In August, some Newton County commissioners explored the idea of moving the operation of Washington Street and Nelson Heights community centers to the city of Covington. [See story “County discusses moving community centers under city of Covington,” at http://www.covnews.com/section/1/article/201705/] Supporters of Nelson Heights Community Center attended a Covington City Council meeting in mid-August to express objections to such a move.
Others, such as District 4 Commissioner, J.C. Henderson also spoke out against the potential change in overseeing governments.
However, leaders of the Washington Street Community Center remained quiet.
Though the two community centers do receive an annual appropriation from Newton County — $40,000 — both are independently managed. According to Vender Maddox, president of the Washington Street Community Center Board, both organizations share a similar mission to serve Newton County youth.
In a statement released this week, she said, “Recently, the Washington Street Community Center has been associated with other community organizations and misinformation has been provided to the public. Although our goals are similar, Washington Street Community Center stands alone because it is not managed by the county.”
“However, we are very appreciative of the county contribution toward our operating budget that currently exceeds $200,000,” Maddox said. “We take pride in the programs that we are able to provide, which is closely connected to the generosity of our donors.
“It is important to clarify this misconception so that we can continue the working relationship that we have with our donors of time and resources.”
Both Washington Street Community Center and Nelson Heights Community Center are organized as 501(c)3 nonprofits with independent boards of directors. Funding for programs at Washington Street Community Center is provided by a combination of fundraisers, donations and grants, in addition to the county’s appropriations.
The Newton County Board of Commissioners tabled a motion to move oversite of the centers to the City of Covington. Both still remain appropriations of Newton County.