Adult Community Center exploring Friends group to help close budget gap

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – Facing a nearly $10,000 a year funding gap from the cash-strapped city government, the Plymouth Adult Community Center will be looking to form a Friends group to help fill the gap.

Outgoing Plymouth Intergenerational Center Executive Director Martha Laning met with a group of about 30 seniors from PACC Friday to outline the center’s fiscal situation.

The city of Plymouth has sought a change in how it funds the center, Laning explained.

Currently, the city rents space at the Generations building for PACC and pays PIC an annual fee to run the center operations.

That totaled $139,414 a year, Laning said, but that contract is up in May.

The city has proposed to end the lease/management arrangement, instead proposing to turn PACC over to PIC entirely and pay the coalition $130,000 toward the center.

“That added up to $9,414 less than what we had,” Laning noted.

“The city told us they just don’t have the money and we understand that,” she continued, pointing out that city employees have not received pay raises for two years and the city just saw a large increase in the cost of garbage collection, to cite a few examples.

Laning also pointed out that the current contract does not allow PIC to raise money independently for the center, but it would be able to in the future under the new arrangement proposed by the city.

To that end, she proposed several alternatives – a membership fee, charging for specific events and activities, or creating a friends group that would charge an annual membership in exchange for added benefits and events.

Laning did say that there was not urgency to the issue, as PIC has already received some future donations for PACC and will, under the proposed new arrangement, receive fees from the county for the senior meal site at Generations that now go to the city.

“We can pay our bills for the next year,” she assured the audience. “We have four to six months to be able to talk to people about what our plans are.”

Most in the group were agreeable to establishing a Friends of the PACC group, but a number also expressed frustration with the city.

In particular, they cited a $67,000 reserve fund which the city holds. The money was donated to or raised by the senior center when it was still a department of city government, and Laning noted that city officials prefer to retain the money to use for possible future projects to aid seniors in the city.

“I’m frustrated that we’ve asked for it, I’m disappointed that they won’t give it to us, but what they told me is that the money was not given to the senior center but was given to the city to spend on seniors,” Laning related.

“On the other side, the purpose of the Committee on Aging is to do things that help seniors, and some people feel the money should be given to them to use (for that). There is not unanimous ageement (among city officials) on what should be done with that money,” Laning allowed.

Most recent cover pages:

POLL: Do you think Elkhart Lake made the right decision in not allowing Strawberry the pot-bellied pig?:

Copyright 2009-2018 The Plymouth Review, All Rights Reserved

Contact Information

113 E. Mill St., Plymouth WI 53073
Local: 920-893-6411 Toll Free: 1-877-467-6591
Fax: 920-893-5505