Members of the Perham City Council, Perham-Dent School Board and Perham Area Community Center Board of Directors met on April 14 to recognize the community center’s 25-year history, and to plan for its future.
“The PACC is a three-legged stool,” said the PACC’s Board Chairperson, Tom Tomporowski, of how the center is organized and supported financially. “We’re all partners in this venture and adventure.”
Discussion about how to support the center’s financial and physical needs into the future was the central part of the Tri-Board meeting.
Tomporowski noted that the PACC continues to need normal maintenance and must stay in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Since 1989, competition has also developed with the construction of the Wadena Community Center, Holmes Center in Detroit Lakes and Thumper Pond in Ottertail.
“We’re going to be in trouble if we don’t find some fixes…to maintain what we have,” said Tomporowski. “We’ve got to compete.”
Kevin Nelson, PACC director, said the Tri-Board accounts currently have $183,000 accessible, along with some other capital.
“But, it’s not growing as fast as the needs are growing,” said Nelson. “We don’t want it to get ahead of us.”
School board member Jim Rieber said some of the discussion on the district’s side has been based on the future of the high school building and what may happen with any projects down the road.
“I think there’s always going to be a relationship there of some type (between the school and PACC),” Rieber said. “It’s just a matter of…what dynamics of what we lease might change.”
An attending community member voiced concern about the school district possibly pulling back from parts of the original agreement, but said he understood the needs of the district.
As the conversation continued, the focus began to shift to other ways the PACC’s monetary needs can be met without putting extra strain on the coalition or significantly raising membership rates.
Questions were raised regarding underserved portions of the community, along with the thought of adding more “legs” to the PACC’s figurative stool.
Another community member asked if some sort of government grant might be available to help cover some of the capital projects costs.
“We’ll figure it out as long as we all stay positive together,” said PACC board member Staci Malikowski. “It will all start falling into place.”
The Tri-Board will continue to meet to discuss the PACC’s future needs and options.