Not solely will the Flat Rock Neighborhood Heart stay open for the foreseeable future, metropolis officers plan to achieve out to potential new customers in order that its membership can proceed to develop.
The destiny of the town’s neighborhood heart hung within the stability after discuss amongst some members of the Metropolis Council that the town ought to think about placing it up on the market. All of it got here all the way down to approving the town’s annual price range, which occurred Monday night time.
As most communities put together to start a brand new fiscal yr on July 1, Flat Rock wanted to determine methods to proceed with its recreation heart.
Like so many amenities of this sort, the Flat Rock Neighborhood Heart was hit exhausting by the COVID-19 pandemic. For near a year-and-a-half, it basically remained closed and even when it reopened, many customers didn’t precisely rush the doorways to begin utilizing it once more, as hesitancy remained robust.
The town additionally had a novel scenario when it handled a significant gasoline leak final summer season that brought on the evacuation of a lot of residents for a number of weeks.
One method to minimize the town’s losses, so to talk, could possibly be to place the increase on the market to see if there are any events on the market, and if that’s the case what they is likely to be keen to pay for it.
When phrase received out that Flat Rock was contemplating promoting its recreation heart, the thought met with instant resistance from individuals who use the ability, and plenty of of them confirmed up on Monday to voice their assist for retaining the ability open.
A few of those that spoke out recognized themselves as residents of different communities. One particular person informed the council that the neighborhood heart was a significant deciding consider transferring to the world. One other man stated he got here from California to care for his mom and was delightfully shocked by the facilities provided on the Flat Rock Neighborhood Heart, saying that he’s an everyday consumer of the swimming pool.
If the middle have been to shut, it might go away the town with out a public pool. Flat Rock Neighborhood Colleges doesn’t have its personal pool, so college students use the town’s. Many pool customers have been amongst these in attendance on the assembly who opposed promoting the constructing.
One of many struggles the neighborhood heart faces is the truth that workers needed to be laid off in the course of the pandemic, so it at the moment has solely part-time workers working there.
Nevertheless, that’s being remedied as a part of the price range course of. Mayor Mark Hammond proposed making 5 positions full-time once more, saying this is able to not be creating new positions, however moderately would restore positions that have been already there previous to the pandemic.
In approving the price range by a vote of 5-2, the council agreed that the neighborhood heart ought to stay open and that the 5 full-time workers on the heart ought to be a part of that price range. Council members John Bergeron and Ken Wrobel voted in opposition to it.
Whereas a number of the present part-time workers could apply for the full-time positions, the town will open up the positions to all certified candidates. In response to Hammond, three of the roles are administration positions and two are supervisory, which implies anybody employed will probably be topic to Metropolis Council approval.
Hammond stated he was impressed by the variety of nonresidents who confirmed up on the assembly to voice their assist for the middle, particularly contemplating they pay greater charges to make use of it than do Flat Rock residents.
For the mayor, this was a sign of how extremely valued the ability is to individuals in and round Flat Rock. He stated absolutely funding the neighborhood heart is cash nicely spent.
“The taxpayers give us cash for companies and the taxpayers have spoken loud and clear,” Hammond stated.
One takeaway from a number of the feedback Hammond heard was the sensation by many who the town must do a greater job advertising the Flat Rock Neighborhood Heart.
“Some individuals stated they didn’t comprehend it was there,” Hammond stated. “It’s in the midst of the woods.”
Though it’s not a right away precedence — hiring full-time workers is on the high of the listing — Hammond stated it’s his perception that the town ought to think about enhancing its efforts to market the middle.
He stated he’s surrounded by “good division heads” so he seems ahead to listening to their concepts about how the town can do a greater job in attracting new customers to the ability.