MANATEE -- A formal document conveying ownership of the closed Rubonia Community Center from the Manatee County School Board to the Manatee County Commission has been approved, officials said Tuesday.
Last week, the school board, which owns the property, OK'd transferring the center, said Cheri Coryea, director of the county Neighborhood Services Department.
However, county commissioners will have to decide whether to accept the property at a meeting on either Sept. 23 or Oct. 7, she said.
Rubonia residents have sought a change in ownership in an effort to restart programs at the center after budget problems forced its closure last year.
The facility also needs repairs, which would require money from the commission, said Coryea.
"It is possible that the BCC (commission) may decide to do a proposal process to find the best and most capable organization to operate the building, however, this type of a decision would come after the discussion of the potential needed improvements to the facility," said Coryea. "We are not currently entertaining any request for programming inside the building."
Manatee County Commissioner Larry Bustle Monday called the matter a "work in progress. We still are working (on developing) a selection process about who could run the center."
In 2012, budget problems forced the center at 1309 72nd St. E. to close. About 15 children who in after-school program were transferred elsewhere.
Last year, with a special allocation OK'd by county commissioners, it reopened with exercise and nutrition programs, plus games and other fun for adults. About 35 people attended, but when program money ran out again, the center shut down and remains closed.
However, the center's outdoor grounds continue to be maintained by the county and are used by community residents, said Coryea.