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Changes coming to Fisher Community Center operations

T-R FILE PHOTO Pictured is the Fisher Community Center, 709 S. Center St. The Marshalltown Senior Citizens organization recently became a tenant.

The name will remain the same, but beginning July 1, the Fisher Community Center is deemed a civic center.

That means local not-for-profit clubs will be able to use meeting rooms, the auditorium and grounds free of charge. However, for-profit businesses, entities and tenants will pay rent.

One new tenant is the Marshalltown Senior Citizen Center which has pre-paid its rent.

Language in the new lease agreement unanimously approved by the Marshalltown city council at Monday night’s meeting prompts the changes. The lease is between the city, the Fisher Governor Foundation and Fisher Community Center Board of Trustees.

City administrator Jessica Kinser said the lease agreement formalizes an arrangement of many years where they city had been contributing $72,000 to building operations. Last year the center trustees asked the city to increase its contribution to $100,000. The request was approved by council during the budget process.

“We have never had a formal agreement before,” Kinser said. “This is part of our efforts to bring more transparency. While the $100,000 contribution is shown in the city’s budget, the Fisher Community Center trustees manage their budget and operations with assistance from the Chamber of Commerce.”

The FCC Board of Trustees is responsible for day-to-day operations. The lease said the city will pay rent to the Fisher Community Center Board of Trustees monthly, with July 30 of each year being the first payment of the fiscal year.

The building and grounds are owned by the Fisher Governor Foundation and includes the Community Center, Art Gallery, Martha-Ellen Tye Playhouse and the grounds the buildings.

Terms of the lease indicate that beginning July 1 and ending June 30, 2020, the city council shall levy a tax on Marshalltown city property owners to generate $100,000 for the rent, maintenance, insurance and taxes of the Fisher Community Center. Unless otherwise presented and confirmed by January 31 annually, the city council shall continue to levy a tax sufficient enough to generate $100,000 for the rent, maintenance, insurance and taxes for the facility.

The Fisher Community Center Board of Trustees will use the funding from the City of Marshalltown to fund maintenance and ongoing repairs to the buildings and grounds and the day-to-day management of the building and grounds.

Board of Trustees chairperson Paul Gregoire said the trustees asked for an additional $28,000 to make needed improvements on the grounds and “to get the building back to a break-even situation. The Central Iowa Art Association is no longer a tenant, but owes us $5,000, so that is not showing up on income.”

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Contact Mike Donahey

at mdonahey@timesrepublican.com

or 641-753-6611