coming out of the city Parks and Recreation Depart­ment, with the specific support of Mayor Lee Lef­fing­well. And once again, PARD appears to be trying to sideline the city's Parks and Recreation Board, which reportedly asked for a presentation on the plan before PARD and the Y went public on it, and were rebuffed.

Specifically, this newest initiative comes on the heels of PARD's unsuccessful attempts to privatize or repurpose the Austin and Dottie Jordan Recreation centers last fall, and the city's controversial deal to fund construction of a North Austin YMCA, instead of a long-awaited city rec center which area residents believed they would get from bond money approved in 2006.

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