Residents met at Prairie Street Mennonite Church in Elkhart over the weekend to voice concerns regarding the Tolson Youth and Community Center ahead of Monday’s finance committee meeting, where Tolson is expected be on the agenda.
The Tolson center, which primarily serves youth in south-central Elkhart, has been in limbo since late last year, when the city council slashed funding for the center to nearly half. Since then, an advisory committee has been set up by Mayor Tim Neese to help identify Tolson’s needs.
Last week, City Council President Brian Dickerson released an audit summary which alleged mishandling of funds by Tolson staff, among other issues, but did not discuss possible funding.
However, 4th District Councilman Dwight Fish says funding the center should be treated as a separate issue from the audit.
Community organizer Nekeshia Elaina Alexis has been working with Tolson since funding became an issue last year and led the discussion Sunday morning. She says resident involvement, and input is key in keeping Tolson open and funded.
“We ask people to be present at the meeting tomorrow,” she said, “To hear the discussion that is there. And also, for some people, it will be the first time they come to a city council meeting.”
The finance committee will meet this Monday at 5:30 in the council chambers at City Hall. The meeting will be followed by a regular council meeting at 7:00.