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Lompico Club ordered closed

Thursday, February 10, 1977 - Santa Cruz Sentinel

Fire Chief Closes Lompico Club

By Denise Siebenthal, Sentinel Staff Writer

The Lompico Club, used as a community center by Lompico residents for almost 50 years, has been closed upon order by Zayante Fir Chief Ron Powers because of fire hazards.

With fervent community spirit, however, Lompicans have applied to the county for $10,000 in revenue sharing funds to restore their club, Sharon Furtado od the Lompico Improvement Assn. reported.

Furtado explained that the association asked the county fire marshal's office to heklp prepare a list of things needed to be done to repair the club.

When Powers and a representative form the fire marshal's office arrived, the fire chief quickly ordered the building closed.

Fire Marshal Mel Andel said the deficiencies include electrical wiring, proper exists, housekeeping and a general rundown condition. He said the open, bare wiring and the use of extension cords were only a couple of the obvious dangers.

With about 450 dwellings and about 1,500 residents in the Lompico area, the club has served the rather isolated community over the years with arts and crafts, drama and free swimming lessons in the dammed up river alongside the clubhouse.

The downstairs section has been used as a bar and restaurant and at times for a grocery store, Furtado said.

Dances, dinners and fundraising events are held in the upstairs section, but this was put to a stop four years ago when the upstairs was limited to 50 people at a time because of structural  hazards, she added. Also, the upstairs recently was used as a food co-op before the shut-down.

The community has high hopes for the club if it gets the money to restore it. Furtado said that Head Start has contacted the association and want to begin a program at the club if the building is restored.

This would be a great help to the low income families in the area, she noted.

Because of the isolated nature of the area, Furtado said the association will also try to get government representatives to come to the club to help people with food stamps, welfare and legal services.

Club workers also are hoping to get a health cooperative started at the club with disaster preparedness classes taught.

Furtado explained that the association went to the county for funding rather than trying to get the local community to raise runds because Lompico is generally a low income area.

She said that although the citizens can't provide funding, they can provide the labor. Lompicans are planning to redo the foundation of the building put on a new roof, put in new wiring, add a sprinkler system, put in new plumbing and appliances in the kitchen, and redo the floor and ceiling of the office.

"Hopefully, we will have the building restored six months from when we get the money. We hope to put the new wiring in first to appease the fire marshal so we can open in the summer for a limited amount of people." Furtado added.

Getting the club restored is particularly important for the Lompico community, Association President Aletha McNealy concluded, because "we are a dead end canyon and quite isolated. The closest place for anyone to go for libraries and recreation is Felton, which is about six miles away."