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August 23, 2018

Councilwoman Kates on the Reopening of the Poplas Quarter Recreational Center

The following was submitted (and is presented unedited) by Bogalusa Councilwoman (District A) Gloria Kates. Click "Read More" for her submission.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Grant was awarded in 1980 for the purpose of construction of a Youth Recreation Building in Bogalusa in the Poplas Quarters. Special thank you to Emelda J. Kennerly, former CDBG Director for the City of Bogalusa (under the name of Emelda Johnson Heller) that administered a Small Cities Discretionary Block Grant from February 1979 – July 1980 for her many hours of shared research along with me while she resides in Florida. There were also, MANY heroic citizens in and outside of Bogalusa since that time that were part of this.

This building has also served the community in other important capacities that enabled the community to strive. Citizens has also inquired about the initial purpose. During my tenure beginning in 2015 it has been a tedious task to reopen the building for the purpose of youth recreation.

Many hours of research and tracking historical resources. There has been MANY obstacles along the way, from the District A Neighborhood Association members having to submit an application of a Cooperate Endeavor Agreement to their resubmitting a Request for Proposal Application (which set the time backsword for their goal) The City awarded the organization the bid for the Request for Proposal. in 2017. I thank God. As the Councilperson, I've always advocated for recreation for the youth throughout Bogalusa, however, there were many attacks made from entities within the city, as well as personal attacks during this journey. The majority vote of the city council members was an intricate part, (knowingly I only have one vote) as they too are seeking recreational activities for our youth. For the record, I have no personal gain in this project other than seeking recreation for our YOUTH. Please help the organization to develop these intended purposes.

I thank God and I give God the glory and only God for this dream that is about to happen. I understand that there is additional work to do (floors, etc...). But it shall be done in time.

Congratulations District A Neighborhood Association and congratulations to the Youth of Bogalusa.

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