"This is not a bloated government," Tierney said.
However, during the first few years of operation, two things became clear, Green said. The first was there were a significant amount of tax dollars required each year to offset revenue shortfalls, which is now in excess of $200,000 per year and is carried on the backs of town taxpayers.
Second was that the level of taxpayer support made it difficult to establish adequate capital reserves for needed repairs and replacements. During the next 10 years the facility will require repairs and replacement of its roof, pumps, compressors and other components, Green said.
Where ownership is concerned, Green said the trustees believe the village is not the appropriate owner for the center.
"The owner would be expected to bear responsibility for those capital repairs and improvements, and that burden should be spread evenly across the entire community, including all village and town residents, rather than disproportionately on village taxpayers," he said. "We support the use of town tax dollars for the community center because all of us are town taxpayers and all of us are thereby impacted equally in supporting this wonderful facility."
Approximately three years ago, the village advised SRCT of its decision to not be the ultimate owner of the facility and suggested the group consider the Austin Park Development Fund as a potential owner. The fund has been in existence since the 1960s and has now been reorganized as PARCS, which has a board of directors that includes a "diverse group of people who are committed to the success of the community center," Green said.
According to Green, the successful operation of the center and its capital needs will require a significant amount of fundraising to contain and reduce the need for taxpayer support.
"As a not-for-profit organization with tax exempt statues granted by the IRS, PARCS will have the ability to conduct successful, sustained fundraising on a broad scale," Green said. "That model has been used successfully by the YMCA in facilities all over the country."