Mayor Curry: "This shouldn't have happened," finds solution to summer camps shortage

City Council has found a solution to a camp shortage in Jacksonville.

Mayor Lenny Curry says the way city council provides funding for summer camps is Jacksonville will be modified to ensure a shortage in available spots doesn't happen again.

Curry announced Thursday that the city had come up with a solution to the summer camp shortage woes.

"To ensure that kids have access to lunches to snack, to learning opportunities, to exercise, etc," Curry explained.

Parents were in an uproar concerned their children would be left with nothing to do this summer.

In January, the Jacksonville Children's Commission agreed to pay more money to camp sites for each child enrolled in programs even though the budget for summer camps in Jacksonville did not increase. That caused a shortage of available spots. 

"It's unacceptable what happened," Curry said.

Several city council members claimed they were unaware of the decision to increase camp cost until they started receiving complaints from parents.

Almost 2500 children, ages 5-15, would have been affected and as we all know keeping youth productive during the summer has many benefits.

"At best, they would be sitting at home eating junk food and watching tv… at worst they could end up getting recruited for one of the numerous gangs in the area. neither of those options are good for children," Jon Heymann, Jacksonville Children's Commission said.

According to the JCC, the camps provide academic and enrichment activities for at-risk youth. They also supply meals to children who otherwise may not get them.

While speaking exclusively to First Coast News, Mayor Curry remained mum on the exact details on his solution to the problem, telling us he would announce the full details at a press conference Friday morning at 10 a.m.

"What we're going to propose is a Band-Aid. We're going to put something together to serve kids. I'm thinking through ways to reform some things so that this doesn't happen again," Curry concluded.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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