Mayor Spano Announces Restructuring Plan for Nepperhan Community Center

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YONKERS MAYOR MIKE SPANO: “THE NEPPERHAN COMMUNITY CENTER WILL REMAIN AN IMPORTANT RESOURCE TO OUR CITY.”

YONKERS, NY – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano announced on Thursday, April 18th, the restructuring of the Nepperhan Community Center (NCC), located at 342 Warburton Avenue.

“The Nepperhan Community Center is and will remain an important resource to our City,” said Mayor Spano. “My commitment is to keep it operating for the tradition it provides and for the benefit of the people in our community.”

Spurred on by the Obama Foundation’s revocation of its accreditation and the revocation of its tax-exempt status by the IRS, Mayor Spano and the Yonkers City Council asked the Yonkers Inspector General to investigate. The report, available on the City of Yonkers website, uncovered financial mismanagement, bounced employee paychecks, unpaid utility bills over $200,000, and other missing or incomplete financial records.

“We know how important this center is for the seniors and the young people in this community,” said Mayor Spano. “We want to maintain the programs and make sure the next chapter for the Nepperhan Community Center is one we can take pride in and the next generation can be inspired by. Unfortunately, if the City does not step in, the Nepperhan Community Center is unlikely to qualify for future federal, state, or local grant funds that are the lifeblood of its ability to stay open.”

Spano noted, for example, that the federal government’s revocation of the Community Center’s tax-exempt status makes it ineligible for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds the City distributes each year for community needs.

Furthermore, according to the report, the Community Center’s governing board is establishing a new corporate entity consisting largely of the same people in an apparent effort to sidestep the tax filings it did not make in recent years.

“This is a clear red flag, and will be seen as such by those who would normally provide funding for the Nepperhan Community Center,” said Mayor Spano.

Spano said the City’s Parks Department, Office of Aging, and other City agencies will step in to keep programs running at the Nepperhan Community Center while a true organization with a reputable non-profit board can be formed.

“This is a City-owned building that we are glad to continue to make available virtually free of charge for programs that serve the community,” Mayor Spano said, adding, “In return, the operators must be transparent, provide accountability for the public dollars, and private grants they receive, and above all comply with the tax laws and basic accounting rules.”

Yonkers Inspector General Liam McLaughlin’s recent report on NCC, identified that in January 2024 the U.S. Internal Revenue Service revoked NCC’s tax exempt status for failure to file their Tax Returns for the last three years, 2020, 2021, and 2022. That meant that NCC could not receive grant monies from the City, Obama Foundation or any other entity.

AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief and co-owner of Black Westchester, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Rap Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.

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