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  • Last modified 12 days ago (Oct. 10, 2019)

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City will operate community center

Staff writer

Marion Advancement Campaign is ending its nine-year agreement with the city to refurbish, remodel, and operate Marion Community Center.

As of Monday, the agreement forged in 2010 in which Marion Advancement Campaign foundation took over the basement, auditorium, and kitchen in city hall was ended at the foundation’s choice.

Treasurer and board member Gene Winkler said the foundation has completed the project and wants to focus on other things.

“Our purpose is not to run a project,” Winkler said. “Our goal is to do the project, get it up and running, and let somebody else take over and run it. We thought it would just be a better deal to let the city run it.”

A project high on the foundation’s list is the Bowron building at 3rd. and Main Sts. The building, in need of renovation to save it, was given to the city by the county after the county economic development department was closed. Marion Advancement Campaign’s goal is to renovate it and get it back on the tax rolls.

The foundation raised money for work on the community center and managed reservations for its use. The city was paid 25% of revenue and the foundation put the rest toward costs.

The city paid maintenance costs and provided insurance.

Part of the agreement was that the contract could be ended with 60 days notice by either party, city manager Roger Holter said.

A letter from foundation chairman Michael Powers said the foundation wants the city to honor all events already scheduled with paid reservations, agree to reserve the first weekend in March for the foundation’s annual fundraising event, and let the foundation schedule other events that don’t conflict with events already booked.

“Since entering the agreement, MAC, with the help of the city and community volunteers, has renovated the entirety of the auditorium, including the balcony, to create an attractive multi-purpose space, suitable for everything from public meetings to weddings and other formal occasions,” Powers wrote. “Additionally, the basement of the facility (not including the kitchen) has been renovated to create a convention area for meetings, training sessions, etc. The basement area outside of the convention portion has been remodeled as well, creating useable space for activities not requiring carpet.”

City council members agreed during Monday’s meeting to accept the foundation’s withdrawal as operators of the community center and assume operation themselves.

Last modified Oct. 10, 2019

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