Horse center secures funds for renovation

Columbia Council allows use of impounded money

April 23, 1999|By Erika Niedowski | Erika Niedowski,SUN STAFF

After more testimony from Columbia's equestrian enthusiasts, the Columbia Council voted last night to release $115,000 in impounded funds for improvements at the community's horse center.

The money, budgeted for the fiscal year that begins May 1, will be used for fences, a tractor, barn windows, stalls and new jumps.

The 10-member council has been debating the fate of the Columbia Horse Center for months because of concerns over its financial performance and its level of resident usage.

The 88-acre facility on Gorman Road offers riding lessons and camps and a therapeutic riding program for the disabled.

Last night's unanimous vote to release the impounded funds represented a major victory for horse center supporters.

"If you don't put money into something at all, you can't expect it to succeed at all," M. J. Miller, a Harper's Choice resident and horse lover, told the council.

Rob Goldman, the Columbia Association's vice president for membership services, presented council members with a revised 10-year plan for the facility that shows it making a small profit in six years.

The plan also aims to increase usage of the facility, particularly by Columbia residents. One way to do that, Goldman said, will be through the immediate addition of nonriding clinics, or educational workshops.

"I think we have come a long way on plans for the horse center," said Cecilia Januszkiewicz, the council representative from Long Reach.

As another way to address resident participation, she suggested giving those who live in Columbia preference in signing up for horse center camps.

Pub Date: 4/23/99

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