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City leaders consider community center takeover, protestors react

The City of Oroville is in very early discussions to take over the land where the Southside Community Care Center sits in South Oroville. Protestors came to City Hall to say there shouldn't be any discussion at all.

Posted: Dec 2, 2020 12:38 AM
Updated: Dec 2, 2020 8:28 AM

OROVILLE, Calif. - Dozens gathered to protest outside Oroville City Hall over the possibility of the city taking over a local community center.

The city says the possibility of Oroville taking over the southside community care center is far too distant to comment.

But that didn't stop people from coming out to show why they don't want it to be discussed at all.

"Community people, we're a community, people," said Pastor Kevin Thompson, who organized this event, through a megaphone as the city council meeting speakers were drowned out in the background.

"It's a beacon of light, it's up on the hill. It's beautiful," said Rachel Parker, who joined the protestors holding a sign of her own. "It's a gem in the middle of an area that was neglected for way too long."

The city of Oroville told Action News a response right now to the possibility of the city taking over the Southside Community Center would be quote 'premature',

But to Thompson, it doesn't matter how early it is, several people came to be heard.

"We're very passionate about the Southside Community Center. There's a discussion that's going on, as loosely as it might be, nevertheless, there's a discussion going on of potential take over by the Oroville city," said Thompson.

"Something you do in a community is you help build each other up, you don't tear each other down," said Lisa Torres, a site maintenance supervisor at Southside Community Care Center. "And that's basically what I feel the city wants to do. They want to strip the community what has been working for them to build them up stronger."

Right now, the center sits on county land, and the city said off camera they are only hearing requests from the county at the moment to possibly take it over.

Still, Thompson feels the community needs a guarantee that the center will stay put, because of what it means to everyone in South Oroville.

"We need just concrete approval that this isn't something that the city of Oroville will pursue," he said. "This is the very lifeline, the bedrock of our community in southside Oroville. If this goes away, we have nowhere else to go. Everything that's associated with that center there is tied directly to the community itself."

Both parties did meet earlier today to discuss several topics. The city says, whatever happens, they want to continue to offer the same opportunities the center currently offers.

Oroville told Action News they are preparing a statement to be released in the near future about the possible take over.

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As expected, we had much quieter weather around northern California on Wednesday with plenty of sunshine, much weaker wind, and a wide range of temperatures. Thursday will be similar, but much more active weather is coming.
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