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D.C. Neighborhood Caught In Middle Of Council Contract Dispute

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Rosedale Grassroots Organization president Sondra Gilbert stands in front of the partially-demolished wall of the Rosedale Rec Center -- while holding a photo of its demolition, taken September 30 during the ground breaking of a new rec center. The organization wants the city council to release frozen funds so work can resume on the long-anticipated facility.
Mana Rabiee
Rosedale Grassroots Organization president Sondra Gilbert stands in front of the partially-demolished wall of the Rosedale Rec Center -- while holding a photo of its demolition, taken September 30 during the ground breaking of a new rec center. The organization wants the city council to release frozen funds so work can resume on the long-anticipated facility.

By Mana Rabiee

Some residents in Southeast D.C. are angry that a city council controversy over contracts has put their planned rec center in limbo.

Residents of the Rosedale neighborhood gathered outside the Rosedale Rec Center Saturday morning for a small but vocal protest. They want the city to release the $16 million in frozen funds that had been allocated to rebuild their old rec center.

The facility is one in a bundle of parks and recreation contracts worth $86 million which the city council might void, alleging they were improperly awarded to a single contractor with ties to Mayor Fenty.

"In the middle of this political fight and discussion that's going on is our most vulnerable, our needy, our at-risk citizens: children, senior and families, that are waiting on these projects to be completed," says Sondra Gilbert, president of the Rosedale Grassroots Organization. Gilbert says her group won't stand for a long delay before construction on the rec center resumes.

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