|Perrysburg Hts. 'Save Our Center' event Friday night|
|Written by PETER KUEBECK/Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Tuesday, 04 June 2013 10:41|
PERRYSBURG – After 22 years in operation, the Perrysburg Heights Community Association is fighting to keep its community center open.
At a recent meeting of the PHCA board, members voted 4-2, with two members abstaining, to eliminate paid staff and close the center indefinitely. However, an emergency meeting was called May 28 for a reversal of the motion.
The organization is now working to raise enough funds to keep the center, 12282 Jefferson St., in operation. The Perrysburg Heights families are sponsoring a “Save Our Center” event Friday from 5:30 to 11 p.m. at the community park on Jefferson Street, near the center.
“The PHCA has accomplished much of what it originally set out to do,” reads the groups’s website, “but we are far from finished.”
The PHCA, a 501c3 nonprofit, was established in 1991 and offers a number of educational, social, recreational and health programs for Heights residents. A satellite clinic of the Wood County Health Department relocated to the center in March.
The group also sponsors the annual Ohio’s South of the Border Festival, scheduled for Aug. 10 this year, as a fundraiser.
Despite active fundraising and pursuing grants – including a $40,000 grant awarded in 2011 – the Heights has struggled financially in recent years.
The cost of running the center averages between $110,000 and $130,000 annually. Nearly a fifth of the budget comes from the festival, which has experienced fluxuating revenues in recent years. A message on the festival’s Facebook page indicated that admission prices are to be reduced for this year’s event.
A number of the already-printed tickets for the festival were stolen earlier this year and had to be redone to prevent fraud.
The city of Perrysburg has expressed interest in annexing the Perrysburg Heights neighborhood, which includes 90 acres and more than 1,100 parcels of land located across Ohio 25 from Levis Commons, with the possibility of completing the process next year. Mayor Nelson had voiced the possibility that, once the annexation was complete, community block grants might be available for improvement in the area.
Anita Sanchez-Serda, a PCHA board member and the original founder of the organization, expressed her support for such a move in an interview earlier this year.
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