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March 06. 2014 8:30PM

Court to decide future of Claremont community center

CLAREMONT — City officials are set to appear in court next month to determine the future of the city’s old community center.

The opening of the Claremont Savings Bank Community Center last spring put the outdated Goodwin Community Center out of use.

However, a trust charging the city to use the buildings and land for public recreational uses prevents the city from putting the land and building to a different use or from selling it.

“You don’t just break a trust. That’s why a trust is created,” said City Manager Guy Santagate on Wednesday.

The Goodwin Community Center has buildings built in the 1800s, 1950s and 1970s, with an indoor pool built in the 1950s and a 50-person capacity function hall.

The city currently has no use for the buildings.

If the trust is changed for non-recreational uses, the City Council could entertain offers from the public to purchase the buildings for a use other than recreation.

The city has filed a petition with the probate court to find out what options the city has.

“It appears complicated, but it’s not. The trust was left years ago to the city to operate the community center. That function is gone, but we’ve got the empty buildings,” Santagate said. “Things have changed a lot and those buildings are no longer in good function, condition, and that’s why we built a new community center.”

The case is to be heard in the 5th Circuit Court Probate Division in Newport on April 9.

mpierce@newstote.com


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