Ashland considering community center

By Nick Kovatch on February 13 at 1:00pm

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The Village of Ashland is considering a downtown community center.

Village President Terry Blakeman says he noticed many other cities and towns in the area have community centers, but not Ashland.

“We’re trying to bring back our downtown area and we felt like in order to do that we need to find a way to bring people back downtown,” says Blakeman. “That’s one way, although it won’t be the only way, but it will certainly bring some traffic back to the downtown area.”

Planning is still in the preliminary stages, but Blakeman says he doesn’t want to use any village funds for the project. He’d like to use volunteer labor and grants to pay for the facility. A U. S. Department of Agriculture Community Facility Grant could cover up to 75 percent of the cost of the project.

Blakeman says the village’s fire chief gets requests to rent out space for a meeting room in the fire department, but the area is only used for training purposes.

“If you built something it would be utilized and at the same time we’re looking for some place for people to go,” says Blakeman. “Particularly our elderly people who don’t have any place to go in the village so they can just go and get to know one another.”

He says it appears the best option for a community center might be refurbishing the old firehouse across from Village Hall, but everything depends on funding.