Updated: Mindy Terence and her family have been using the Loyal Heights Community Center (2101 NW 77th St.) for a few years. “We have never taken LHCC for granted,” she tells us. “Ever since we moved into the neighborhood of Loyal Heights, we have been using the facilities.” When Terence heard the news that one of Ballard’s two community centers could be closed because of financial reasons, she took action. Terence has put together a petition that she hopes will sway decision maker’s minds about cutting either the LHCC or the Ballard Community Center (6020 28th Ave NW). Her goal is to get 3,000 signatures before the May 4th budget hearing.
The petition states:
“We, the undersigned, seek to stop the possible closure of BOTH the Loyal Heights Community Center AND the Ballard Community Center.
Both of these centers should remain open, as they provide valuable and appreciated services and facilities to the surrounding neighborhoods of Ballard Proper, Loyal Heights, Sunset Hill, North Beach, East Ballard, Crown Hill, Broadview and Fremont; neighbors of every age partake in each center’s programs, classes and gym time—especially children.
We offer that the City and the Parks Department look elsewhere to reduce costs and close the budget deficit, specifically by reducing the department’s payroll and operating hours. We also propose considering a moderate increase in user and participant fees, if that would help keep these community centers open.
We understand that in this economy, local government is having to trim costs and cut back. However, we value these community centers just as much as our police and fire departments. They represent an irreplaceable and vital hub of community activity week after week.
Please help save the Loyal Heights and Ballard Community Centers from closure by adding your name to this petition.”
Terence will be hosting a meeting on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at the Loyal Heights Community Center to discuss strategy and gather signatures. Terence also plans on being at the Sunday Farmers Market with the petition in hand.
There is a car wash fundraiser at the Loyal Heights Community Center from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, but it is not related to this issue. “This is not a fundraiser to support the budget cuts. This was planned beforehand, and the money raised would go directly to upcoming teen trips,” Melissa Valenzuela with LHCC tells us.
The May 4th budget hearing will be held at the North Seattle Community College Cafeteria (9600 College Way North). Sign-in for the meeting starts at 5 p.m. with the public hearing at 5:30 p.m.
(Mindy Terence can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)