Officials hear public opinion on Tolson Community Center's future

Officials hear public opinion on Tolson Community Center's future. // WSBT 22

Hearing from the public-- that's the goal behind a meeting Tuesday concerning the Tolson Center in Elkhart.

Despite the holiday season a dozen people showed up to share their thoughts.

This meeting was strictly to hear suggestions.

For one hour, the Advisory Board for Tolson Center sat and listened to tips and concerns.

The committee members still have several months before presenting recommendations to the City Council, but some people in the community are still concerned about the future of the center.

It was first time the public has been able to comment about the future of the Tolson Center.

Some people spoke positively about the goals set already by Advisory Committee leaders.

Others like Tanzi Nielsen have questions about some decisions.

"I think the concerns are ‘Will the council respond to the recommendations? How much power or influence or power of suggestion does the advisory committee have with the city council?’" said Nielson.

Nielsen says the committee is made up of great members from the community.

But she says some of the suggestions to help the center have already been tried in the past and haven't worked.

"I think what's also really important to note is that the city council does not want to fund the Tolson Center as it stands now. So if the advisory committee goes back and makes recommendations to basically recreate what was already in existence then isn't this doomed to fail?" said Nielsen.

Brown says they're getting great advice from the public.

"We've gotten the mission statement for the Toslon Center. We've talked about strategic partnerships with the Tolson Center, and now what we hope to do is bring all of that together with the suggestions of the public and then start looking at what does programing look like and what does budgeting look like," said Brown.

The Elkhart County Schools Superintendent attended the meeting Tuesday.

The school board and the Tolson Committee Board are hoping to work together.

Bringing them in as a third party to provide programs at the Center.

The committee will meet again in January.

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