Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Community center figures satisfy council

Consultants explain numbers for Fairfield project

By Michael D. Clark mclark@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FAIRFIELD — The dream of a state-of-the-art community center for this growing Butler County city is taking shape, say Fairfield officials who were briefed Monday on the latest operating cost estimates and facility options for the $9.6 million structure.

        Fairfield City Council members and administrations had their first look at consultants' operating estimates during a public meeting and left gener ally pleased with the progress toward making the planned Village Green Community Center a reality by December, 2004.

        “It will be the heart and soul of the city, and we're right on schedule,” said Fairfield City Manager Arthur Pizzano of the ambitious community center that will house a myriad of facilities including a 250-seat theatre, community rooms, art gallery, senior recreational facilities, dance and fitness programs and day care.

        Consultants told city council members that while the first- year's operating deficit will be the largest — an estimated $339,288 — subsequent annual deficits will decrease so that by the third year of operation the center's revenue will cover almost half its estimated operating expense of about $520,596, leaving an estimated deficit of $264,870.

        Those sort of deficits were anticipated, said council members, who nevertheless are attempting to minimize the annual shortfall by including revenue-generating options such as theater and classroom rentals, ticket purchases and food and beverage sales.

        “We are trying to build a business plan for the center,” said councilman Jeffrey Holtegel.

        He added, however, that though the city is seeking to cover some expenses “there has to be a balance — it is a community center first.”

        Council members are scheduled to review and vote on design plans during their Monday meeting at 7 p.m. at the Fairfield Municipal Building.


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