Butcher: $140K still target for Westside Center

       Although Dave Hughes now believes that as little as $100,000 is needed to keep the Westside Community Center open, City Parks Director Paul Butcher said he is sticking with the $140,000 figure that was announced in late January.
       Hughes, a long-time Westside civic leader, has started a fund through the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS), of which he is a member, in hopes of raising enough to keep it open after city funds run out March 31.
       He had initially gone with Butcher's estimate, but recently wrote for the record that because center Director Brian Kates expects the facility to make $30,000 to $40,000 during the remaining nine months of the year, the target should now be seen as a “much more attainable” $100,000 or $110,000.
       Asked to comment, Butcher responded in an e-mail, “I have been saying $140,000 because there are some fairly large assumptions in Brian's overall budget proposal that would have to fall exactly into place in order for the operation to continue in a reasonable fashion.
       As examples, he explained that “the budget assumes a significant number of volunteers can be recruited that would perform routine tasks such as janitorial [and] teach 10-week summer classes. We [also] need to combine administrative positions and accept revenue projections that exceed past historic levels, etc. This also assumes nobody gets sick or takes a vacation day.
       “It was my decision to factor these unknowns into a more or less worst-possible case rather than publicly commit to a $110,000 goal and find out we were still really short of funding.
       “Brian, Ron [Cousar, City Parks recreational director] and I talked about this situation and decided the number that was most realistic was $140,000, and that is the number we provided for publication.”
       The 18-year-old center at 1628 W. Bijou St. provides a variety of events, programs, classes and activities for all ages.
       Checks to the fund established by the OCCHS can be made out to the “Save Our Community Center Fund,” in care of the OCCHS at 1 S. 24th St., Colorado Springs 80904. Refunds will be given if the fundraising drive falls short, Hughes has said.

Westside Pioneer article