Community Action calls off move

Community Action of Skagit County has called off its move to Burlington.

Community Action of Skagit County has called off its planned move to Burlington, after the nonprofit was unable to sell its current facilities.

In an email to donors sent late last week, Campaign Director Joan Penney said the failure to sell the Mount Vernon buildings in a timely manner means Community Action wasn’t likely to get several government grants that were necessary to pay for the move.

“We’re very disappointed,” she said. “We did everything we could think of to make this happen.”

She said staff will pursue a “Plan B” and explore reorganizing the current office space to achieve some of the goals they hoped to get out of a larger facility.

“Just like anything big you do in life, there are twists and turns,” Executive Director Bill Henkel said. “We’re moving forward. We’re optimistic.”

The nonprofit has been fundraising since November 2017, seeking to raise $4 million to buy and remodel a 27,000-square-foot building near Cascade Mall.

At 13,000 square feet, the offices off Riverside Drive in Mount Vernon are not big enough to meet Community Action’s needs, Penney said. Still, she said, the nonprofit will do what it can to reorganize things to make the space work.

Henkel said he will work with consultants to try to find space for child care, remodel the reception area to allow for privacy and rearrange the Housing Resource Center.

“We’re going to have to be much more creative,” he said.

The buildings were listed for $750,000 and $995,000.

Over the years, Penney said, several people expressed interest in buying the buildings, but none committed.

She said she is making contact with each donor, and is offering them the opportunity to meet with Community Action staff.

Penney said she hopes to announce more concrete plans for the future by Oct. 1.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH{p style=”margin-bottom: 0in;”}

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