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Public invited to offer opinion

By Erin O'Connor

Staff Writer

AGAWAM - The Community Center Assessment Committee (CCAC) will be having a public hearing May 23 at 7 p.m. at the Public Library to receive public input on the needs and desires for a Community Center for Agawam.

"Our goal is to complete our report by the end of the year," Attorney Anthony C. Bonavita, the Chair of the CCAC said to Reminder Publications.

According to Bonavita, upon completion of the CCAC's comprehensive report, Mayor Richard A. Cohen will choose the specific location for the center and make decisions from that point.

The mission of the CCAC is to examine and evaluate potential sites and or existing facilities that can be utilized for the purpose of instituting interactive programs that serve the community as a whole. CCAC states that the facility can be a municipal or private site and the evaluation of the site will be conducted and pursuant to finance, location, expansion potential and compatibility with cultural, educational, social, recreational and athletic program goals of the Committee.

The CCAC said the goals may include but are not limited to the performing arts, educational enhancement, cultural enrichment and recreational activities that reach out to the entire breathe of the community.

Members of the CCAC have been meeting with representatives from local YMCAs and Boys and Girls Clubs for ideas.

"We did meet with the Boys and Girls of Westfield and met with representatives of the YMCA and we were able to discuss with them the various types of programs they have available. We are not going to make a YMCA, but went to discuss their programs," Bonavita said.

According to the CCAC chair after the Committee digests the ideas offered at the May 23 meeting they will began working on their report to Cohen June 23.

"We will start drafting a report during the summer," he said. "We have numerous sites that we are looking at. We are not the committee that will pick the site but will give examples of the types of sites that can be used. It is up to the Mayor to pick the site."

Members of the CCAC include Bonavita, Vice-Chair Sandy MacDonald, Secretary Ralph Zaverella, City Counsilor Joseph Mineo, Parks and Recreation Director Christopher Sparks, F. William Euliano, Mary Avery, Diane Juzba, Michael Beaudry Sr., Paul Kelly, Ex-Officio Tony Albro and Ex-Officio Mayor Richard Cohen.