Friday, December 26, 2014

Commission donates land to community center pending referendums

Posted on Oct. 10, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.

GOSHEN — Check one more item off the to-do list for the Goshen Community Center.

At the Goshen Redevelopment Commission’s October meeting Tuesday, the panel voted to donate the old Goshen Street Department site on the west side of the Millrace to the community center.

The transfer of the land is contingent upon the passage of referendums for city of Goshen and Goshen Community Schools bonds. That means the land becomes property of Goshen Community Center Inc. only if residents vote in favor of the center in May.

Bruce Stahly, the director of the community center project, said though other options had been explored, the street department site was determined to be the best location.

There was some opposition to the donation, however. Goshen resident Julia King, while in favor of a community center, said she would have liked more opportunity for community input and a forum for questions about the proposal.

Stahly said while there was little opportunity for community discussion pertaining to the actual site, there would be opportunities for people to discuss the center before the referendum in May.

Another resident, Joe Dervin, noted his concern about the site itself, saying he believed the land was a “swamp.” He also echoed King’s concern about the decision-making process thus far.

“They need to be more up-front before we start giving them things,” he said.

Commissioner Jeremy Stutsman said he was fine with donating the land if the site was the best option for the community center. But with many projects already undertaken by the city, he cautioned both the commission and community center leaders to make sure the project is fully funded so the city won’t be saddled with another economic burden down the road.