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AMICC takes next step toward cell tower goal

By Mark Young, Islander Reporter

This view down Magnolia Avenue at the Anna Maria Island Community Center may change if a cell tower is approved by the city for center property. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

Anna Maria Island Community Center board members, at their Feb. 27 meeting, maintained the center’s goal of being approved for a cellular communications tower.

Three locations within Anna Maria are vying to be a location for a tower proposal that still has many obstacles to overcome.

Board member Randy Langely sought approval last month from the board to enter into a contract with a tower developer.

He announced to the board Feb. 27 a cell tower lease with a provider has been signed, but still must be approved by the city of Anna Maria. Langely asked the board for authorization to present the lease to the city commission.

In January, AMICC signed a contract with a cell tower builder. However, the city is still revising its cell tower ordinance.

The contracts, he said, are contingent on whether or not the center is chosen by the city as a location. To date, no building permit application has been filed by the cell tower contractor.

City commissioners ultimately will have the final say in where a tower is located. In the meantime, the center is moving forward with contracts in place should they be chosen as an acceptable location.

Also, AMICC executive director Pierrette Kelly discussed plans for a busy fundraising month for the center.

“March is kind of a special month for us and we are on the edge of it,” said Kelly. “We have lots of things that are coming together.”

Kelly said the center will participate in the Giving Partner project, a 36-hour fundraising challenge sponsored by four local foundations with the goal to raise $500,000. Kelly said the center is one of a few local nonprofits to be selected as a participant.

Giving Partner is an inaugural event, and expectations of how much can be raised is unknown, but Kelly said each dollar donated to the center is matched during the challenge.

The challenge begins at 6 a.m. Tuesday, March 27, and a leaderboard will be visible at www.thegivingpartner.org to track donations to individual nonprofits.

Other fundraisers include the March 17 Tour of Homes and the March 26 Affaire to Remember, the annual dinner-auction event.

 

Rates rise for adult players

Board member Scott Rudacille said an immediate goal is to place adult fees for sports programs in line with other center programs by increasing fees to non-members.

Rudacille said members of the center will continue to pay $75, but nonmembers will pay from $100-$115.

We are not trying to gouge anyone,” said Rudacille. “Every program we do offer has nonmember and member fees. We are trying to encourage nonmembers to become members.”

Rudacille said when adult sports programs started more than two years ago, “We had no idea how popular it would be, so we started a flat fee to get the leagues going. Now that they are going, all of the adult programs should be in line with all of our other programs.”

Rudacille said the sports programs do not make money.

“So I don’t want to give the wrong impression,” he said. “The $75 we charge to members barely covers the costs of uniforms, referees, grounds and utilities.”

The cost to join the center is $50 a year. Members then pay fees to participate in programs and, Rudacille said, it’s only fair for nonmembers to pay a higher fee now that the leagues are established.

Also, board chair Greg Ross reported the board is paying down its mortgage principal by paying more than the required $8,500 per month payment.

“The importance of it is to reduce the debt as quickly as possible, and put these funds back into the program to better serve the community,” said Ross.

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