CENTER— As part of a plan to help prevent drug and alcohol abuse issues among young people in the Center community, those attending a Communities That Care (CTC) meeting last week proposed a plan to explore the possibility of opening a community center in the town.
The idea was last proposed about 10 years ago by those working with the Center Chamber of Commerce, which later disbanded.
Jerry LeBlanc, Grace Sandoval, Debbie Upton, Ani Rinchung and Teresa Benns attended the meeting. The following is taken from the official meeting minutes compiled by CTC coordinator Ani Rinchung.
She thanked Sandoval for letting the group meet at the medical center when, at the last minute, attendees were not able to use their usual meeting place at Center Consolidated Library because of illness.
Attendees took a look at the prevention strategies available to address the risk factors from the 2015 HKCS, which include: strategies that involve policy/laws change; strategies that include education/outreach; strategies that include access/environment and strategies that include direct programming/services. They also viewed CTC videos.
The group decided to look towards one of these strategies, that of access and environment as they looked at what was available in the community for youth involvement and what could be available. If CTC worked towards a community center, this bricks and mortar strategy would provide access to any number of programs and services for the community, thus creating an environment where there are increases opportunities for positive youth development (PTD). and social development strategies (SDS).
Adult programming also could be served. The group spoke further about the kinds of programs and services that could come to Center with such a facility and about past attempts to bring a community center to the town.
It was decided that the next step involves the Center CTC getting on the agenda at a town meeting this month to begin the subject with town administrators and talking to those who were involved with the last attempt. Rinchung later obtained a number form a local business to speak to a former chamber of commerce president.
A doodle poll was distributed to see who is available to attend a town meeting in October. Meetings are scheduled for Oct. 9 and Oct. 23 this month at 6:30 p.m.