Rec center fundraising group dissolving

Putting city council in charge of approving use of funds

As the Jefferson park and recreation staff is preparing to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Greene County Community Center – the rec center – People Active for County Exercise (PACE) is dissolving. PACE was formed in 1983 as a non-profit organization to raise funds for construction and continuing benefit of a recreation center.

The Jefferson city council at its Nov. 14 meeting approved a resolution to accept a transfer of the $147,000 PACE has in its reserve funds so the volunteer group can disband.

At the council meeting Chris Durlam provided a brief history of the group. He named Ron Betterton, Tony Mack, Tom Polking, Sue Richardson and Al Rowedder as the original board members. He said the PACE board “waited for its turn,” stepping behind other projects like construction of the elementary school, before doing vigorous fundraising. The effort was aided by a large bequest from Margaret May Peters in 1990. The money was invested and the fund grew considerably before public fundraising began in 1997.

PACE raised $2.8 million for the community center, with none of it being state or federal grant funds. The building was completed in November 1998.

As part of the fundraising, PACE set aside money to fund continuing needs. In the past PACE has funded new carpet, new gym lighting, new roof top HVAC units, and sealing the split face brick front on the building.

“PACE has served its purpose,” Durlam said. The board, which now includes John Gerken, Dave Hoyt, Bruce Bahnson, Linda Olerich and Durlam, meets once a year for about 30 minutes to approve the projects the JPRD board suggests. Keeping financial records and filing taxes takes considerably more time.

In recent years PACE has funded half of each project and the city has funded the other half.
“Hopefully you’ll take direction from your recreation board and use those funds in a similar manner to what we’ve done over the years,” Durlam said.

The city will create a special trust and agency account to hold the money. It will be spent on the recommendation of the park and recreation board, and only for special projects, repairs or fixtures at the community center. It will not be used for regular budget or recurring expenses.

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