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home : news : news Tuesday, May 24, 2016

1/9/2013 Email this articlePrint this article 
Charlotte council will consider plan for managing CAAC

By Andy Leheney

According to mayor Peggy Sellnau, the Charlotte City Council will consider a proposal to allow a not-for-profit group to manage the city's activity center.

Sellnau said the consensus of those attending a public hearing held the evening of Jan. 2 at the Charlotte Area Activity Center (CAAC) was the city council should consider the proposal, which would permit the facility to be run on a not-for-profit basis.

"Local resident Mike Jensen is developing a group that will be called Citizens for Charlotte and would run the CAAC should council approve the plan," Sellnau said. She reported Jensen shared an overview of the not-for-profit plan at the public hearing, which was attended by approximately 17 residents.

The proposal to manage the activity center through a not-for-profit group stems from the unexpected closure of the facility due to safety issues shared with the council by the city's insurance provider. The closure came just prior to the city's annual haunted house at the CAAC, a major fundraising event for the facility.

Following an Oct. 18 inspection, and the subsequent closure of CAAC, Sellnau and council members expressed surprise when advised of the safety issues related to the facility.

"We consistently have supported the CAAC and had received no prior written recommendations from insurance or state officials regarding any safety concerns (prior to the Oct. 18 inspection)," mayor Sellnau said.

She noted some of the concerns about the CAAC, including issues regarding smoke detectors and electrical wiring, already have been addressed.

At the Jan. 2 public hearing, Sellnau said once remaining concerns are addressed and the facility is reopened, if the not-for-profit approach is utilized, possible functions at the CAAC could include establishing a community fitness room, scheduling adult education or hobby classes and conducting special events at the center.

The city council likely would retain final approval on activities that would be scheduled at the CAAC or in support of the facility, Sellnau said.

"One example shared was the CAAC could become a 'Y' without a swimming pool," Sellnau said.

She added if council approves the concept of leasing the CAAC to Citizens for Charlotte on a not-for-profit basis, the lease cost possibly could reflect what the city pays annually for insurance on the facility.

Currently, a board of volunteers provides maintenance for the facility and conducts special events on its behalf.

The council recently did not renew two certificates of deposit totaling $10,400, which is to be used for repairs at the CAAC. Council members also identified approximately $3,500 in funds for training, Charlotte Days expenses and other sources to be redirected for CAAC support.

"I think this will be a great opportunity for the city to have an organized group to run the activities at the CAAC," said mayor Sellnau.

"We are looking forward to considering their ideas and ways they will make the community center more successful."

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