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Connellsville Community Center advisory board moving ahead with ideas

By Rachel Basinger
Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, 10:10 p.m.

Members of the Greater Connellsville Area Community Center advisory board are trying to advance several ideas on making the center productive and self-sufficient.

Advisory board Chairman Jim McIntire pulled together his thoughts on the responsibilities of the advisory board and how they should operate.

“As per Mattie (Councilman Gregory) Ritch, the advisory board acts by the city's lead at this time and exists to find opportunities to raise money, build relationships, make recommendations and behave in a fiscally responsible manner,” McIntire said.

He told members of the advisory board that each member's idea is accepted and open for discussion.

“Your ideas will then be converted into an opinion or recommendation, which is then open for constructive criticism and then submitted to Councilman Ritch,” McIntire said. “The opinion or recommendation should receive an up or down vote from city council, and if it's received, volunteers will need to be found before it's put to a punch list based on grade and status.”

McIntire is hoping to bring continuity to the way the advisory board operates.

Advisory board member Ron Michaux aims to get a community flea market up and running by February.

The plan is to have anyone — whether it's a private individual who has items from their home that they want to sell, or vendors who make items to sell — to rent some space in the center and set up their tables with goods for sale.

The first date is set for Feb. 2. Doors will open at 6 a.m. The flea market runs from 7 a.m. to noon.

The cost for individuals to set up in the community center is $15 per 10- by 10-foot section, and individuals should bring their own tables. Electric can be provided for an additional $5, and there are a limited amount of tables for rent for $5 each.

Space is limited to the first 50 vendors. There is no admission charge to enter.

Contact the Community Center by calling 724-626-0300 to reserve a spot or by emailing

The second date is set for March 2.

The majority of the board voted in favor of looking for an outside independent accountant to be treasurer of the advisory board because no board members want the responsibility.

Board member Patty Firestone had a few concerns.

“If it was just our money, that would be great, but I have concerns if we're working with the city's money as well,” Firestone said. “I don't want there to be a conflict. Maybe this is the city's decision.”

McIntire said he had spoken to Ritch about the idea. City council always has the right to overrule the action, he noted.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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