Last week the Board of the Fellowship House made a requested presentation of a business plan to make the Fellowship House more financially solvent and increase its programming. The request came from Borough Council, which votes to provide funding to the community center. The Borough also provides a staff member to manage the facility. The staff member also has other responsibilities as well, such as overseeing the parks.
Last year, the YMCA made a proposal to take over the management and programming of the Fellowship House. At the request of Borough Council, the Board considered this request, but ultimately turned it down. When the budget was planned for 2014, the Borough only funded the first quarter and requested the business plan before it would consider further funding.
The meeting for the presentation had a standing room only crowd and many spoke about how the Fellowship House has benefited their family. It seemed that the purpose of Borough Council’s action was to hold the Board more accountable for the public money it receives. In the end, Councilman Bob Stokley made a motion to make another allocation of $43,500 to cover another quarter. The motion was passed by a vote of 4-3. Those who voted against the allocation were Matt Ryan, Anita Barton and Karen Tutino. They explained the vote that it wasn’t a vote against the Fellowship House, but more of a vote against providing the funding without specifying where it would be found.
So all of this will come up again in under four months, when funding for the next quarter is needed. Below is a little video to give you some flavor of what people were saying during the meeting. It is in no way a complete record, just a few people we caught on camera speaking.