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Last budget hearning for Elkhart, Tolson still on the edge

ELKHART, Ind.- The future budget for the Elkhart Tolson Center is on the line. The city council is set to meet to discuss how the 2018 budget will unfold and who will be part of it; it’s a last chance for their voices to be heard.

The mayor’s office said in an email on October 12th negotiations with Lifeline, the faith-based organization set to potentially take over Tolson, are at a halt.

Mayor Tim Neese asked the city council for a one year period to decide what to do, but Monday is the last budget hearing at City Hall.

The Tolson Center serves youth and adults on Elkhart’s south side neighborhoods and all across the city.

Recently, it’s become a heated topic of discussion among the city council and neighbors.

Before negotiations with Lifeline Youth ministries halted, the city council voted to approve a $300,000 allocation for the center, which took away 80 grand.

Supporters of ‘Save Tolson Center’, a local group, have spoken up about what Tolson does for Elkhart, the youth and their future.

“For Tolson, it needs to still be open,” says one supporter. “It still needs to have staff members, people who are from the south side, who have been in the community. Educators, who can still be on that side of town…If you want the city to seem like it’s getting better, you have to understand this is a big situation.”

The city’s budget meeting will be Monday at 7 p.m. Right at 6 p.m. many will gather outside City Hall to rally for what they want to keep in their community.

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