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BTAC considers 5-year expansion

Tim Willert

Despite a drop in cash donations, Burbank Temporary Aid Center

officials are considering plans to expand the center’s facilities.

Center board members recently discussed hiring an architect for

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the expansion project, which would cost an estimated $455,000 to

complete. So far, a site survey has been completed at no cost to the

organization, and the board is considering whether to spend $15,000

to hire an architect, BTAC officials said at their July 30 meeting.

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The board is in the process of applying for a capital project

grant from the city, and hopes to complete the necessary paperwork by

the end of September, BTAC board President Jan Loporchio said at the

meeting.

Under the proposal, an outline of which has been submitted to city

grants coordinator Mas Yoshinaga, the center’s rear building would be

demolished and a new two-story warehouse would be constructed. The

center’s storefront office at 1304 W. Burbank Blvd. also would be

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remodeled as part of the five-year plan.

The BTAC board would raise 15% of the cost from public and private

sources over the life of the project. The City Council, which must

approve all block grant projects, would likely take action on such a

proposal sometime in December or January, Yoshinaga said.

Attempts to reach Loporchio for additional comment on the project

were unsuccessful.

BTAC, which provides emergency aid to families and individuals,

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including food, shelter, clothing and transportation, has come under

fire from donors and volunteers who questioned the board’s leadership

after executive director Pat Smola was fired in June.

At the meeting, Loporchio said the board shelved similar expansion

plans in 2002 because “we realized we just weren’t ready last year.”

Yoshinaga said BTAC began the grant process last year, but was

slowed by parking and development review issues.

“Essentially, there wasn’t enough time to go through those steps,”

he said.

Following a discussion about the project, board treasurer Isabel

Adams told members and visitors that cash donations were down during

the 2002-03 fiscal year, which ended June 30. Through the end of

June, the center had received cash contributions of $88,495, and is

seeking to raise $115,000 during the 2003-04 fiscal year, Adams said.

“We really need to get busy raising money,” she said.

According to the center’s latest profit and loss statement, BTAC

lost $30,133 during June, and finished the 2002-03 fiscal year with a

net loss of $4,051.


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