About 30 people attended the Wednesday evening meeting at Meadows Park Community Center, aimed at figuring out how to keep the center open after March 31, when funding from the city of Colorado Springs will dry up.
Some in the crowd noted they were involved nearly three decades ago in the creation of the center, 1943 S. El Paso Ave., in a strip shopping center.
The center provides a variety of services, including after-school child care, meals for seniors and summer children’s programs.
People at the meeting floated a variety of ideas to pay for the center’s operations, suggesting partnerships with or funding from the Army, Harrison School District 2, foundations, churches and the Colorado Springs Police Department.
(Click here to read the city’s request for proposals to operate the centers.)
One person wanted to know why money from the federal stimulus program can’t be used for the center. Another chastised city leaders for spending millions to keep the U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters in town while the recession continues to batter the city budget. Others suggested renting space in the center to local businesses.
“Self-sufficiency is the answer,” Councilman Sean Paige told the crowd. “Right now, you’re held hostage to the ebb and flow of the city budget.”
Mary Mashburn, a longtime community activist, handed out fliers for a Feb. 18 fundraiser for the community centers at Texas Roadhouse, 595 S. 8th St.
The restaurant will donate 10 percent of customers’ purchases to a community center fund if the customer mentions the centers to his or her server.