Tuesday, November 3, 2009
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The Echo Park neighborhood council - which has found itself meeting in churches and libraries as well as in parking garages and even a play ground - has finally found a permanent home.
The Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council has agreed to lease the back of the Bank of America at Echo Park Avenue and Sunset Boulevard for more than $400 a month. News of the lease comes about a year after the LAPD Stop-In Center, which acted as a neighborhood office for Rampart and Northeast division officers, in the same location closed abruptly without explanation, said Susan Borden of the Echo Park Security Assn. Councilman Ed Reyes introduced a motion to have the Los Angeles City Council approve the lease.
Borden said the security association, Echo Park Chamber of Commerce and other community groups took it upon themselves to open up the 1,300-square-foot Echo Park Stop In Center in 1995 in a part of the branch that once housed walk-up teller windows and other offices. The chamber paid to install a bathroom in the space, a television set and office furniture were donated and the owners of the former Pioneer market used to provide snacks for the officers, Borden said. So, last fall, Borden was surprised to hear that the Rampart Division had decided to shut down the center without explanation.
"It was a big disappointment," said Borden. "Maybe they can get it back to being of some use to the community."
The lease must still be approved by the Los Angeles City Council.