By ANDREA POTEET
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK – A nonprofit agency is set to take over operations of the city-owned community center and ice rink while the city maintains ownership.
At their special meeting Tuesday, city councilors accepted a bid by Wayne-based The Senior Alliance, which provides services to seniors and the disabled in southern and western Wayne County, to run the facility, after bids were sought two weeks ago.
TSA won out over three other companies – JRV Consulting, Family Entertainment, and Rink Management, the latter of which was discounted because it sought payment from the city to run the center.
Councilors said the five-year deal with TSA won out because as a nonprofit, it pledged to put all money earned above a 7 percent administrative cost back into programs as well as keeping all present community center programs as well as its present services.
“If we don’t turn it around, we don’t get paid,” TSA Executive Director Bob Brown said. “On the other hand if we turn it around the city benefits from that.”
All proceeds from the center, which currently runs at a $400,000 loss each year and exists mostly on fees paid from skating and hockey programs, above the administration fee will be split evenly with the city up to $100,000, at which point TSA will claim 80 percent of the proceeds.
Councilman Bob Keenan said the pairing is advantageous to the city because TSA, as a nonprofit, may not keep its profits and has agreed to invest them back into the center with additional programs.
He and other councilors agreed that the city mainly hoped to save the center with the TSA contract, should an emergency financial manager be appointed to the city.
“My main goal in that endeavor is to protect that facility,” Keenan said. “If we don’t have someone come in right now under contract and run the facility we very well might lose it.”
TSA also is in talks with the city to rent 17,000 square feet of the city’s former movie studio property in which to relocate its headquarters and its Meals on Wheels operation, which serves 3,000 meals a day to seniors.
But some councilors had concerns with the plan, especially that current community center employees must reapply for their jobs.
Brown said he will consider all applications equally.