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      Wexford County cuts funding to civic center

      The future of the Wexford County Civic Center is still up in the air, but what is known is the county does not have enough money to keep it running.

      Rink Management Services operates the center, and their contract is set to expire at the end of April.

      Wexford County's budget for next year was passed eight to one, and come May 2014, money to run the civic center will stop.

      â??I don't want to close it but we need to figure out some alternative funding,â?? said Leslie Housler, Wexford County Commissioner.

      This is not the first time the county has faced budget issues when it came to funding â??The Wex.â?? This time around the county has about 12 million dollars to work with, and the Wexford County administrator says there are more pressures this year to fund public safety and public defenders. The county has funded the civic center in past years ranging from about $100,000 to $300,000.

      â??There's no doubt that it is a valuable asset to the community, so the challenge is get the community to work together and say how can we make this a viable option, because I do not see how we can fund it strictly off tax payer dollars and the revenue is not there.â??

      Several people voiced their concerns at Wednesday's meeting, saying they don't want to see a building that means so much to the community close its doors.

      â??I'm hoping that The Wex stays open. It is a community asset for the county of Wexford. I have family that lives in this area. My step-son took his first steps on the ice here in the facility,â?? said Louis Lombardo, Rink Management Services Regional Manager.

      Until any final decisions are made commissioners will go over their options and are asking for help from the community.