By Martin Cassidy

After having their funding withheld this budget season by the town, leaders of the Outback Teen Center have cut drop-in hours for teens and eliminated the full time staff director position.

"As we pursue a new direction we will briefly suspend the drop-in hours at the Teen Center,"an announcement from the center's Board of Directors said. "We will meet all commitments for special events scheduled through the end of June. A decision will be made soon about the programs that will be offered in the summer and the fall."

The move comes after the board of the Outback, strapped for operating funds, proposed a new three year pilot partnership with the town which would include include $80,000 to $100,000 a year in town support to the center to help transition itself into a wider community center serving both youth and adults with educational programs and activities. In recent years the center has received about $20,000 in support.

This budget season, town officials left the decision open whether the center would receive $19,000 in program funding, which was placed in a contingency fund pending the town's approval of a new business plan to keep the center sustainable.

The teen center building is owned by a non-profit corporation, but is on land owned by the town that the group leases.

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