FILLMORE : City Steps In to Keep Building Open

After state budget cuts threatened the Veterans Memorial Building in Fillmore with closure and financial collapse, Fillmore officials decided Tuesday to rescue the community center with public funds.

The Fillmore City Council decided to enter a joint powers agreement with the Fillmore-Piru Memorial Building District to share maintenance and personnel costs to keep the meeting hall and community center open.

The facility was scheduled to close Jan. 1 if the district could not find enough money to keep it running.

In addition to providing maintenance crews, Fillmore will pay for part of the building manager's salary and bring the building under the city's liability insurance policy, City Manager Roy Payne said. In return, building Manager Jon Holley will take 20% of his time to manage other city facilities.

Built in 1952, the building at 511 2nd St. is rented regularly by service clubs, nonprofit organizations, schools, residents and other groups. It is one of the area's few facilities able to accommodate about 600 people.

Payne said the joint powers agreement will take effect in January. "With this agreement, there is no reason to shut down the building," he said.

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